India secure comfortable win in rail-curtailed game to go 1-0 up against Ireland
In a rain-curtailed encounter, the Men in Blue would comfortably breeze past Ireland in the series opener as their batters strung together an array of commanding displays to steer the ship home with 16 balls to spare.
On a surface where there was movement right from the first ball, Hardik Pandya would win a crucial toss and opt to bowl. With rain playing spoilsport before even a ball was bowled, the surface took its fair share of hammering, allowing Bhuvneshwar Kumar to work his own magic. He would start the day with an absolute peach to remove the Irish skipper, Andrew Balbirnie, with the concourse being gobsmacked at the perfection of the delivery with the ball kissing the top of the off-stump in its flight path. The Indian skipper would introduce himself next and as the ball still did its fair bit, a wild swinging Paul Stirling would sky his effort only for Deepak Hooda to complete a simple take, leaving the hosts tottering early. Avesh Khan would be the next tormentor-in-chief for the Irish batters as a slower one from him would keep low, catching a whiff of Delany’s under-edge, flying straight into the arms of Dinesh Karthik.
Despite the early wobble, Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker would come together in stabilizing the Irish ship and then steer them to safety with colossal knocks, leaving the visitors dumbfounded. A breezily brewing partnership between Tector and Tucker would see Ireland put India under the pump before Yuzvendra Chahal would chime in with a crucial intervention to reel the hosts back in.
Once again after a quick exchange of hefty haymakers from both sides, that would initially witness Ireland being kept reticent only for Tector to shatter the manacles and propel them to a fine 108. With more than 9 runs needed per over, India had to be alert since the first ball of the chase considering the truncated affair and the mysterious surface that was still doing its fair share.
Ishan Kishan was in no mood to sit back as he started the onslaught early but would eventually fall to Craig Young, trying to slice hard. Much to India’s shock, they would lose Suryakumar Yadav for a golden duck, heralding an unlikely development of uncertainty. As the visitors struggled to hit their stride, their captain took over the reins alongside Deepak Hooda to bring out the heavy artillery for which the soaring Irish forces had no answer whatsoever.
Using the length of the field, Pandya and Hooda would carve a flurry of ginormous strokes that would be driven, launched, and smashed while the Irish fielders would play fetch. Sadly for the Indian skipper, he would lose his wicket just ahead of the finish line, but Hooda would ensure that India stuttered no more as he delivered the coup de grace to the Irish aspirations of a miracle.
India would emerge victorious with 7 wickets to spare as Yuzvendra Chahal would be adjudged as the man of the match for a timely turnaround of the tide with magical figures of 3-0-11-1. He would also be responsible for the crucial scalp of Lorcan Tucker that would throw a spanner in the plans of the Irish.
The visitors would be hoping to pull off a clean sweep against the Irish as they take the yard for the second and the final time of the series tomorrow at the same venue with the rain Gods still glaring with chances of heavy showers during the game.