India wins close encounter in second T20I match against Ireland

Ireland nearly defeated India in the second T20I match between the two teams on Tuesday in The Village, Dublin, only to fall short in the end. The away team won over Ireland by four runs, achieving 225/7 (20 overs) in comparison to the home team's 221/5 (20 overs).

The sweet but close victory for India completed the T20I series between the two national teams. In the first T20I game, India won over Ireland by 7 wickets with 111/3 (9.2 overs) for India and 108/4 (12) overs for Ireland.

Match highlights

In this game, India proposed last-minute changes to its lineup. The team added Harshal Patel, Sanju Samson, and Ravi Bishnoi. Samson replaced Ruturaj Gaikwad, who sustained an injury. This lineup change proved to be an excellent move by India.

Deepak Hooda and Samson received praise for their wicket partnership in the game. Hooda and Samson recorded 176 runs in 65 deliveries during the second wicket, which is India's highest record in T20I matches. Hooda got 104 from 57 balls (with 9 boundaries and 6 sixes, while Samson got 77 from 42 balls (with 9 boundaries and 4 sixes).

Hooda scored his first-ever century in T20I format, following in the footsteps of his three teammates KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Suresh Raina. Meanwhile, Samson recorded a half-century. Unfortunately for them, India's performance faced a mini-collapse near the end of the innings. They lost several players, including Axal Patel and Dinesh Karthik, for zero each.

Despite a rough first game for Ireland the previous day, the home team showed a surprising rigour to win the second game. Mark Adair started the retaliation by 3-42. Craig Young and Joshua Little also contributed two wickets each for the Ireland team. Paul Stirling managed to get 40 from 18 balls before Bishnoi outed him.

Andrew Balbirnie also made a surprising contribution to his team by earning 60 runs from 37 balls. This is his 6th half-century in T20I matches. As the end of the game got nearer, Ireland showed more resistance toward the opposing team. Harry Tector scored 39 runs from 28 balls, George Dockrell made 34 runs from 16 balls, and Adair offered 23 runs from 12 balls.

Nonetheless, the home team must succumb as Umran Malik successfully restricted Dockrell and Adair with his tight bowling. Malik gained 1-42 needed by his team to win this second game narrowly. Still, 221/5 (20 overs) is the second-highest score that Ireland ever achieved in T20Is. This alone calls for a celebration.

Upcoming matches

After this loss, Ireland will face New Zealand in a T20I series that consists of three games. Those three games will be held in Belfast's Civil Service Cricket Club. As for now, New Zealand ranks 6 in Men's T20I, while Ireland ranks 14.

Meanwhile, India will face England in the next T20I series that consists of three games. Before that, the Indian national team is also scheduled to face England in the postponed fifth Test held at Birmingham in July. Both teams lead the Men's T20I rank, with India holding the first rank.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.