Rohit Sharma was the highest run-scorer in the innings with 97 runs © AFP
Rohit Sharma was the highest run-scorer in the innings with 97 runs © AFP

India dominated Ireland in the first half of the first T20 International, at Malahide. They posted 208 for 5. Rohit Sharma (97) and Shikhar Dhawan (74) added 160 runs for the opening wicket to set up platform for a mammoth total. Ireland used seven bowlers, but to no avail. There was no stopping Rohit and Dhawan, and the innumerable dropped catches did not help Ireland’s cause.

Boyd Rankin bowled a tight first over conceding a solitary run but the other bowlers could not maintain the pressure. The third over was the one that got things going for the host, when Dhawan smashed 17 off Stuart Thompson. It was not the best of days for Thompson, who later dropped Rohit on 66 and 73. He finally caught Dhawan, and to be fair, it was a good catch, diving forward at long-on. Dhawan tried to loft Kevin O’Brien but did not get the elevation.

Suresh Raina, who had come ahead of Virat Kohli, became the third Indian to 1,500 T20I runs, after Kohli and Rohit. He hit two back-to-back fours to get off the mark but failed to carry on the momentum before falling to Peter Chase in the 18th over. Trying to get the ball away, Raina hit straight to O’Brien at deep square-leg.

To everyone’s surprise, MS Dhoni walked out next. He started his innings with a four towards leg. He also hit a mammoth six before getting out to Chase in the last over. Rohit had meanwhile found his touch after an ordinary IPL, had his eye on a hundred. Unfortunately, with 3 runs to go, he misread a slower delivery from Chase and was bowled.

Kohli finally walked out but holed out to deep mid-wicket off the second ball he faced. Hardik Pandya unleashed the helicopter shot for a straight six straight over the bowler off the last ball. Chase finished with 4-0-35-4.

Brief scores:

India 208 for 5 in 20 overs [Rohit Sharma 97(61), Shikhar Dhawan 74(45); Peter Chase 4-0-35-4] vs Ireland.