Deepak Hooda sizzled on his return to the side as India beat Ireland by seven wickets in the first T20I in Dublin on Sunday.
Hardik Pandya, leading India for the first time, won the toss and elected to bowl in a rain-affected game that was reduced to a 12-over affair. While Ireland was jolted by the Indian seamers in the PowerPlay (four overs), the host made an excellent comeback on the back of Harry Trector’s half-century.
The 22-year-old Trector slammed an unbeaten 64 off 33 balls, comprising six fours and three maximums as Ireland posted 108 for four.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the Indian bowlers, conceding just 11 runs in his three-over spell while picking one wicket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan and Hardik also chipped in with one wicket apiece in their short bursts. Fast-bowling sensation Umran Malik had a forgetful outing with the ball as he conceded 14 runs in the only over he bowled on his international debut.
India began the chase with Ishan Kishan and makeshift opener Deepak Hooda. Kishan set the tone for the chase after tonking 14 runs in the first over. The left-hander’s aggression was, however, short-lived as seamer Craig Young cleaned him up with an in-swinging delivery and followed it up with the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav for a golden-duck.
Hooda was joined by skipper Hardik Pandya with India requiring 74 runs under 10 overs. The duo racked up a fiery 64-run partnership from 31 balls before Pandya (24, 12b, 1×4, 3×6) was trapped lbw by Joshua Little. Hooda (47 n.o., 29b, 6×4, 2×6) then steered the side home alongwith Dinesh Karthik for company with 16 balls to spare.
Brief scores: Ireland: 108 for 4 in 12 overs (Harry Tector 64 not out; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/16, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/11).
India: 111 for 3 in 9.2 overs (Deepak Hooda 47 not out; Craig Young 2/18)
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