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Vaughan furious, Jaffer takes a jab at ICC over ‘shocking’ pitch after India bundle Ireland for 96 in T20 World Cup


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Team India produced a sublime bowling performance on a tricky surface in New York, bowling Ireland out on merely 96 in 16 overs in its T20 World Cup opener on Wednesday. All-rounder Hardik Pandya shined with the ball, putting the poor performances in the Indian Premier League behind him as he registered impressive figures of 3/27 in four overs, while Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh also picked two wickets each in an absolute decimation of the Irish batting order.

India’s Jasprit Bumrah, third from right, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of Ireland’s Harry Tector during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup(PTI)

While it was far from being the lowest score in the tournament’s history, Ireland were once staring at the possibility of being among the five lowest scores when they were reduced to 50/8 in the match. However, Gareth Delaney (26) provided a late boost to avoid the unwanted record, taking the side to 96 before being run out for the side’s final wicket.

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This is the fourth-lowest score for a side against India in T20 World Cup, England posted 80 against India in 2012, which remains the lowest score against the side in the tournament. Scotland (85 in 2021) and Australia (86 in 2022) are second and third respectively.

Rohit Sharma won the toss, and the overcast conditions suited Arshdeep Singh perfectly as he bowled with a Test match-like precision; his deliveries, pitched up and moving off the seam, troubled Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie, with Mohammed Siraj maintaining pressure from the other end.

Stirling’s attempted pull off a rising delivery resulted in a catch by Rishabh Pant, while Balbirnie’s misjudged stance led to his dismissal by a delivery that moved off the middle stump.

With Ireland at 26 for 2 after the Powerplay, they struggled to recover. Hardik Pandya, as a change bowler, delivered a perfect nip-backer to bowl out Lorcan Tucker, and Jasprit Bumrah’s fierce bouncer further rattled Harry Tector.

By the halfway stage, Ireland was reeling at 49 for 6. Pandya’s effective spell, featuring swing, seam, and bounce, was a key positive for India, as he bowled his full quote of four overs.

Ex-players slam pitch conditions

Despite Ireland’s poor batting effort, the pitch conditions in the game faced significant criticism. While former England captain Michael Vaughan and veteran cricket coach Mickey Arthur slammed the pitch preparation, India’s former opener Wasim Jaffer took a jab at the surface with a rather hilarious ‘Test cricket’ remark.

Team India will next face Pakistan at the same venue on Sunday; all of the side’s matches in the group stage are scheduled in New York

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