Deepak Hooda powered India to a comprehensive 7-wicket win over Ireland in a rain-curtailed 12 overs a side 1st T20I match at The Village, Dublin. The visitors chased down the target of 109 with complete ease as Hooda hit the winning runs on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy debut with 16 balls to spare as India take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Chasing the tricky target, opener Ishan Kishan gave India a flying start with a quickfire 26-run knock in 11 balls. However, he failed to convert the start into a big score and got castled by Craig Young after hitting three fours and two sixes. Suryakumar Yadav, who was making his comeback after recovering from injury, was dismissed on a golden duck as back-to-back wickets from Young gave Ireland some hopes.
However, Hooda and Pandya made a mockery of the chase with a solid 64-run stand to make things easy for India. Hooda, who was promoted to open the innings, remained unbeaten on 47 off 29 balls as he also made a strong case for himself for the T20 World Cup squad. He struck 2 sixes and six fours during his knock. While Pandya scored 24 off 12 balls in which he hit three sixes and a four. Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 5* as he also kept the gloves for the team in the first innings.
Earlier, the persistent rain delayed the start of the game and it turned it into a 12 overs per side clash after Pandya won the toss and chose to bowl.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the better of the Ireland’s captain in first over itself with an in-swinging delivery which hit the top of the off-stump as Andrew Balbirnie departed on a duck. Pandya took the responsibility of bowling the second over and he dismissed Paul Stirling on 4.
However, Harry Tector played an astonishing knock of unbeaten 64 runs to help the hosts post a challenging total after losing their top three for 22. Tector played some glorious shots against the Indian bowlers who might have underestimated him. His entertaining knock was laced with 6 fours and 3 sixes. For India, Bhuvneshwar, Pandya, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal shared a wicket each but the leg-spinner was the pick of the bowler for his economical figures of 1/11 in three overs. While debutant Umran Malik bowled just one over where he leaked 18 runs.