India beat Ireland by seven wickets in the opening T20I on Sunday.© AFP
India produced a clinical batting display to easily chase down the 109-run target set by Ireland in the rain-curtailed opening T20I at The Village in Dublin on Sunday night. With rain causing havoc, the match was reduced to 12-overs-a-side. India won the toss and opted to bowl. A sensational 33-ball 64 from Harry Tector helped the hosts post 108 for four in 12 overs. But quickfire knocks from Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya helped India chased down the target in just 9.2 overs. With the victory, India equalled their best win streak of nine while chasing in T20Is.
India’s previous best of nine came in 2019-20 with the winning captains being Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. This time around as well Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s name figured in the list along with Hardik Pandya, who captained India (in the 1st T20I vs Ireland) for the first time in international cricket.
On Sunday, Ireland got off to a woeful start, reduced to 22 for three with their top three back in the hut. Paul Stirling who has gained quite a reputation in T20 cricket, could only manage four.
Tector, though, launched a stunning counterattack on the Indian bowlers, plundering six fours and three sixes in his blazing 64-run knock.
For India, Yuzvendra Chahal was the standout with the ball, taking one wicket and giving away just 11 runs off his three overs.
Tearaway pacer Umran Malik made his much-awaited India debut but was plundered for 14 runs in the only over he bowled.
In the chase, Hooda and Kishan got India off to a rollicking start but the visitors lost wickets off consecutive balls to give Ireland some hope.
Ireland’s joy was short-lived as captain Pandya blasted a 12-ball 24 while Hooda too kept finding the boundaries to make short work of the chase.
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