Chahal and Hooda shine in seven-wicket win over Ireland

Malahide, Jun 26 (PTI) Deepak Hooda (47 not out) who came to open the innings after a scintillating performance by the bowlers led by Yuzvendra Chahal (1 for 11 in three overs) buoyed India on Sunday. Won the rain-hit first T20I of the two-match series against Ireland by seven wickets.

The match started late due to rain and was reduced to 12 overs. The toss was delayed due to drizzle and the start of the match was delayed due to intermittent rain after the toss again.

Ireland, batting first on the basis of an unbeaten 64 by Harry Tector, scored 108 for four in 12 overs. India chased down the target with 16 balls to spare for the loss of three wickets.

Hooda hit six fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 29-ball knock. He got great support from Ishan Kishan (26 off 11 balls) and captain Hardik Pandya (24 off 12 balls). Hooda and Hardik shared 64 runs for the third wicket.

Craig Young took two and Josh Little took one wicket for Ireland.

Chasing the target, opener Kishan showed his intentions against Josh Little in the first over itself by hitting fours, sixes and then fours in successive deliveries. He then welcomed Craig Young for fours and sixes in the third over but the bowler tried to bring Ireland back in the match by running Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav off two consecutive deliveries.

Kishan hit three fours and two sixes in his 11-ball innings.

After this, Hardik, who came to bat, opened the account with a four. Hooda gave a glimpse of his fine rhythm in the fourth over by hitting two fours on Mark Aidar.

After four overs of powerplay, India’s score was 45 for two.

Hardik hit two and Hooda hit a six and scored 21 runs from the over against spinner Andy McBrine, who came to bowl in the sixth over.

Conor Olfert, making his Ireland debut, was welcomed by Hooda for a six. He completed the half-century of the third wicket partnership with Hardik by hitting a four against Little in the eighth over. Hardik became leg before after hitting a six in the same over. Hooda gave the team victory by hitting a four in the first two balls of the 10th over. Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on five off four balls.

Pandya, captaining the Indian team for the first time, won the toss and decided to bowl. From this match, fast bowler Umran Malik got a chance to make his debut.

Tector hit six fours and three sixes in his unbeaten innings of 33 balls. He laid the foundation for a competitive score with a 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Lorcan Tucker (18) after falling three for 22.

Apart from Man of the Match Chahal, experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 16 wickets in three overs for India. Pandya (26 runs in two overs) and Avesh Khan (22 runs in two overs) also got one success each.

Umran, making his debut, got an opportunity to bowl an over in which he spent 14 runs.

In the first over itself, Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed the way to the pavilion without opening the account to Ireland captain Andy Belberi. Captain Hardik got Paul Stirling (four runs) caught in the second over by Deepak Hooda, fielding at mid-off.

The charge for bowling in the fourth over was welcomed by Harry Tector with a four but this bowler got Gareth Delaney (eight runs) caught by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik on the fifth ball of the over. After four overs of powerplay, the team was on 23 runs. They were in trouble for the loss of three wickets but Tector showed his aggressive intent by hitting two fours against Axar Patel and then a four and a six against Umran in the sixth over.

Batting carefully at the other end, Harry Tucker hit sixes in two consecutive balls against Hardik in the eighth over. In the next over, he caught Axar in an attempt to hit a big shot against Chahal.

Tector then hit a four and a six against Bhuvneshwar in the 10th over. He completed his third half-century of T20 International career in 30 balls with a run off the first ball of Avesh in the last over.

He then took the team’s score beyond 100 runs by hitting fours and sixes.

The second match of the series will be played on Tuesday.

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