Advertisement

India dismantle Ireland in New York

T20 World Cup, New York

Ireland 96 all out (16 overs): Delany 26; Hardik 3-27

India 97-2 (12.2 overs): Rohit 52*, Pant 35*

India won by eight wickets

Scorecard; Table

India's fearsome pace attack ruthlessly blew away Ireland on a difficult pitch in New York as they started the T20 World Cup with an eight-wicket victory.

Hardik Pandya took 3-27 as Ireland fought back to scramble their way to 96 all out with 24 balls of their innings left unused.

Gareth Delany top-scored for the Irish with an enterprising 14-ball 26 while the near-unplayable Jasprit Bumrah collected a miserly 2-6.

Virat Kohli was dismissed cheaply in India’s chase but fellow opener Rohit Sharma adapted better than any batter so far on the drop-in pitches being used here with an impressive half-century.

India skipper Rohit, who passed 4,000 runs in T20 internationals and 1,000 in World Cups during the match, was particularly eye-catching in striking Josh Little for back-to-back sixes.

Rohit retired hurt on 52 - a shoulder injury the apparent reason - before Rishabh Pant (36 not out) got India over the line.

Pant hit the winning runs with an audacious reverse ramp for six over the wicketkeeper's head with 46 balls to spare, to the joy of the majority of the 20,604 fans cheering for India inside the ground.

India face Pakistan in a highly anticipated showdown between the sides in their next match on Sunday, while Ireland will aim to register their first win against Canada on Friday.

India's dangerous attack wreak havoc

The first match played at the pop-up ground in Eisenhower Park saw Sri Lanka skittled by South Africa for their lowest T20 total of 77 as question marks were once again raised over the drop-in pitches prepared by Adelaide Oval curator Damien Hough, which were initially planted in Australia before being transported to the USA.

Ireland lost the toss, were inserted, and managed 19 runs more than the Sri Lankans but they were still all out in just 16 overs. Whoever bats first in matches at this ground is likely to find it hard going.

The pitch played its part but India's quartet of Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Bumrah and Pandya deserve their dues after they bowled with ferocious aggression, and a fair chunk of skill.

Harry Tector, in particular, took a battering before he was dismissed by a snorter from Bumrah which reared up and brushed his glove before it struck him on the helmet and was caught by Kohli.

Tector departed the scene shaking his head and wincing in pain. It even got to the stage at 77-9 where India's fans - perhaps fearing they might not see some of their heroes bat - were cheering Irish boundaries.

"Trying to sell the game in the US is great. Love it. But for players to have to play on this sub-standard surface in New York is unacceptable," former England captain Michael Vaughan said on X, formerly Twitter.

Rusty Ireland fail to hit their straps

Ireland's preparations since they arrived in New York have been far from ideal.

There have been grumblings about the amenities at their hotel near Brooklyn Bridge which Ireland were allocated by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

There is no suitable gym on site and it is a four-hour round trip by bus to the training facilities in Cantiague Park in Hicksville. Worse still for carb-loading cricketers, they have had to get breakfast brought in from outside with only a 'mini mart' on site.

Given the peril which appears to come with batting on this surface for most players, it is difficult to know whether it would have made much of a difference had things been smoother.

Ireland stuck at the task admirably but the toss was pivotal.

Even when Tucker creamed Arshdeep to the boundary, the outfield - Kentucky bluegrass which had been grown on a farm in New Jersey - meant it barely dribbled over.

The ICC told BBC Sport there was no scope to change the dimensions of the boundaries, beyond moving them depending on what pitch is being used, so pulling the ropes in to encourage more run-scoring will simply not be possible.

Rohit and Pant provided some of the fireworks for the vociferous India fans - doubtless to the relief of Hough - even if some sloppy full tosses from the Irish attack meant the pitch did not even come into the equation.

'Disappointing but more important games to come'

Analysis by BBC NI's Alvin McCaig

Ireland's poor batting display will do little for their confidence going into the rest of the tournament.

However, getting anything out of this game would have been an unlikely bonus.

It's that second spot, and with it a place in the Super 8s, which Ireland are targeting and the next three games will decide their destiny.

They have just two days to lick their wounds before returning to the same venue to take on Canada.

It is then on to Florida to face co-hosts USA and they finish with what could be a winner-takes-all showdown against Pakistan to go through to the next stage.