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IND vs IRE, T20 World Cup 2024: India beat Ireland by eight wickets to open campaign

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The Indian men’s cricket team kicked off its ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with a resounding eight-wicket win over Ireland in its first Group A match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Wednesday.

Ireland were bundled out for 96 courtesy of some fantastic bowling by the Indian pacers. Despite losing Virat Kohli early, India made short work of the chase thanks to Rohit Sharma’s half-century and a handy knock by Rishabh Pant.

India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first, which allowed the Indian pacers to make full use of the swing the surface had on offer early on.

Arshdeep Singh opened the floodgates by dismissing both Ireland openers in the third over. Irish captain Paul Stirling fell in the first ball after mistiming his shot and skying it high in the air only to find Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant under it.

Arshdeep needed no help with Andy Balbirnie and uprooted his stumps in the final delivery of the over. Lorcan Tucker (10 off 13), with Harry Tector at the other end, tried to steady the ship but was sent back to Hardik Pandya in the seventh over as Ireland were left reeling at 28/3.

The Irish cricket team kept losing wickets at regular intervals and had lost eight wickets for just 50 on the board. However, Gareth Delany (26 off 14) put up a valiant last stand with Josh Little (14 off 13) as Ireland were bundled out for 96 in 16 overs.

Only four Ireland batters – Tucker, Curtis Campher (12 off 8), Delany and Little – managed to reach two digits. Indian bowlers also conceded 15 extras to Ireland’s total.

Hardik Pandya, with 3/26 in four overs, was the highest wicket-taker for India while Jasprit Bumrah finished with incredible figures of 2/6 from the three overs he bowled to win the Player of the Match award. Arshdeep (2/35), Mohammed Siraj (1/13) and Axar Patel (1/3) were also among the wickets.

The Irish seamers also managed to extract plenty of movement and troubled both Indian openers early on.

While India lost Virat Kohli (1) in the third over to Mark Adair, both Rohit Sharma and Rishabh survived some close calls but managed to keep the scoreboard ticking.

During the course of his innings, Rohit Sharma also became only the third batter in history to go past 4,000 runs in T20I cricket. Only Virat Kohli and Pakistan captain Babar Azam have reached the landmark before him.

Pant also reached the 1000 run-milestone in T20I cricket during the match.

As the innings progressed, the surface became less challenging for batting and both Rohit and Pant started to look comfortable. Rohit completed his 50 in just 36 balls but unfortunately, had to retire hurt in the very next ball after being hit on the shoulder by a Mark Adair bouncer.

Ben White also sent back Suryakumar Yadav early but Pant (36* off 26) took India home in 12.2 overs.

The Indian men’s cricket team will play Pakistan in its next Group A T20 World Cup match at the same venue on Sunday.

India vs Ireland T20 World Cup 2024 brief scores: Ireland 96/10 in 16 overs (Gareth Delany 26; Hardik Pandya 3/26) lost to India overs (Rohit Sharma 52; Mark Adair 1/27, Ben White 1/6) by eight wickets.

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