Dublin : Blistering knocks by Deepak Hooda and skipper Hardik Pandya guided Team India to a lavishing win over Ireland, in a rain-curtailed first T20I of the two-match series, here at Malahide Cricket Club Ground on Sunday.
After heavy rain, the assigned 20 overs were reduced to 12 per side with revised conditions. The powerplay was from one to four overs with only three bowlers who can bowl two overs and two bowlers could bowl three overs.
Hooda smashed 47 runs off 29 balls while Hardik played a knock of 24 runs off 12 balls, and helped Team India to chase down the target of 109 runs in just 9.2 overs, with seven wickets in hand. For Ireland, Craig Young was the pick among the bowlers as he scalped two wickets while Joshua Little settled with one.
Chasing 109, the visitors made an explosive start to their innings with the opening batters, Hooda and Ishan Kishan smashing 20 runs in two overs. Ireland finally got a breakthrough in the third over after Craig Young dismissed Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav back-to-back, leaving Team India's score at 30/2.
Hardik entered the crease and along with Hooda, completely changed the phase of the game. The duo thrashed the Ireland bowlers at every corner of the ground and fulfilled the void which got created after the sudden loss of two wickets.
Team India gathered 78 runs in seven overs, as the deadly duo of Hooda and Hardik continued with their carnage. In the eighth over, Ireland finally got a sigh of relief after Hardik got LBW on Joshua Little's delivery, with the team's score at 94/3.
Hardik's dismissal did not affect the visitors at all as Dinesh Karthik and Hooda took the Men in Blue to a seven-wicket win in 9.2 overs.
Earlier in the first innings, Harry Tector's unbeaten 64 guided Ireland to 108/4 against India. while for visitors Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, and Avesh Khan scalped one wicket apiece.
With this win, India have taken a lead by 1-0, in the two-match series and both the teams will be squaring off for the second T20I on Tuesday.
Brief Scores: Ireland 108/4 (Harry Tector 64*, Lorcan Tucker 18; Yuzvendra Chahal 1-11) vs India 111/3 (Deepak Hooda 47*, Ishan Kishan 26*; Craig Young 2/18).