India hammer Ireland in T20 World Cup opener Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) — Rohit Sharma scored a 36-ball half-century as India opened their T20 World Cup campaign with an emphatic eight-wicket vicory over Ireland  in their group A game on Wednesday.

India opened their T20 World Cup campaign with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Ireland, though had cause for concern after Rohit Sharma retired hurt on Wednesday.

Sharma scored 52 off 37 balls before retiring hurt, while Rishabh Pant added 36 not out off 26 balls, as India easily reached 97-2 to finish off the chase in 12.2 overs.

That was after all-rounder Hardik Pandya took 3-27 as the Indian pacers made good use of the bowler-friendly conditions.

Jasprit Bumrah picked up two wickets for six runs in three overs, while left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh had 2-35.

In all, India’s pacers took eight of the 10 wickets to fall as Ireland were routed for 96 all out in 16 overs.

Put into bat, Singh caused havoc with the new ball under overcast conditions. He sent back both Irish openers by bowling Andrew Balbirnie for five and having Paul Stirling caught behind for two.

Singh was wayward in his four-over spell, though, which contributed for nearly a third of Ireland’s total runs.

Pandya came in at first change and struck immediately, bowling Loran Tucker for 10 and having Curtis Campher caught behind for 12.

In between, Bumrah had Harry Tector caught for four as Ireland were down to 44-5 in nine overs. It was down to 50-8 after 11.2 overs as Pandya struck again twice.

Gareth Delany provided some resistance and top-scored with 26, hitting two fours and two sixes. He was the only Irish batter to cross the 20-run mark and put on 27 runs with Joshua Little (14) for the ninth wicket, which allowed Ireland to get near 100.

Chasing a below-par total, India lost star batter Virat Kohli for one run.

In a major top-order shuffle, Kohli opened the innings with Sharma but was out caught at third man attacking Mark Adair (1-27).

Ireland’s pacers also got purchase from the surface, making life tough for both Sharma and Pant. Both batters were hit on their elbows and upper arms.

Sharma and Pant still added 54 off 44 balls. The Indian skipper hit four fours and three sixes to bring up his half-century.

He retired hurt after reaching the milestone, having suffered a hit on his right arm from Joshua Little.

Pant hit three fours and two sixes, even as Suryakumar Yadav was out caught in the deep for two runs.

Returning to international action after a gap of nearly 18 months since his car accident in December 2022, Pant finished off proceedings with a reverse hit six over the slip cordon.

India next play Pakistan in the T20 World Cup’s marquee clash on June 9. Ireland play Canada on June 7.