HomeCricketIreland suffer defeat to India in T20 World Cup opener

Ireland suffer defeat to India in T20 World Cup opener


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Ireland opened their ICC T20 World Cup campaign with an eight-wicket defeat to favourites India at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

India captain Rohit Sharma, who dismissed his injury scare, paved the way for their comfortable win with 52 off 37 balls before retiring hurt with 21 needed after being struck on the upper arm by Josh Little.

However, in his post-match interview he played down the injury, saying it was “just a little sore”.

On Monday, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77 on the drop-in pitch at the temporary Nassau County venue and the playing surface continued to cause problems for both teams.

Ireland performed marginally better than that but their 96 all out was never likely to trouble India, even if the pitch continued to be difficult with Rishabh Pant hit on the elbow in his innings of 36 not out before he finished the game in style with a reverse scoop for six.

Sharma was put down by Andy Balbirinie at second slip in the first over of their reply but continued to be aggressive throughout, hitting three sixes and four fours.

Ireland’s Mark Adair celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli was looking for the half-century to equal the record for most 50-plus scores in T20 internationals but was outshone early on by Sharma and was out cheaply upper-cutting Mark Adair to third man.

But India, who made 182 against Bangladesh on this pitch at the weekend, had little trouble in reaching their target with nearly eight overs to spare.

Ireland struggled on a surface helpful to bowlers, losing both openers in the third over with Paul Stirling skying one to wicketkeeper Pant and Balbirnie missed an inswinger from left-armer Arshdeep Singh.

Lorcan Tucker was bowled through the gate by a Hardik Pandya inswinger before Harry Tector gloved a short ball from Jasprit Bumrah onto his helmet to give Kohli a simple catch coming in from short extra cover.

Curtis Campher launched Pandaya back over his head for the first six of the match in the ninth over but was on his way a couple of balls later after a thick nick behind as wickets continued to fall regularly.

India did not introduce spin until the 12th over but it quickly accounted for Barry McCarthy, while Little’s cameo of 14 from 13 balls was ended by a Bumrah yorker.

Top scorer Gareth Delaney hit 15 off the 16th over before being run out off a free hit to end the innings.

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