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Ireland gives India a scare but come up short in T20 series

Ireland fell to a four-run defeat in a match that saw both sides comfortably clear 200.

Image: Ben Whitley/INPHO

IRELAND GAVE INDIA a huge scare in the second T20 international, 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.

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. 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.

paul-stirling-after-getting-out Source: Ben Whitley/INPHO

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. 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.

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Balbirnie advanced to a half-century off just 34 balls and then took 10 off two Harshal Patel deliveries. 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. India managed to recover quckly to deny Ireland a famous win, with just three runs coming from the last three balls.

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