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2nd T20I: Balbirnie’s 72 in vain as India beat Ireland by 33 runs, take unassailable 2-0 lead in the series

Opener Andy Balbirnie was the lone ranger for Ireland with his 72 off 51 balls, but it went in vain as India beat Ireland by 33 runs in the second T20I at Malahide on Sunday and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-game series.

After Ruturaj Gaikwad anchored India’s innings with a fine fifty while Sanju Samson and Rinku Singh dished out impactful knocks in carrying India to a competitive 185-5, the bowlers, led by a superb Jasprit Bumrah, kept Ireland to 152-8.

Ireland’s chase began with Balbirnie taking a brace of boundaries off Arshdeep Singh in the second over. But Prasidh Krishna pushed Ireland on the backfoot in the next over – taking out Paul Stirling and Lorcan Tucker with short balls. Ravi Bishnoi dealt Ireland another blow in the power-play by castling Harry Tector.

But Balbirnie continued to march forward and resurrect Ireland’s chase. He began with a brace of slog-sweeps for fours off Washington Sundar just after power-play ended. Though Curtis Campher fell after reverse-paddling to point off Bishnoi, Balbirnie smacked Shivam Dube for a brace of sixes and slog-swept Bishnoi for four to reach his fifty.

Despite this, Ireland’s required run-rate continued to soar, though Balbirnie and George Dockrell took a six each off Krishna and Bishnoi. India’s upper hand strengthened when Dockrell was run-out by Bishnoi while Balbirnie had a faint edge caught behind by Sanju Samson off Arshdeep.

Bumrah returned in the back-end of the innings to take out Barry McCarthy and a rampaging Mark Adair, who hit three sixes off Arshdeep and Prasidh. The Indian skipper didn’t concede any boundary in his four overs, one of which was a maiden coming off in the last over of the game, as the visitors’ have now won the series with a match left.

Brief Scores: India 185-5 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 58, Sanju Samson 40; Barry McCarthy 2-36, Craig Young 1-29) beat Ireland 152-8 in 20 overs (Andy Balbirnie 72; Jasprit Bumrah 2-15, Prasidh Krishna 2-29) by 33 runs.

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