Rain played a decisive role in the outcome, punctuating a riveting finish in Malahide as India secured a narrow two-run triumph over Ireland.
Moments prior to the rain-induced halt in play, Craig Young’s successive wickets created a chink in India’s control over the match. However, in the grand scheme, the explosive powerplay strokes from India’s opening batsmen, coupled with a resilient bowling performance led by Jasprit Bumrah on his return, ultimately proved adequate for the No.1 T20I team to emerge victorious over Ireland.
Jasprit Bumrah’s early double-wicket surge propelled India into a position of advantage for the majority of the match. Nonetheless, Ireland’s lower-order lineup, guided by the performances of Barry McCarthy and Curtis Campher, withstood the initial batting collapse. Remarkably rebounding from a precarious 59 for 6, their partnership steered Ireland’s total to 139 for 7. McCarthy delivered an exceptional career-best innings, remaining unbeaten with a score of 51 off 33 balls, complemented by Campher’s contribution of 39 runs from 33 balls.
The Thrilling Conclusion
The possibility of rain impacting the game was always present. Despite a drizzle persisting through the afternoon, the umpires allowed play to continue until the rain intensified. The decision to halt the game came when the rain became heavier. Once India had completed five overs of their chase, they secured the outcome.
At that particular moment, India held the favoritism. Both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal found their rhythm after a slow start to the chase. In the final two overs of the powerplay phase, they each added a six to their tally, propelling India to a score of 45 for no loss within six overs.
Subsequently, Craig Young made a significant impact, dismissing Jaiswal for 24 with a short ball that was caught at midwicket. Young’s actions further intensified the chase, as he caused Tilak Varma to glove the ball down the leg side, resulting in a duck and a catch taken by the wicketkeeper. At this point, India held a mere three-run lead over the DLS par score, and another dismissal could have shifted the advantage in favor of Ireland.
Despite this tense situation, Sanju Samson managed to survive Young’s hat-trick ball and secured a single by guiding the ball towards backward point. Ruturaj Gaikwad effectively defended the following delivery. However, the game was abruptly concluded due to rain, bringing an end to the proceedings.
McCarthy’s new high
Before Friday, McCarthy had accumulated only fifty runs and a solitary century in his career. Coming in to bat with the score at 59 for 6, he showcased his prowess by hitting four fours and as many sixes. While accompanied by the steady presence of Campher, both players encountered difficulty in scoring against spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Washington Sundar early in their innings. However, when faced with an excess of googly deliveries from Bishnoi, McCarthy seized the opportunity, launching a powerful six by hammering the ball over long-on. Subsequently, both batsmen consistently secured occasional boundaries, effectively contributing to their team’s total score.
Although Campher managed to disrupt Bumrah’s spell by scoring a four and a six off consecutive balls in the 16th over, it was McCarthy who consistently inflicted more damage. He demonstrated his power to debutant Prasidh Krishna, pulling him for a four in the 15th over. Moreover, in the 17th over, he impressively struck two fours and a six off Krishna. Despite the bowlers’ attempts to introduce variation in pace against both McCarthy and Campher, the Irish duo managed to generate late momentum for their team.
An Arshdeep Singh yorker ultimately brought an end to Campher’s innings, implying that India was poised to conclude the bowling innings on a strong note. However, McCarthy defied expectations. In the 20th over, he fiercely attacked Arshdeep, hitting a four and two sixes – including one off a free-hit delivery. This dynamic display not only provided Ireland’s supporters with a reason to celebrate but also showcased McCarthy’s exceptional batting abilities.
India’s bowling exhibits inconsistency
India’s series captain, Bumrah, commenced the day on a positive note by winning the toss. Opting to bowl after winning the toss, he capitalized on the favorable conditions by making a formidable impact on Ireland’s top order. In his opening over, he swiftly recovered from conceding a first-ball boundary, managing to dismiss Andy Balbirnie with an inswinging delivery. Furthermore, within the same over, he induced Lorcan Tucker to send a shot behind to wicketkeeper Samson.
The unsuccessful ramp attempt by Harry Tector resulted in his departure to the dugout, where Tucker already awaited following a similar dismissal off Prasidh’s bowling. Bishnoi then made his mark with his second delivery, deceiving Paul Stirling with a well-executed googly that dismantled his stumps. The pair’s wickets count continued to rise as Prasidh prompted George Dockrell to send a short delivery to cover, and Bishnoi secured an lbw decision against Mark Adair through a review in the 11th over.
However, India might have felt a sense of regret regarding the duration of the seventh-wicket partnership, which lasted for 7.2 overs. Arshdeep skillfully varied his pace and often bewildered McCarthy and Campher, yet both batsmen managed to occasionally find the boundary. Campher’s dismissal only occurred in the 18th over, by which point Ireland was already on track to achieve a respectable total. The 22-run over by Campher off Arshdeep’s bowling highlighted lingering concerns for India in the bowling department.