Deepak Hooda scored a brilliant century as India narrowly avoided an unexpected defeat as they thrashed Ireland by four runs in a thrilling second and final T20I on Tuesday to win the two-match series 2-0.
India won in the last ball in the high-scoring match
Batting first after winning the toss, India scored 225 for seven with the help of Hooda's century and Sanju Samson 's half-century. In reply, Ireland's team remained in the match till the last over but missed out on four runs. For Ireland, captain Andy Balbirnie made 60 off 37 balls, Paul Stirling made 40 off 18 balls, Harry Tector scored 39 off 28 balls and George Dockrell scored 34 not out off 16 balls.
Umran Malik came true to Pandya's trust
Indian captain Hardik Pandya handed the last over to fast bowler Umran Malik when Ireland needed 17 runs and Malik lived up to the captain's confidence.
Hooda becomes 4th Indian player to score a century in T20
Hooda became the fourth Indian to score a century in T20 International cricket. He scored 104 runs in 57 balls which included nine fours and six sixes. Hooda completed his first century in T20 International cricket in 55 balls. Before him, only Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina have scored centuries for India in this format. Sanju Samson played him well, scoring 77 runs in 42 balls with nine fours and four sixes. Samson got a chance in this match due to the injury of Ruturaj Gaikwad, which he capitalized on. Both Hooda and Samson made visible strokes in their innings.
Ishan Kishan disappointed, poor start for India
However, India's start was not good and Ishan Kishan returned to the pavilion after scoring three runs. In the third over, he lost his wicket by giving a catch to Lorcan Tucker behind the wicket off Mark Adair. After this Hooda and Samson shared 176 runs in 85 balls and laid the foundation of India's huge score. Putting pressure on the inexperienced bowlers of Ireland, both played the shots they wanted. Samson got life in the ninth over when leg-spinner Jareth Delany dropped his hard return catch. Earlier in the eighth over, Paul Stirling had dropped Hooda's catch. Samson was dismissed in the 17th over by Adair. At the time of the fall of Hooda's wicket, India's score was 212 runs. Dinesh Karthik, Harshal Patel and Akshar Patel could not even open the account. India lost three wickets within 14 runs in the last two overs. Surya Kumar Yadav was dismissed for 15 while captain Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 13.
Ireland made a stormy start
Ireland started off very aggressively. Sterling and Balbirnie added 72 runs in 34 balls for the first wicket. Sterling took 18 runs in the very first over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar including three fours and a six. Ireland's 50 runs were made in four overs. Leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi broke this partnership and took the wicket of Sterling. Bishnoi also fell victim to Balbarni stumping in the next over but it turned out to be a no ball. Balbirnie completed his sixth T20 half-century in 34 balls. He returned by catching Bishnoi off Harshal Patel. After this, Tector, Dockrell and Mark Adair kept Ireland's hopes up till the last ball but the hosts needed six runs off the last ball and scored one run.