A half-century by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (58) and useful contributions in the middle by Sanju Samson (40), Rinku Singh (38) and Shivam Dube (22*) took India to a challenging 185/5.
Andrew Balbirnie then led the Irish chase with a 51-ball 72 but didn’t find much support as two wickets each by skipper Jasprit Bumrah (2/15), Prasidh Krishna (2/29) and Ravi Bishnoi (2/37) restricted the hosts to 152/8, and India won by a comfortable margin of 33 runs. Here’s what the players from the two sides said after the match:
“I am feeling good. Today (the pitch) was a little drier. We thought it would get slower and hence batted first…It is tough to pick an XI, great headache to have. Everyone is eager, everyone is confident…Eventually everyone has to work their way up. If you play with a baggage of expectation, you are under pressure. You have to keep those expectations aside. You are not doing yourself 100 percent justice if you are playing with so many expectations.”
“We had chances. We didn’t quite take it. We had positives for the entire 40 overs. I think we just let them get away in the last few overs. Their batters got going and were difficult to bowl to. We have areas to work on. We can turn it around and hopefully get a win (in the third T20I).”
“I am feeling very good. I was trying to do what I have done in the IPL. I was very confident and tried to stay calm….I am feeling very nice. I have been playing for 10 years. all my efforts have borne fruits. I am happy to get the ‘Man of the Match’ award.”
“They (India) are a highly skilled bowling unit. I am kind of disappointed. We are playing good cricket. Hopefully we can put up a better show in the last game. Guys (Irish batters) trying to hit it off the first ball. Hopefully, we can get over the line on Wednesday…We feel we can beat them if we play better.”