Recent Match Report – Ireland vs India 1st T20I 2023

Recent Match Report – Ireland vs India 1st T20I 2023

India 47 for 2 (Jaiswal 24, Young 2-2) beat Ireland 139 for 7 (McCarthy 51*, Bumrah 2-24, Prasidh 2-32) by two runs via DLS method

Rain had the final say but not before adding to a dramatic finish in Malahide, where India got over the line with a two-run win over Ireland.

Craig Young‘s back-to-back wickets moments before rain had stopped play loosened India’s grip, but in the end the powerplay hits from India’s openers and the bowling effort, led by Jasprit Bumrah on his return, proved just enough for the No.1 T20I side to finish ahead of Ireland.

Bumrah’s double-wicket blow in the first over put India ahead for most of the game, but Ireland’s lower order, led by Barry McCarthy and Curtis Campher, resisted the early collapse. From 59 for 6, they helped drag Ireland to 139 for 7. McCarthy made a career-best unbeaten 51 off 33 balls while Campher contributed 39 off 33 balls.

The tense finish

There was always a sense that rain could be a factor in the game, but despite a drizzle through the afternoon the umpires didn’t stop play until it became heavier. When five overs of India’s chase was completed, a result was guaranteed.

At that stage, India were favourites with both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal finding their groove after a sedate start to the chase. They had finished the powerplay with a six apiece in the last two overs of that phase, lifting India to 45 for 0 in six overs.

Young then had Jaiswal caught at midwicket on 24 with a short ball. The chase tightened when Young had Tilak Varma gloving down the leg side to the wicketkeeper for a duck. At that point, India were only three runs ahead of the DLS par score, and another dismissal would’ve put Ireland ahead in the game.

Sanju Samson, though, survived the hat-trick ball and guided a single to backward point. Ruturaj defended the next delivery before rain ended the game.

McCarthy’s new high

McCarthy had scored just fifty – and one century – in his career before Friday. He came into bat 59 for 6 and scored four fours and as many sixes. He had the solid Campher for company, but both batters found it tough to score off spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Washington Sundar early on. However, when Bishnoi bowled one googly too many, McCarthy hit the game’s first six by hammering one over long-on, and from thereon, both batters scored the occasional boundary to push the team’s total.

Though Campher ruined Bumrah’s spell with a four and six off consecutive balls in the 16th over, it was McCarthy who was causing more damage consistently. He gave debutant Prasidh Krishna a teaser of his power when he pulled him for four in the 15th over, and then he crunched two fours and a six off him in the 17th. The bowlers tried to vary their pace against both McCarthy and Campher and though they were successful to some extent, both batters gave Ireland late impetus.

An Arshdeep Singh yorker eventually ended Campher’s stay and suggested that India would finish the bowling innings strong, but it wasn’t to be. McCarthy tore into Arshdeep in the 20th over with a four and two sixes – including one off a free-hit – to give the home fans something to cheer about.

India bowling blows hot and cold

Bumrah, India’s captain for the series, started the day on the right note by winning the toss. After choosing to bowl, he made the best use of conditions by blazing through the Ireland top order. In his first over, he recovered from a first-ball four to knock Andy Balbirnie over with an inswinger and in the same over he had Lorcan Tucker paddling one behind to wicketkeeper Samson.

Harry Tector then joined Tucker in the dugout following another failed ramp, this time off Prasidh. Bishnoi then struck with his second ball to deceive Paul Stirling with a googly and flatten his stumps. The pair soon added to their tally when Prasidh had George Dockrell hitting a short ball to cover and Bishnoi had Mark Adair adjudged lbw in the 11th over on review.

However, India would’ve been disappointed at letting the seventh-wicket stand to last for 7.2 overs. Arshdeep changed his pace and often bamboozled McCarthy and Campher, but both batters managed to find the occasional boundary. It wasn’t until the 18th over that Campher was dismissed, and by then Ireland were already on course for a respectable total. Campher’s 22-run final over off Arshdeep indicated that there were still some concerns for India in the bowling department.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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