12-over game India 111 for 3 (Hooda 47*, Kishan 26, Young 2-18) beat Ireland 108 for 4 (Tector 64, Chahal 1-11, Bhuvneshwar 1-16) by seven wickets
Harry Tector cracked a career-best 64 not out off 33 balls, but India hunted down 109 in a 12-over shootout in the first T20I of the season at Malahide. After intermittent rain and a wet outfield delayed the start of play by just over two hours, Tector's one-man show led an Ireland rally from 22 for 3 to a competitive total.
That, however, seemed a lot less competitive once Ishan Kishan dashed out of the blocks. Although seamer Craig Young cut Kishan's innings short at 26 off 11 and then pinned Suryakumar Yadav for a duck next ball, Deepak Hooda, promoted to open the batting for the first time in his 160-match T20 career, ushered India home with 16 balls to spare.
Bhuvneshwar revels in powerplay
A greenish Malahide track that offered both swing and seam was right up Bhuvneshwar Kumar's alley. After moving one away from Andy Balbirnie, Bhuvneshwar let rip an inswinger that hit the top of the Ireland captain's off stump and sent him packing for a duck.
Bhuvneshwar then greeted No. 3 Gareth Delany with a sharper inswinger which pinged the pad, but it was doing too much to threaten the stumps. Bhuvneshwar's two overs in a truncated four-over powerplay cost just two runs.
After winning his first toss as India captain, Hardik Pandya gave himself the new ball, ahead of debutant Umran Malik, and struck with his second legal delivery, when he had Paul Stirling slicing a catch to mid-off for 4 off 5 balls. Delay threw his bat around for 8 off 9 balls before Avesh Khan had him nicking behind to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.
Tector lights up Malahide
Despite wickets falling around him, Tector once again showed why he is one of the most exciting young batters in Irish cricket. He had started 2022 with three successive half-centuries in the Caribbean in ODI cricket and now he showed that he could cut it against India's IPL superstars in T20Is as well.
Tector laid into Axar Patel's left-arm fingerspin, lacing him for back-to-back fours through the covers. In all, twenty-nine of his 64 runs came through and over that region.
Malik marked his arrival with a 148kph thunderbolt, but his only over on the evening cost 18 runs. He erred with both his lines and lengths and Tector was offered the chance to both drive and hook the bowler for boundaries.
Tector pressed on to notch up his half-century off 29 balls and, in the last over of the innings, he audaciously reverse-scooped Avesh for four. However, there wasn't enough support from the rest of the Ireland batters who could cobble together only 34 off 39 balls at a strike rate of 87.17.
Hooda opens, Hardik at No.4
India shook things up by bumping Hooda up to the top, along with Kishan, in place of Ruturaj Gaikwad. While Kishan hit three fours and two sixes in 11 balls, Hooda dawdled to 5 off 7 before turning up the tempo to end with an unbeaten 47 off 29.
He advanced at offspinner Andy McBrine and launched him over long-on for six and in the next over shovelled debutant Conor Olphert over the same region for another six. He forged a 64-run third-wicket stand with Hardik, who bashed his way to a 12-ball 24 from No. 4.
After taking a pasting from Kishan in the early exchanges, left-arm seamer Josh Little bounced back to trap Hardik lbw. Hooda and Karthik, however, coolly closed out the game to put India 1-0 up.