India secured a narrow two-run victory over Ireland through the DLS method in the opening match of the three-game T20I series at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground. The match was called off due to persistent rain, but the outcome still marked an encouraging return for Jasprit Bumrah, who led the Men in Blue to a 1-0 lead in the series in his first match as captain.
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Making a comeback after an 11-month hiatus due to a recurring back injury, Bumrah took two wickets and bowled excellently during the crucial death overs. Both debutant Prasidh Krishna and spinner Ravi Bishnoi also chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Ireland faced early challenges, but Barry McCarthy’s maiden half-century (51 not out off 33 balls) and a partnership with Curtis Campher (39 off 33) helped stabilise the innings after an initial setback. Despite their efforts and a few good overs, the Irish only managed to post a total of 139/7 in 20 overs.
During their chase, India responded well early on. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad started well, taking the score to 40 during the powerplay. However, Craig Young struck twice in the next over to remove Jaiswal and Tilak Verma from the crease.
However, the match was delayed due to rain when India reached 47/2. As bad weather intensified, the players left the field with India two runs ahead according to the DLS method’s par score of 45 after 6.5 overs. With the covers in place and continuous rain, the match was eventually called off after discussions between captains Bumrah and Paul Stirling.
Earlier, after winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, India quickly reduced Ireland to 4/2 in the first over, courtesy of Bumrah’s double strike. The Indian bowlers maintained consistent pressure, claiming more wickets during the powerplay to keep Ireland on the backfoot.
Prasidh Krishna contributed with another wicket in the following over, while Ravi Bishnoi dismissed Mark Adair in the 11th over, adding to Ireland’s batting struggle. Although Barry McCarthy and Curtis Campher tried to stage a recovery with a 57-run partnership for the seventh wicket, Arshdeep Singh came back in the 18th over to break it.
McCarthy’s aggressive play in the final over took him to his half-century. Meanwhile, Arshdeep’s expensive 20th over allowed Ireland to reach a total of 139/7. Despite the weather-shortened match, India’s collective bowling effort proved pivotal in securing their opening win of the T20I series.