India gave a soul-crushing defeat to Ireland by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 of the two-game series on Sunday under Hardik Pandya’s leadership. Harry Tector's counter’s 64 not out off 33 deliveries took Ireland to 108-4 after the rain reduced the game to 12 overs a side.
India rode Ishan Kishan's 26 off 11 deliveries and Deepak Hooda's unbeaten 47. Hardik chipped in with a 12-ball 24, helping the visitors to the win in 9.2 overs
Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the team management's choice in all five Twenty20 matches against South Africa, was replaced by Ishan in an unexpected move by Hooda. After a slow start, Hooda found his groove and joined forces with Hardik to put on a match-winning 64-run partnership.
In terms of bowling, Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced impressive figures of 1/16 in three overs by swinging the ball both ways. Paul Stirling, who mistimed his shot and was caught at mid-off, was removed by Hardik in just two deliveries after he entered the attack in the second over.
Hardik, who gave up 26 runs in his two overs and only claimed one wicket, made history by becoming the first Indian captain to accomplish the feat. He is the only Indian captain at the moment.
"Great to start the series with a win, fortunate we got a game. It is important for our team to start with a win. Umran was kept back after I had a chat with him, he's more comfortable with the older ball and they batted fantastically," Hardik said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"So hopefully he gets an opportunity. Some of the shots Harry played had me in awe. Look forward to him developing and taking Irish cricket again," Hardik added.
Ireland and India are playing two games as preparation for the T20 World Cup in October. The second match will be played on Tuesday, also at Malahide.