Team India captain Hardik Pandya has revealed why he gave young rookie pacer Umran Malik the last over in the second T20I against Ireland at The Village in Dublin. With 17 runs required off the final six balls, Goerge Dockrell and Mark Adair were fancying their chances of winning the match but Malik held his nerves in the final three deliveries to guide the Men in Blue home on Tuesday night.
Malik started the over with a dot delivery but overstepped in the next ball before Adair struck two consecutive boundaries to keep the run chase alive. But Umran Malik bounced back in style with three back-to-back dot balls to seal the tie in favour of India.
Throwing weight behind his decision to bowl Umran in the 20th Hardik Pandya stated that he wanted to use the pace of the bowler. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, he said:
“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.”
While Umran Malik was expensive, he managed to keep his nerves in the final over of the game. The Jammu-born pacer also scalped his maiden international wicket, dismissing Lorcan Tucker.
India escape narrow defeat to win the series against Ireland
Ireland needed a rolicking start in pursuit of 226 runs and Paul Stirling provided exactly that. The veteran opener showed why he is arguably one of the most dangerous at his position in T20 cricket and smashed 40 runs off just 18 balls.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie played second fiddle while Stirling was at the crease, but took on the bowling once the latter was dismissed. Ireland brought up their 100 in just nine overs and looked well on their way to completing a famous chase.
The visitors did take some crucial wickets in the middle overs, but overall their bowling was all over the place and the Irish team took full advantage of it. Malik was responsible for bowling the final over and Mark Adair and George Dockrell almost pulled off a heist. But the youngster kept his nerve to win the game for India.