Rainy, cold and windy – Dublin served up the ideal conditions for pace bowlers to make merry. And they did for a while when India new ball bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Avesh Khan reduced Ireland to 22/3 inside the Powerplay.
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And then Harry Tector took over as he pulled and slogged his way to a blistering half-century. He belted six fours and clubbed three sixes at The Village en route to an unbeaten 64 off 33. Ireland had posted a challenging 108/4 in 12 overs.
Only two Indian bowlers out of the six used for the first T20I escaped unhurt. Bhuvneshwar bowled three overs and gave away just 16 runs for a wicket. The second was legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal who also bowled three overs but allowed just 11 runs in them and took an important wicket of Lorcan Tucker as well.
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That he pulled off an economy off 3.7 despite the small size of the ground was an achievement in itself and it was acknowledged when Chahal was chosen as player of the match despite equally, if not more, eye-catching display from Tector, and Bhuvneshwar.
Chahal said the cold conditions made life very difficult for a spinner on Sunday.
“Very difficult (conditions). I felt like a finger spinner today . Sometimes it’s hard but you have to adapt to every conditions,” Chahal said during the post-match presentation.
Pandya made his India captaincy debut in Dublin and Chahal was quick to praise the allrounder. “He (Pandya) gave liberty to bowl whatever I want to bowl. Atmosphere is pretty chilled,” he said.
India easily overhauled the target in 9.2 overs for a seven-wicket win and go 1-0 up in the two-match series. “Great to start a series with a win. For us as a team it’s very important to start with a win. Quite happy with it,” Pandya said after the match.
The second match will be played on Tuesday.
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