Thursday, August 18, 2022

Hooda’s ton, Samson’s 50 take India to 225/7 against Ireland

Deepak Hooda produced a master-class knock, becoming only the fourth Indian to hit a T20 International century, as the visiting side posted a mammoth 225 for 7 against Ireland in the second and final match here on Tuesday. During his maiden T20I ton (104 off 57 balls), Hooda showed he belonged to the big stage with his scintillating stroke play, both off the front and backfoot.
While Hooda was elegant and at ease on the frontfoot, he was equally good on the backfoot, dispatching the ball over the midwicket boundary for a few sixes. Hooda decorated his knock with nine fours and six hits over the fence.
He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who, opening the batting in place of injured Ruturaj Gaikwad, played second fiddle but grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
Samson made 77 off 42 balls with the help of nine boundaries and four sixes.
Both Hooda and Samson’s strokeplay down the ground were a treat for the eyes. But India did not have the best of starts as they lost Ishan Kishan (3) early. The left-handed opener once again wasted an opportunity, nicking a Mark Adair delivery to Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps in the third over.
Hooda and Samson joined hands and the duo batted effortlessly, albeit handing two difficult chances, to share 176 runs off just 85 balls to lay the foundation for India’s huge total.
It was a one-way traffic after Kishan’s dimissal as Hooda and Samson toyed with the Irish bowlers and did not let them settle down.
Except for a difficult chance which Paul Stirling dropped at extra off in the eight over, Hooda played a perfect knock. Samson too was handed a life in the ninth over when leg-spinner Gareth Delany dropped a difficult caught-and-bowled chance. Samson too played some delightful strokes, particularly off the backfoot during his hallf-century knock. He, however, was cleaned up by Adair in the 17th over.
Hooda brought up his maiden T20I century off 55 balls with a single to join the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina in the elite club of only four Indian centurions in the format. Once Hooda departed at the team score of 212, Surya Kumar Yadav (15) and skipper Hardik Pandya (13 not out) tried to accelerate the scoring but failed as India lost three wickets for the addition of just 14 runs in the last two overs.


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