Rain may have curtailed the final T20I between Ireland and India, but not before claiming an unassailable 2-0 lead in Malahide.
After putting India in, Ireland had a task on their hands. How to pull back Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad on such a good wicket with a quicker outfield than Friday’s defeat.
They managed to apply the breaks with the help of tough high catches taken by both Ben White and George Dockrell. And made all the more impressive by the extremely blustery wind.
The weather in Malahide was much better than the rain affected first game which made for far better batting conditions.
Ben White and Craig Young bowled particularly well through the middle. But 18 from Josh Little’s third over worked against them.
McCarthy would suffer a gigantic final over. This time 22. White and Adair similarly struggled with their final set.
But this also comes from the excellent pressure applied by Rinku Singh, Sanju Sampson and Shivam Dube.
If it was the Barry McCarthy show with the bat in the first game, Rinku Singh wrote himself in this time around. He will plenty more times in his international career.
Singh was at the heart of a monstrous 42 off the last two overs. You couldn’t help feel this would hurt later on.
Ireland struggled to get any sort of rhythm in their chase after losing both Paul Stirling and Lorcan Tucker in quick succession.
However Andrew Balbirnie and Curtis Campher built a partnership strong enough to get them to a higher gear.
Balbirnie got to 50 off 39, while also passing 2,000 T20I runs. But ultimately fell for 72 which signalled something approaching the end of Ireland’s effort.
The run out of Dockrell when Balbirnie sent him back was the key moment though. Two of them set could have a posed a serious threat with 71 needed from 30.
Mark Adair threatened to do something remarkable getting 23 off 15. Still it was too much for him alone.
India take the series 2-0 with one to play. Ireland will take their positives from two hard fought games.
They’ll also be left with what could have been. Something that’s becoming a common feeling.
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