Ireland vs India 1st T20: Rohit, Dhawan demolish Ireland

Rohit Sharma 97 Ireland India 1st T20 Dublin cricket

Rohit Sharma fell three runs short of his third Twenty20 International hundred

Image courtesy of: Cricket Ireland/ESPNcricinfo

India openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan smashed 97 and 74 respectively as their side crushed Ireland by 76 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Dublin.

Being put in to bat, India made a fantastic start to their innings as Rohit and Dhawan batted for nearly 16 overs and forged a 160-run partnership in that time.

With both batsmen having raced past their half-centuries and feeling comfortable at the crease, they were looking to up the ante towards to the end of the innings.

Shikhar Dhawan 74 Ireland India 1st T20 Dublin cricket

Shikhar Dhawan scored his seventh half-century in the shortest format

Image courtesy of: Cricket Ireland/ESPNcricinfo

However, Ireland fought back, starting with the wicket of Dhawan, who was caught by Stuart Thompson off the bowling of Kevin O’Brien for 74, which came off 45 balls and included five boundaries and five sixes.

Suresh Raina only scored 10 runs before falling to Peter Chase, who proceeded to take out MS Dhoni, Rohit and captain Virat Kohli in the last over.

Rohit ended up making 97 off 61 deliveries, which included eight boundaries and five sixes.

Thanks to him and Dhawan, India finished on 208/5 off their 20 overs.

Chase was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while O’Brien chipped in with one.

Chasing 209 to win, Ireland made a disappointing start to their innings as opener Paul Stirling was caught by Kuldeep Yadav at mid-on off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah for one run.

James Shannon and Andy Balbirnie made up for the loss of Stirling with a 41-run partnership before Balbirnie was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal for 11.

Simi Singh fell shortly after, while Shannon went on to score 60 off 35 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes, before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Kuldeep.

Once Shannon was gone, Kuldeep and Chahal carved through Ireland’s middle and lower order.

With none of the other batsmen providing much of a fight, Ireland ended up finishing on 132/9.

Kuldeep was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Chahal took three and Bumrah claimed two.

Ireland captain Gary Wilson was disappointed to have lost, and said: “World-class side, aren’t they? The two lads had a big opening stand. I did not expect it to spin like it did in the second innings. Credit to them. Possibly, I could have bowled the spinners more. In hindsight, that’s always the thing, isn’t it? Simi has had a good tour of Netherlands and played spin very well. The way Shannon played was particularly pleasing. Chase and Rankin bowled well at the death.”

Kohli was pleased with the win, and said: “Pretty good and can’t complain. We were pretty good with the bat, although the last over by Ireland was spot on. Great effort from Rohit and Dhawan. Look, we’ve already announced we will experiment with the middle order a lot. Even in the next few T20 games, even in England, we will look to throw in guys and surprise the opposition.

“It presents an opportunity for those lower down the order to go in and bat at the top. In the next games, we will play the guys who didn’t play today. We’re going to give everyone a go in this series. The management and me as captain decided it. There’re no mysteries and looking to give everyone game time.”

Kuldeep was named Man of the Match, and said: “First trip to UK, and started well. I think the wicket was good to bat on and was turning a bit. The wrist-spinners get more turn and use variations. Whenever we bowl, me and Chahal talk a lot. Chahal bowled first and said the wicket was slow and asked me to bowl a bit quicker. Yeah, England are playing good cricket and it will be challenging for me. If you’re bowling in the right areas and using variations, it will be difficult for any team.”

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