IRE Vs IND: Deepak Hooda made the most of the new role he was given in the new IPL franchise Lucknow Super Giants which reaped reward in the form of Indian team call-up and now playing at number 3 against Ireland, Hooda smashed his first T20I century in just 55 balls.
After opting to bat first, Indian batters took maximum benefit of the short grounds and lenient Irish bowling line-up putting up a mammoth 225/7 in 20 overs.
Deepak Hooda cracked 104 while Sanju Samson made smooth 77 opening the innings with Ruturaj leaving out due to niggle.
Ireland responded with destructive style losing the high-scoring thriller just by 4 runs. It was Stirling, skipper Balbirnie, Tector, and Dockrell who blazed away the Indian bowling line-up but the 18th over by Bhuvneshwar and last over by Umran won it for India and sealed the series 2-0.
Explosive Deepak Hooda crafted the innings like a boss with a terrific hundred at Malahide, Dublin. “The Village” ground suited well for flamboyant middle-order batter who indulged in a record-breaking alliance with Sanju Samson.
The duo shared 176 runs for the 2nd wicket shattering the previous record by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who shared 165 runs in 2017 against Sri Lanka.
Sanju Samson proved his calibre with a stylish maiden fifty receiving huge applause from the stands. The impact of this player can be stated by the fact that the crowd chanted when Hardik (during toss) said, “Samson replaces Ruturaj.”
Runner-up captain in IPL 2022 had got immense popularity and support with his calm attitude and attacking game. He scored 77 runs in 42 balls he faced which included 9 boundaries and 4 hits in the stands.
The trio of Karthik, Axar, and Harshal registered golden ducks in the process of India losing the last 5 wickets in just 18 runs. Mark Adair scalped 3 wickets returning with the figures of (3/42).
Chasing the massive score, Ireland got off to a flier with Paul Stirling taking on the India bowling. He pounced on the veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar collecting 18 runs off the first over.
He attacked every bowler which came across him, pulling the short balls, playing over cover, going straight over the bowler’s head, and dancing down the ground to pull over the mid-wicket region; he had all shots in his ante.
Stirling made a cracking 40 in 18 deliveries before a googly by Ravi Bishnoi rattled his middle stump. In the very next over, a direct throw from the skipper from mid-off saw Delany returning to the pavilion for a duck.
Balbirnie, who struggled initially had found his rhythm and attacked all over the ground by playing a skipper’s knock. He jolted 7 huge sixes and 3 fours in his 37-ball knock of 60 runs. He pulled everything that came above his chest.
Previous match hero for hosts, Harry Tector played an effective 39-run innings before he was caught off at deep mid-wicket by Hooda. Dockrell (34*) and Mark Adair (23*) almost took the hosts to the crossing line before two matches old Malik defended 17 runs in the last over.
Though India won the series 2-0, the hosts Ireland had a scope of a bright future giving a tough fight to strong India.