In a clash under the Malahide sun, India clinched the series by toppling Ireland with a 33-run victory in the second T20I. Ruturaj Gaikwad’s half-century laid a foundation. Yet it was Rinku Singh’s swashbuckling debut performance that illuminated the day.
Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal set the stage ablaze, with Gaikwad guiding the ball for boundaries. At the same time, Jaiswal unleashed a flurry of fours and sixes. Their partnership finished as Jaiswal succumbed to Craig Young’s clever short ball, caught on the boundary.
McCarthy mirrored Young’s success, inducing a skied pull from Tilak Varma. It left India with two early losses. Gaikwad refused to yield and countered Ireland’s pace with finesse, adding crucial runs to the board.
Sanju Samson then joined the party, launching an assault on Josh Little. Samson’s strokes painted the boundary with fours and sixes, leaving Little in disarray, conceding 48 runs in his four overs.
As the innings progressed, McCarthy executed a cunning slower ball, dismissing Gaikwad as he was gaining momentum. Ireland’s bowlers, with a mix of short deliveries and slower variations, curbed India’s scoring rate.
India found its way back when Rinku Singh ignited the field with a spectacular display. Rinku carved McCarthy over backward point for a crucial boundary, and a thunderous six followed. McCarthy’s wides only fueled Rinku’s charge as he dispatched the ball over cover for another six.
Rinku’s onslaught in the final over, combined with Shivam Dube’s contributions, propelled India to a total of 185. A potential 200-plus score was within reach, but Ireland’s bowlers held their nerve in the death overs.
Chasing 186 for victory, Ireland faced a daunting task. Although Balbirnie showed flashes of brilliance with boundaries off Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna’s short-ball strategy paid off. Krishna dismissed Stirling and Tucker in quick succession, leaving Ireland reeling at 31 for 3.
Ravi Bishnoi continued India’s dominance by cleaning up Harry Tector. Balbirnie, Ireland’s lone warrior, fought fiercely, reaching his fifty and receiving support from Campher’s powerful hitting.
The pressure mounted as the required run rate soared. Campher’s dismissal from Bishnoi further tilted the scales in India’s favor. Balbirnie continued to defy the odds with spectacular sixes and powerful sweeps. Yet, wickets continued to tumble.
Despite Balbirnie’s efforts, the contest was all but over when McCarthy fell victim to a Bumrah slower ball. Mark Adair added a few lusty blows towards the end, but the gap was insurmountable.
Jasprit Bumrah had the final say, sealing India’s triumph with a wicket maiden. Ireland fought bravely, but the day belonged to India, who secured a victory and claimed the series with a 33-run win.
India 185 for 5 (Gaikwad 58, Samson 40, Rinku 38, McCarthy 2-36) beat Ireland 152 for 8 (Balbirnie 72, Bumrah 2-15, Prasidh 2-29, Bishnoi 2-37) by 33 runs.