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Ireland fight until the end against India in second T20

By ABDUL WAHEED RABBANI

DUBLIN: Ireland Men gave India a huge scare in the second LevelUp11 T20I, falling to a four-run defeat in a match that saw both sides comfortably clear 200.

India captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and chose to bat first, but Ireland struck early. Ishan Kishan edged Mark Adair behind to Lorcan Tucker to leave India 13-1 inside three overs.

But then came a record-breaking partnership as Sanju Samson and Hooda went to work. It took the latter just five deliveries to hit his first six of the day, and he survived a brief scare a couple of overs later: the umpire raised his finger for LBW but a review showed Josh Little’s delivery to be pitching outside leg stump.

The Powerplay finished with India 54-1, and in came leg-spinner Gareth Delany. While his first over conceded just four runs, 15 runs followed off his next as the two batters ramped things up in the middle section of the innings.

The partnership, worth 176, was India’s highest in T20Is and also the highest for the second wicket in T20Is. It ended in the 17th over, when Adair produced an excellent yorker to bowl Samson for 77.

In the next over Hooda celebrated his first international hundred, reached off just 55 balls.

Wickets tumbled at the end of India’s innings – Little picked up a couple in his final over while Craig Young finished his spell with two wickets in two balls.

India finished on 225-7, setting a steep target for Ireland. Yet Paul Stirling got his team off to the perfect start, dispatching Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 18 off the opening over of the innings.

At the other end Andrew Balbirnie took a while to get going, failing to score from his first seven deliveries. But an audacious sweep off Bhuvneshwar saw him get off the mark with a six, and not long after he dispatched Hardik Pandya for a six over extra cover.

Fifty was brought up inside four overs, but the pair did not survive the Powerplay; Stirling’s blistering knock of 40 off 18 balls finished when he was bowled by leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

Delany was then run out for 0 by Pandya in the seventh over, but Balbirnie maintained his momentum; he even survived a stumping after Bishnoi was found to have overstepped at the crease.

Balbirnie advanced to a half-century off just 34 balls and then took 10 off two Harshal Patel deliveries. But Patel bounced back, getting Balbirnie to slap the ball straight to deep point on 60.

It was up to Harry Tector to resurrect the chase, and he found a fine partner in George Dockrell: together they put on 47 off just 21 deliveries.

Tector departed for 39 off 28, but the big hits kept on coming from new man at the crease, Adair, with Harshal’s final over going for 14.

Adair’s spree continued into the final over with back-to-back boundaries off Umran Malik, but the India quick recovered to deny Ireland a famous win, with just three runs coming from the last three balls.

Ireland were still able to record their second-highest total in men’s T20Is, just short of the 225-7 against Afghanistan in 2013.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland Men v India, 2nd T20I, Malahide, 28 June 2022

India 225-7 (20 overs; D Hooda 104, S Samson 77; M Adair 3-42)

Ireland 221-5 (20 overs; A Balbirnie 60, P Stirling 40; R Bishnoi 1-41)

India won by 4 runs

 

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