Delhi takes over Dublin as India run out easy victors over Ireland
Two highest scores in a T20 match in Ireland were made in first of two-match series
James Shannon of Ireland swats one away as MS Dhoni watches on. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
They came to see their sporting heroes, filing slowly out of packed trains as the best day of the year greeted the crowds to Malahide Cricket Club under skies as blue as India’s playing gear. And they got what they came for, a big Indian win by 76 runs, cheered to the last by a crowd of just under 9,500 in the first of two Twenty20 internationals.
Temperatures were more Delhi than Dublin as the crowds made their way from the Dart station, and if anyone was in any doubt about who the bulk of the crowd were cheering it came when new Ireland skipper Gary Wilson won the toss and sent India in to bat; the crowd letting out the first huge cheer of the afternoon as the drummers began their incessant beat.
Boyd Rankin kept them in check for the first over as he gave away just a single when he strayed on to the pads of Rohit Sharma. Peter Chase was also punished for bowling too close to the pads in the second over and Stuart Thompson felt the full force of the dynamic Indian opening pair as the third over went for 17 runs, with Shikhar Dhawan landing the first six on to the top of the hospitality marquee.
Wilson switched his bowlers in an attempt to staunch the run glut but Sharma and Dhawan kept filling their boots, marking each other on the scoreboard. Dhawan was the first to make it to 50, off 27 balls, when he lifted the first ball of the 11th over from George Dockrell for six over deep midwicket to also bring up India’s 100.
The second half of India’s innings was to involve two feature roles for Irish players and Thompson started off as the villain of the piece after dropping Sharma on 66 and 73 – the first routine, the second not so – before going on to take three catches as the white ball continued to zero in on him.
India looked set to post a target well past the 200-mark with the openers still in place going into the last five overs. With the score on 148, Sharma on 73 and Dhawan on 69 had already made the two highest scores in a T20 international in Ireland.
As many times before, it was Kevin O’Brien who made the breakthrough, with Thompson timing his dive to perfection this time as he ran in from long-off as Dhawan departed for 74.
Playing on his home ground, Chase enjoyed a brilliant cameo at the end of the innings to keep India’s score to just over 200, taking the wicket of Suresh Raina thanks to a catch from O’Brien before an eventful final over that will last a long time in its retelling on the ground the Malahide locals call The Village.
Faced with Sharma closing in on a century and Indian legend MS Dhoni, who had arrived in to bat to a huge ovation, the tall 24-year-old seamer took the wickets of Dhoni, to another Thompson catch at deep midwicket, before bowling Sharma for 97 next ball.
The hat-trick was on but a bouncer didn’t tempt Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Off the next delivery, Kohli let fly and holed out to Thompson, Chase finishing with four wickets for 35 runs from his four overs.
India’s total of 208 for five – just their fifth highest in T20 – was always going to require a big opening stand and Paul Stirling’s departure in the second over for one to a poor shot was the worst possible start.
James Shannon was to prove the batting star for Ireland, his second coming as an opener in T20 helping him to the highlight of a hit-and-miss Irish career that looks to have plenty of promise to come but he was lucky early on as he was dropped twice.
A 45-run partnership with Andrew Balbirnie came at a good clip but the introduction of India’s slow bowlers saw Ireland’s innings go into a tailspin.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav made hay in the late evening sunshine, Yadav trapping Shannon leg-before for 60 and going on take four for 21, with Chahal taking three for 38 in his four overs.
Ireland’s last-wicket pair did hang on as the shadows started to move over the outfield and the innings closed on 132 for nine. The two sides will be back in Malahide on Friday for the second game of the series, with the Ireland women’s team taking on Bangladesh at 11am in the second game of a three-game series. That series starts on Thursday afternoon at 2pm in Claremont Road.
Ireland v India (at Malahide): Ireland won the toss and fielded
R Sharma b Chase 97
S Dhawan c Thompson b O’Brien 74
S Raina c O’Brien b Chase 10
MS Dhoni c Thompson b Chase 11
H Pandya not out 6
V Kohli c Thompson b Chase 0
M Pandey not out 0
Extras (w6, lb4) 10
Total (for 5 wkts, 20 ovs) 208
Did not bat: B Kumar, K Yadav, J Bumrah, Y Chahal.
Fall of wickets: 1-160, 2-186, 3-202, 4-202, 5-202.
Bowling: B Rankin 4-0-34-0; P Chase 4-0-35-4; S Thompson 2-0-31-0; K O’Brien 3-0-36-1; G Dockrell 4-0-40-0; S Singh 1-0-12-0; P Stirling 2-0-16-0.
P Stirling c Yadav b Bumrah 1
J Shannon lbw b Yadav 60
A Balbirnie st Dhoni b Chalal 11
S Singh c Kohli b Yadav 7
G Wilson st Dhoni b Chalal 5
K O’Brien c Dhawan b Chahal 10
S Thompson c Pandya b Yadav 12
S Poynter b Yadav 7
G Dockrell b Bumrah 9
B Rankin not out 5
P Chase not out 2
Extras (lb 2, w1) 3
Total (for 9 wkts, 20 ovs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-45, 3-72, 4-85, 5-96, 6-96, 7-114, 8-123, 9-126.
Bowling: B Kumar 4-0-16-0; J Bumrah 4-1-19-2; H Pandya 4-0-36-0; Y Chalal 4-0-38-3; K Yadav 4-1-21-4.
India won by 76 runs