India kick started their tour of United Kingdom in style as they beat Ireland by 76 runs in the first T20I in Malahide, Dublin. With this win, they took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match T20I series that is preceeding the all-important England-India series.
After being put into bat, Indian openers got India off to a flying start as they went after the Irish bowlers right from word go. They had their slices of luck but were brutal with the willow and didn't give the opposition a sniff to pull things back. Both reached their individual fifties and were looking good for their centuries before Shikhar Dhawan holed out to Stuart Thompson off the bowling of Kevin O'Brien.
Suresh Raina didn't last long and when India were looking at a score in excess of 220, pacer Peter Chase dismissed MS Dhoni for 11, Rohit Sharma for 97 and Virat Kohli for a second-ball duck and restricted the visitors to 208/5 in 20 overs.
Chasing a mammoth target, the hosts were never in the chase as they lost their main man, Paul Stirling early. While James Shannon looked good with the bat, he kept losing wickets at regular intervals and when he departed for 60, it was just a formality for the Indian bowlers as Ireland were restricted to just 132/9.
Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he ended with figures of 4/21 while his spin twin Chahal picked 3/38 in his four overs. Kuldeep was adjudged the player of the match for his match-winning spell.
Let us take a look at five hits and misses from this game.
Hit: James Shannon
When Ireland lost Paul Stirling early, the lost half the battle. But, his opening partner James Shannon kept them in the chase as he took on the Indian bowlers at regular intervals.
Though he had his slice of luck when Yuzvendra Chahal and Rohit Sharma dropped him early in his innings. Since then, he looked comfortable as he scored 10 runs off Hardik Pandya's first over and hit Chahal for three sixes.
Before this match, he had just 49 runs in T20Is and 51 runs in his international career. Today, he reached his maiden international fifty and scored 60 out of 85 runs his team had scored at the time of his dismissal.