Hooda (104), Samson (77) as India seal series in last-ball thriller

India 225 for 7 (Hooda 104, Samson 77, Adair 3-42) beat Ireland 221 for 5 (Balbirnie 60, Stirling 40, Tector 39, Dockrell 34*, Bishnoi 1-41) by four runs

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India saw off a dramatic Ireland response to edge a thrilling second T20I on Tuesday as they held on for a four-run victory at Malahide.

The visitors completed a clean sweep of the two-match series thanks to a superb second-wicket stand of 176 between Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda, eventually reaching 225-7.

That partnership proved enough to stave off what would have been a famous Irish triumph, but only by a narrow margin after skipper Andrew Balbirnie’s 60 off 37 balls dragged the hosts close to victory.

With a six required for a stunning win, Mark Adair could only manage a single on the final ball to ensure India clung on in what proved a far tougher match than their blowout seven-wicket win on Sunday.

Ahead of next month’s three-game tour against England, which follows this week’s rearranged fifth Test match at Edgbaston, the visitors will feel they have been now suitably tested.

Samson and Hooda overcame the early loss of Ishan Kishan for three to make it a magnificent display with 77 and 104 respectively, combining for a cumulative 28 boundaries between them.

The Indian team poses with the trophySportsfile/Getty Images

Though a flurry of late wickets looked to have checked India’s stride, their total still seemed to represent a tall order for Ireland to chase, particularly after Balbirnie fell to make it 107-3 in response after 10.3 overs.

But Harry Tector (39) and George Dockrell (34) helped lead a stirring reply to take the match down to the wire, where the hosts fell agonisingly short of a historic result.

Kishan yet to lock in spot?

With three in this match and 26 on Sunday, Kishan hasn’t had a two-game streak to remember – and with just one 50 in his past five T20Is, there is an argument – perhaps bizarrely – that his spot at the top of the order for this year’s T20I World Cup remains in flux. The left-hander will likely be safe even with a poor run against England however, thanks to doubling as wicketkeeper.

Tector tough to touch

Harry Tector was in the mood to bat fast again, and clubbed his 39 from 28 balls, with five boundaries. It comes on the back of a standout innings in the first match, and a trio of impressive scores in February, including a half-century off 37 balls against the United Arab Emirates. (SportsMax)

 

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