India’s opener Deepak Hooda hit an excellent 47 to help successfully chase down a target of 109 to win a rain-affected T20 against Ireland in Dublin, after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had tied the home side in knots with the ball.
Malik makes his debut
India handed a debut to tearaway quick Umran Malik and opted to bowl first after winning the toss in Malahide.
But persistent rain delayed the start of play significantly, with the game reduced to 12 overs per side when play was able to start.
Malik’s first appearance didn’t go perfectly to plan, with his solitary over going for 14 runs, but India bowled well for much of the innings, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/16) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/11) comfortably the pick of the bowlers with their three overs apiece.
Ireland’s innings was held together by the outstanding Harry Tector, who reached his half-century in the final over before smashing two further boundaries to finish on 64 not out from just 33 balls.
Too much power for Ireland
Ireland also had a debutant in their ranks, with Conor Olphert part of an exciting young bowling attack.
But it was the experienced Craig Young who did the damage, removing Ishan Kishan (26) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) in consecutive balls to leave India 30/2 in the third over and dealing with a slight wobble.
However, this India side – missing all of those players currently in England with the Test squad – is packed full of power-hitters, and captain Hardik Pandya kept the required rate well down with a 12-ball 24 before Josh Little had him trapped in-front.
And opener Deepak Hooda finished the job in style, hitting back-to-back fours to bring up the win with 16 balls still remaining, with Hooda finishing on 47 from 29 deliveries.
The teams will meet again at the same ground in Dublin on Tuesday for the second T20I, where they will be hoping the rain stays away to get the full allocation of overs in.
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