Malehide, June 27: India skipper Hardik Pandya put up an all round show against Ireland as India clinched a comfortable seven-wicket win in Malahide on Sunday. Pandya put up a solid show with both bat and ball as he won his first game as India captain.
In a rain-curtailed match, Pandya first contributed with the ball, and then went on to stitch together a match-winning partnership with opener Deepak Hooda (47 n.o off 29) to guide India to a comfortable win in the first match of the two game series.
Leading the side for the first time, Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl first. India got off to a strong start as they reduced the hosts to 22/3 in 3.5 overs. But a sizzling half-century from Harry Tector saw Ireland post a modest total of 108/4 in 12 overs.
In reply, Ishan Kishan handed India a strong start in the chase to keep them on course. Kishan, who opened the innings with Deepak Hooda, played a crucial knock off 26 off 11, before Craig Young handed Ireland the first breakthrough.
Back-to-back wickets from Young saw Suryakumar Yadav fall for a duck as India was reduced to 30/2 in 2.5 overs. In the powerplay India scored 45 for two.
After Young's double strike, skipper Pandya (24 off 12) and Hooda hammered the Ireland bowlers around the park as they made a mockery of the Irish total. Pandya and Hooda stitched together a match-winning stand of 64 off 32 stand for the third-wicket partnership to guide India home.
Hooda opening the batting for the first time for India in T20Is, played an unbeaten knock to guide India home.
Earlier, after electing to field, India got off to a strong start, reducing Ireland to 6/2 in 1.2 overs. While Bhuvaneshwar Kumar removed skipper Balbirnie for a duck, India captain Hardik Pandya removed Stirling for just 4, to reduce Ireland to 6/2 in 1.2 overs. Pandya's scalp saw him become the first Indian captain to take a wicket in T20 Internationals.
The powerplay, which was reduced to 1 to 4 overs instead of the first six overs, yielded 22 runs for the loss of three wickets.
After the powerplay, Harry Tector led the fightback for Ireland. Tector along with Tucker (18 off 16) brought up 50 off 29 for the fourth wicket partnership. Chahal came to India's rescue as he broke the partnership to send Tucker back
Tector played an important knock as he brought up his half-century from just 29 runs. His third 50 from T20Is. Important knock from Tector as he steered Ireland to a solid total. Tector (64 off 33) led a brilliant recovery as hosts Ireland put up a competitive target.
India lead the two-match series 1-0. Yuzvendra Chahal picked up the man of the match award for his 1 for 11 in three overs.
India vs Ireland, 1st T20I Full list of awards:
Amazon Pay Promising Player of the Match: Harry Tector (64n.o off 33)
Joye-bike Super 6s: Hardik Pandya - 3 sixes
LevelUp11 Most valuable player of the match: Harry Tector - 94 points
Stake.Com Player of the Match: Yuzvendra Chahal 1/11 in three overs
Post Match Comments:
Hardik Pandya, Winning Captain: Feel fantastic! Great to start the series with a win. Very fortunate we got a game. It was very important for us to get off with a win. (Umran Malik) He's been fantastic for his franchise. I've had a chat with him. He's been more comfortable with an older ball and they batted fantastically. So I'll let him get comfortable and hope he gets an opportunity. (Harry Tector) He's played fantastic, some shots he's played is awestrucking. Looking forward to him developing and taking Irish cricket forward.
Andy Balbirnie, Losing Captain: Ya it's never easy. When you do your warm-up after getting in, you want to play. Credit to the groundstaff for readying things up so we could get some sort of a game. It was tough with high class bowlers working in favourable conditions. We weren't good early on. We were good and we were bad. Against a team like India you have to be more good than bad. Harry has been excellent in ODIs and was great here too.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Man of the Match: Very difficult bowling in these cold conditions. I felt like a fingerspinner. (Hardik Pandya captain) He gave me the liberty to bowl whatever I wanted to bowl. The atmosphere is chill in the team, he gave me the freedom. (Cold) Not comfortable! I'm wearing three sweaters!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Yes I did, specially with the new ball! There was swing with the new ball, it got better after 5-6 overs. Thought it would get harder with the moisture but didn't. It's doesn't matter what the format is, it's always good to bowl Test match length. (Talent in the dressing room) I mean if you see Umran made his debut, few more guys yet to make their debut. IPL produces a lot of exciting talent, not only in India but all over. So exciting talent in the dressing room. (Fans) We get good support wherever we go.