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Rohit in the runs as India rout Ireland in T20 World Cup

By AFP

June 5, 2024 10:56 PM


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Rohit Sharma made 52 before retiring hurt as India overwhelmed Ireland by eight wickets in the teams' T20 World Cup opener in New York on Wednesday.

India only required 97 to win after a dominant display by their attack, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh striking twice in the third over to reduce Ireland to 9-2 after Rohit won the toss.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya took two wickets in two balls on his way to 3-27 and Jasprit Bumrah, the player of the match, 2-6.

Ireland needed to hold every chance that came their way to have any chance of a shock upset.

But off the last ball of the first over of the chase, India captain Rohit -- on two -- edged Mark Adair through the hands of Andrew Balbirnie at second slip.

Rohit punished Ireland with a 37-ball innings, including four fours and three well-struck sixes as he shared a stand of 54 with Rishabh Pant.

The wicketkeeper, returning to international cricket after a horror car crash in December 2022, finished on 36 not out and ended the match with a typically flamboyant reverse-scooped six off Barry McCarthy as India won with more than seven overs left.

Rohit was not there alongside him, however, having been previously struck on the arm by Josh Little, although he struck the two balls he faced immediately afterwards from the paceman for resounding sixes.

Star batsman Virat Kohli fell for just one, slicing Adair to deep third man, but it made little difference to India, bidding to win a major tournament since their 2013 Champions Trophy triumph.

Victory was all but secured for India, the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup champions, when they dismissed Ireland for just 96 as a drop-in pitch of variable bounce at a Long Island ground built specially for the tournament again proved tough to bat on.

India's joy in dismissing Ireland cheaply would have been tempered by the thought they too could be batting first on a similar surface when they return to the ground on Sunday to play arch-rivals Pakistan in the showpiece match of the group phase.

Only four Ireland batsmen reached double figures, Gareth Delany top-scoring with 26 before he was run out as the innings ended in the 16th over.

 


AFP


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