India-Ireland T20I called off due to rain, Men in Blue clinches series 2-0

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DUBLIN: The third T20I between India and Ireland scheduled for Wednesday at Dublin was called off due to rain without a ball being bowled.

With this, India has captured the series 2-0.

The rain was such that both teams could not even get the opportunity to toss the coin and decide who would bat or bowl first.

In the first T20I, India won by two runs as per Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method. India had reduced the home side to just 139/7 in 20 overs after opting to bowl first. After being reduced to 59/6, fighting knocks from Barry McCarthy (51* in 33 balls with four boundaries and four sixes) and Curtis Campher (39 in 33 balls with three fours and a six) took Ireland to a modest total.

Skipper Jasprit Bumrah, making his comeback from injury was the best part of India’s bowling, taking 2/24 in his four overs. T20I debutant Prasidh Krishna (2/32) and Ravi Bishnoi (2/23) also took two wickets. Arshdeep Singh got one wicket.

In the chase of 140, India was 47/2 in 6.5 overs when rain forced the action to finish prematurely. Yashasvi Jaiswal (24), Ruturaj Gaikwad (19*) had done the majority of batting for India, with Tilak Varma out for a golden duck and Sanju Samson unbeaten at one run.
Bumrah was adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’.

In the second T20I, India put on 185/5 in 20 overs after being put to bat first. Openers Jaiswal (19) and Ruturaj got India to a solid start, but Jaiswal and Tilak (1) quick wickets reduced India to 34/2. Then it was Sanju Samson (40 in 26 balls with five fours and a six) and Ruturaj rebuilt the innings. Ruturaj brought up his second T20I fifty, scoring 58 in 43 balls with six fours and a six when he was dismissed. India was at 129/4 in 15.1 overs at that point.

Then international debutant Rinku Singh (38 in 21 balls, with two fours and three sixes) and Shivam Dube (22* in 16 balls with two sixes) put on some solid finishing touches to take India to a solid total.

McCarthy (2/36) was the leading wicket-taker for Ireland, while Mark Adair, Craig Young and Benjamin White took a wicket each.
In the chase of 186, Ireland sunk to 63/4 in their first 10 overs, but Andy Balbirnie (72 in 51 balls with five fours and four sixes) and George Dockrell (13) stitched a 52-run stand to help the Irish side cross the 100-run mark. Later, Adair also contributed a decent 23 off 15 balls, but it was not enough as Ireland could make only 152/8 in their 20 overs.

Bumrah (2/15), Prasidh (2/29) and Bishnoi (2/37) once again led the Indian bowling from the front. Arshdeep got a wicket.
Rinku was given the ‘Player of the Match’ honour.

Now, India’s next assignment will be the Asia Cup, starting August 30 onwards.

Asia Cup will serve as an important benchmark for India’s preparations for the World Cup starting in October and will also help selectors make choices for the marquee event.

India will open their Asia Cup campaign with an iconic clash against Pakistan on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed Rohit Sharma’s deputy in Asia Cup 2023.

The squad also marks the return of Jasprit Bumrah to ODI cricket after a gap of more than one year. After proving his fitness in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland, Bumrah is set to test himself in the 50-over format heading into the World Cup. India’s pace attack will be boosted by the return of Mohammed Siraj, who was not in the team for some time due to a sore ankle.

Tilak Varma made it to India’s Asia Cup squad on the back of his strong performance against West Indies during the tour that ended this month.

Bowling all-rounders Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel are also in the squad to give the captain more diversity in choices. Apart from Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja is also on the team as an all-rounder.

Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.

The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours, beginning September 6.

The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.

Squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna. (ANI)

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