India keep Ireland at bay to clinch T20I series 2-0
Deepak Hooda scores maiden century in shortest format
Malahide, June 28: Deepak Hooda hit a master-class maiden century as India survived a mighty scare before defeating Ireland by four runs in a nail-bitting high-scoring second T20 International to sweep the two-match series here on Tuesday.
Hooda scored 104 off 57 balls to become only the fourth Indian to hit a T20 International ton, while Sanju Samson contributed 77 off 42 balls to power India to a mammoth 225 for seven after opting to bat.
Ireland took the chase to the last over with skipper Andy Balbirnie (60 off 37), Paul Stirling (40 off 18), Harry Tector (39 off 28) and George Dockrell (34 not out off 16) shinning bright but they eventually fell short as rookie India pacer Umran Malik defended 17 runs in the final over.
Opting to bat, India did not have the best of starts as they lost Ishan Kishan (3) early.
Hooda and Samson joined hands and the duo batted effortlessly, albeit handing two difficult chances, to share 176 runs off just 85 balls to lay the foundation for India’s huge total. Hooda showed he belonged to the big stage with his scintillating stroke play, both off the front and backfoot.
Hooda decorated his knock with nine fours and six hits over the fence.
He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who, opening the batting in place of injured Ruturaj Gaikwad, played second fiddle but grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
Hooda brought up his maiden T20I century off 55 balls with a single to join the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina in the elite club of only four Indian centurions in the format. (PTI)