Bumrah, debutant pacer Prasidh Krishna (2/32) and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/23) came up with wonderful bowling efforts to reduce Ireland to 31/5. However, Barry McCarthy (51 not out off 33) launched a superb counter-attack, while Curtis Campher contributed 39 off 33 to lift the hosts.
Leading the team, Bumrah claimed two wickets in his first over on return to international cricket. The pacer cleaned up Andy Balbirnie for 4, while Lorcan Tucker (0) perished to the ramp. Harry Tector (9) also fell attempting the cheeky stroke becoming Krishna’s first T20I wicket.
Ireland slipped into further trouble when their captain Paul Stirling (11) was bowled by a wrong’un from Bishnoi. They lost half their side when George Dockrell (1) was caught off Krishna’s bowling. Campher hit three fours and a six before being cleaned up by Arshdeep Singh.
At the other end, McCarthy produced an excellent knock. He struck Bishnoi for a six and then launched Krishna for two fours and a maximum. The batter also went after Arshdeep Singh in the last over, which cost India 22. One four and two sixes came in the over as McCarthy ended the innings with a flourish and also reached his fifty.
In the chase, Yashasvi Jaiswal (24 off 23) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (19 not out off 16) added 46 runs for the first wicket. The partnership was broken when Jaiswal fell to Craig Young, attempting a pull. Tilak Varma fell first ball, caught down leg. The DLS equation could have got interesting, but no further play was possible after 6.5 overs, so India registered a close win.
Reflecting on his impressive comeback, skipper and Player of the Match Bumrah said, “Felt very good, so many sessions I did at the NCA, didn't feel I missed out a lot or was doing something new. Credit to the staff, they kept me in good spirits. You are not thinking about yourself, you are thinking about others out there. Not really nervous but very happy. There was some swing upfront so we wanted to use it.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent