Malahide, June 28: Deepak Hooda who opened the innings in the previous game with Ishan Kishan, came down the order at No. 3 in India's second T20I against Ireland. But the right-handed batsman played with the same intensity as he smashed his maiden T20 International century in the Indian colours.
While Hooda scored a scintillating century, Sanju Samson, brought up his much-awaited half-century for India as well. The pair put up a scintillating show for the second-wicket. Hooda and Samson scored India's highest-ever partnership in T20s. The pair added 176 runs off 87 deliveries for the second-wicket.
Hooda, who played an important unbeaten knock in the first match to guide India to a comfortable win, was once again in fine form, as he stitched a strong second-wicket partnership with Samson.
Samson, who came into the side in place of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who missed out due to a niggle, replaced Hooda as Kishan's opening partner in the final game of the series. Samson made the most of the opportunity as he played a classy knock.
After Adair handed Ireland an early breakthrough to send Ishan Kishan back for just 3 off 5, Hooda came in at No. 3 with India reduced to 13/1 in 2.1 overs. The duo stitched together a scintillating partnership to guide India to a strong total against hosts Ireland.
While Hooda brought up his maiden T20I fifty for India in just 27 deliveries, his 100 came off 55 balls. Hooda's innings was studded with six maximums and nine boundaries.
Hooda's ton saw him become the fourth Indian batsmen to score a century in T20 Internationals. Hooda joined Rohit Sharma (4), KL Rahul (2) and Suresh Raina (1) as the only four Indians to score tons in T20Is.
Meanwhile, Samson brought up his half-century with a boundary. While Samson who brought up his half-century on a cautious note, turned the game on after his fifty. Playing in rhythm with Hooda, Samson played a scintillating 77 off 42, before Adair once again handed Ireland the breakthrough.
Hooda's magnificent innings came to an end just after his ton. Little picked up the big wicket as Hooda fell for 104 off 57. Hooda and Samson guided India to a massive 227/7.