India beat Ireland by four runs in the second T20I which went down to the wire. Opting to bat, India posted a huge total of 225 for seven with Deepak Hooda top-scoring with 104 while Sanju Samson contributed 77. The visitors then restricted Ireland to 221 for five to win the match and also the series.
Captain Andy Balbirnie top-scored for Ireland with 60 while opener Paul Stirling chipped in with 40. Harry Tector and George Dockrell chipped contributed with 39 and 34 not out respectively, but a match-saving final over by Umran Malik meant Ireland eventually fell short of the target by four runs. Ireland needed 17 runs off the final over when skipper Hardik Pandya trusted Malik with the new ball. This was only the second international game for the speedster. Among the other Indian bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Ravi Bishnoi took a wicket apiece.
Trusting Umran with the final over was a decision which, during the game, many thought would backfire. The youngster didn’t have a memorable debut in the first T20I, where he conceded 14 runs in the only over he bowled. But it was Malik’s exceptional pace which prompted the Indian skipper to give the ball to him.
“I was trying to keep all the pressure out of my equation. I wanted to be in the present and I backed Umran. He has pace, with his pace it's always going to be tough to get 18 runs. They played some amazing shots, they batted very well, credit to them and credit to our bowlers for holding their nerves," Pandya said in the post-match presentation.
Image credit: ICC/Cricket Ireland