Dublin [Ireland], June 29 (ANI): Top knocks from captain Andrew Balbirnie (60), Paul Stirling (40) and Harry Tector (39) went in vain as India snatched the match from Ireland in the last over, winning the last-ball thriller by four runs here at The Village in Dublin on Tuesday.
With this, India have won the series 2-0. Ireland though will walk away with a lot of positives as they were in the match till the very last ball and gave India a scare of the lifetime with their batting.
Chasing 228, Ireland was off a good start as the opener Paul Stirling hit the opening over of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 18 runs, hitting him for 6,4,4,4.
Irish batters kept punishing Indian bowlers, putting them under severe pressure, particularly Bhuvneshwar. The duo of Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie brought their 50-run stand in just 23 balls.
Spinner Ravi Bishnoi finally delivered the breakthrough for India, dislodging the stumps of the danger man Stirling, who scored 40 off 18.
At the end of the powerplay in six overs, Ireland stood at a commanding 73/1 with Balbirnie (25) and Gareth Delany (0).
Umran Malik came to bowl the seventh over. Delany was run out for nought in Umran's over thanks to a brilliant direct hit by Indian skipper Hardik Pandya.
This brought Harry Tector to the crease. Balbirnie survived a stumping on a Bishnoi delivery in the eighth over after the bowler bowled a no-ball.
Ireland crossed the hundred-run mark in 9 overs. Balbirnie reached his 6th T20I fifty in 34 balls.
At the end of 10 overs, Ireland stood at 107/2, with Balbirnie (50) and Tector (6).
Harshal Patel came started the second half of the innings for India. Though Irish captain Balbirnie welcomed him with a six and a four, the pacer had the last laugh, dismissing the batter for a brilliant 60 off 37 after he was caught by Bishnoi at deep point. The promising 44-run stand with Tucker was finally over.
Wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker was next on the crease. He took the chase forward with Tucker. The budding 24-run stand was broken by Umran Malik, who got his maiden international wicket. Chahal caught Tucker for just five while he was trying to hit the ball over Umran's head.
This brought George Dockrell to the crease. The equation was down to 79 in the final six overs. Dockrell got two fours and a six in his first four balls.
At the end of 15 overs, Ireland stood at 164/4, needing 62 in the last 30 balls. The 16th over bowled by Bhuvneshwar, who had an expensive spell in the powerplay, conceded ten runs, bringing down the chase to 52 runs needed in 24 balls.
Dockrell and Tucker kept batting well, bringing down the equation to 38 in the last 3 overs.
Bhuvneshwar started the next over by breaking the 46-run stand between Tector and Dockrell, by sending back Tector for a well-made 39 off 28 balls after he was caught by Deepak Hooda at the long-on. At this point, half of the Irish team was back in the hut at 189.
The breakthrough brought the run chase down to 31 in the final two overs. Ireland crossed the 200-run mark in 18.3 overs.
The equation was down to 17 in the last over. Umran Malik came forward to bowl the last over. Ireland finished their innings at 221/5. Malik managed to keep his nerves and complete his job for India, winning the game for his side by 4 runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Ravi Bishnoi and Umran Malik got a wicket each.
Maiden century by Deepak Hooda (104) and his 176-run stand with Sanju Samson (77) guided India to a massive 227/7 against Ireland in the second and final T20I of the series at The Village in Dublin on Tuesday.
Batting first, India was not off a good start, losing Ishan Kishan for just 3 after he was dismissed by medium-pacer Mark Adair with help from wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker.
This brought Deepak Hooda to the crease, who joined the opener Sanju Samson.
The duo went for some big hits and maintained some good running between the wickets. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, India was at 54/1 with Hooda (26) and Samson (24).
The duo soon reached their 50-run partnership. The duo switched their gears after this, punishing Irish bowlers more. Hooda brought up his maiden fifty in just 27 balls.
At the end of 10 overs, India stood at 97/1 with Hooda (50) and Samson (42). The ninth and tenth over bowled by Gareth Delany and Andy McBrine went for 15 and 16 runs respectively.
The duo brought their 100-run stand in just 55 balls. Samson also brought up his first T20I fifty in 31 balls.
Between 10-15 overs, the duo brutalised the Irish attack, getting 80 runs within these five overs. Hooda in general was more dominant as a batter.
Ireland finally got a breakthrough after Adair clean bowled Samson for a brilliant 77 off 42 balls, ending the brutal 176-run stand between the duo.
Hooda soon brought up his maiden T20I century in just 55 balls, becoming the only fourth Indian to hit a century in the format.
Suryakumar Yadav, who was next at the crease after Samson's wicket looked good, smashing two fours and a six, but was dismissed for 15 off 5 by medium-pacer Josh Little after being caught behind by keeper Tucker. This brought captain Hardik Pandya to the crease.
Hooda was soon back to the pavilion. He was dismissed by Little after his heroic 104 off 57 runs with nine fours and six sixes.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik joined Pandya on the crease. He was dismissed for a golden duck by medium-pacer Craig Young. All-rounder Axar Patel was dismissed on the very next ball for a golden duck. India had at this point, undergone a mini-collapse after Samson's departure, losing four wickets within 28 runs.
Harshal Patel was next up on crease and was clean bowled soon by Adair. India finished off their 20 overs at 227/7, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1) and Pandya (15).
Mark Adair was the pick of the bowlers for the Irish, taking 3/44. Little and Young got two wickets each.
Brief Scores: India 227/7 (Deepak Hooda 104, Sanju Samson 77, Mark Adair 3/44) defeated Ireland 221/5 (Andrew Balbirnie 60, Paul Stirling 40, Ravi Bishnoi 1/41) by four runs. (ANI)