Hardik Pandya-led Indian cricket team on Tuesday won a nail-biting match by four runs against Ireland despite putting a mammoth total of 225 runs on the board in the second T20I at The Village in Dublin.
Ireland batters were scoring boundaries and almost came close to chasing down the total, needing 17 runs from the final over to pull off a huge upset. India captain Hardik Pandya explained the reason for giving young speedster Umran Malik the responsibility of bowling the last crucial over of the match.
“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.
The 28-year-old skipper also spoke about playing in Ireland and receiving huge support from Indian fans. Pandya was grateful to the fans and said that their favourite players were Dinesh Karthik and Sanju Samson as they cheered loudly for them.
“The crowd, their favourite boys were Dinesh and Sanju. Great experience to experience this side of the world. A lot of support comes for us, we try to entertain them and hope we did that. Thanks to everyone who supported us,” said the India captain.
“As a child, it’s always a dream to play for your country. Leading and getting the first win was special, now winning the series is special as well. Happy for Deepak and Umran,” he added.
Talking about the match, Top knocks from captain Andrew Balbirnie (60), Paul Stirling (40) and Harry Tector (39) went in vain as India snatched the match from Ireland in the last over, winning the last-ball thriller by four runs.
Earlier, Deepak Hooda hit 104 and Samson scored 77 as India posted a total of 225/7.
With this, India have won the series 2-0. Ireland though will walk away with a lot of positives as they were in the match till the very last ball and gave India a scare of the lifetime with their batting.