India premier spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and new opening batsman Deepak Hooda were the top performers in the rain-curtailed match where the visitors record a 7-wicket win over Ireland at The Village, Dublin on Sunday in the first T20I of the two-match series. It was 12 overs a side game. Chahal bowled three overs giving just 13 runs and taking one wicket of Lorcan Tucker while Hooda, who was promoted up the order scored 47 runs in 29 balls with the help of six boundaries and two sixes. 

India were chasing a challenging total of 109 in 12 overs. Hardik Pandya’s side got off to a strong start with Ishan Kishan scoring 26 runs in 11 balls with two sixes and three boundaries in it. Ireland bounced back by taking two wickets in two balls. Kishan and his Mumbai Indians teammate, Suryakumar Yadav were removed on consecutive deliveries. Ireland pacer Craig Young took two quick wickets but the partnership between captain Hardik Pandya and Hooda sealed the game for the visitors. Pandya was removed in the 8th over but the game was well within the reach for Team India. 

Earlier in the first innings, Harry Tector scored 64 runs in 33 balls with the help of three sixes and six fours. He batted with a strike rate of 193. Wicket-keeper batsman Lorcan Tucker gave finishing touch to the Ireland innings with 18 runs in 16 balls with the help of two sixes. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal picked one wicket each while Axar Patel and Umran Malik went wicketless. Chahal and Kumar bowled three overs each while Pandya and Avesh bowled two. Axar and debutant Malik was given just one over. 

After heavy rain, the assigned 20 overs were reduced to 12 per side with revised conditions. The powerplay was from one to four overs with only three bowlers who can bowl two overs and two bowlers could bowl three overs. For hosts, Harry Tector starred with the bat as he smashed 64 runs off 33 balls while for visitors Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, and Avesh Khan scalped one wicket apiece.

Men in Blue who were roaring to go enjoyed a blistering start in the match after winning the toss as in the very first over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wicket of Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie. It was a good length ball that pitched outside off stump as the ball swung in the way inside and beat the drive of Andy Balbirnie to knock off the stumps. Indian skipper Hardik Pandya then got the better of Paul Stirling in the second over of the innings. After getting smashed to the boundary, Pandya struck back with the wicket of Stirling. The Irish batter Stirling once again tried to go over the infield but he ended up holing it towards mid-off and the catch was taken there by Deepak Hooda.

After a pretty clean over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan joined the wicket-taking party in the 4th over. Avesh got the better of Gareth Delany as the Irishman gave the inside edge to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik while trying to drive the ball. At the end of the powerplay, Ireland’s score read 22/3. Harry Tector smashed two boundaries in the 5th over of Axar Patel. In the very next over, Tector blasted the first maximum of the innings off Umran Malik who was making his debut for India.

The experienced spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who was bowling his first over then gave only four runs in the seventh over of the innings. Lorcan Tucker then took matters into his own hands as he smashed back-to-back maximums off India’s skipper in the 8th over. In the 9th over, Yuzvendra Chahal sent dangerous-looking Lorcan Tucker back to the pavilion. Tucker moved across the stumps and slogged sweep the ball, which did not have enough distance as the catch was taken at deep mid-wicket by Axar Patel.

The falling of wickets had no impact on Harry Tector’s pace as Irish batter took India vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar to downtown for a maximum and a boundary in the 10th over of the innings. Chahal again bowled a disciplined over as he gave only four runs in the penultimate over of the innings. Tector got to his fifty in the last over before smashing a maximum off Avesh Khan in the same over.

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