Hardik Pandya reveals why he gave last over to Umran Malik in Ireland thriller

The young Indian fast bowler defended 17 runs in the final over against Ireland in the high-scoring game


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India's Umran Malik (left) was praised by captain Hardik Pandya. (AFP)
India's Umran Malik (left) was praised by captain Hardik Pandya. (AFP)

Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 10:54 AM

The Hardik Pandya-led Indian team on Tuesday won a nail-biting match by four runs against Ireland despite putting up a mammoth total 225 on the board in the second T20I in Dublin.

Ireland batters were scoring boundaries and almost came close to chasing down the total, needing 17 runs from the final over to pull off a huge upset.

India captain Pandya explained the reason for giving young speedster Umran Malik the responsibility of bowling the last crucial over of the match.

“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,” Pandya said in the post-match presentation.

The 28-year-old skipper also spoke about playing in Ireland and receiving huge support from Indian fans.

Pandya was grateful to the fans and said that their favourite players were Dinesh Karthik and Sanju Samson as they cheered loudly for them.

“The crowd, their favourite boys were Dinesh and Sanju. Great experience to experience this side of the world. A lot of support comes for us, we try to entertain them and hope we did that. Thanks to everyone who supported us,” said the India captain.

“As a child, it’s always a dream to play for your country. Leading and getting the first win was special, now winning the series is special as well. Happy for Deepak (Hooda) and Umran,” he added.

Top knocks from captain Andrew Balbirnie (60), Paul Stirling (40) and Harry Tector (39) went in vain as India snatched the match from Ireland in the last over, winning the last-ball thriller by four runs.

For India, Hooda scored a brilliant century (104 off 57 balls, nine fours and six sixes) and Sanju Samson scored a fine 77 off 42 balls (9 fours, 4 sixes) on his comeback match.

With this, India won the series 2-0.

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