Dublin: Hardik Pandya once again displayed his big-hitting prowess on Friday as Team India routed Ireland by 143 runs in the second Twenty20 international on Friday, the joint second-highest margin of victory in the game's shortest format.
The Baroda all-rounder clobbered 32 off just nine balls, including four sixes that set up a big total on board again for the Men in Blue.
Ireland, chasing 214 to win, were dismissed for just 70 in only 12.3 overs. The margin of victory matched Pakistan's win over West Indies at Karachi three months ago, and was only behind Sri Lanka's 172-run win over Kenya at Johannesburg in 2008.
After the win, the 24-year-old shared an adorable video of MS Dhoni’s daughter Ziva cheering him during the match. Hardik took to Instagram and shared a video forwarded by Sakshi. “Oh I think that I found myself a cheerleader 🎵 🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶 @zivasinghdhoni006 Video courtesy: @sakshisingh_r,” he captioned where three-year-old Ziva can be heard saying, “Come on! Come on, Hardik.”
Once again Ireland had no answer to India's spin twins, Kuldeep Yadav and man of the series Yuzvendra Chahal, who shared six wickets for 37 runs.
Ireland's top scorer was captain Gary Wilson with 15 and it needed two runs by tailender Boyd Rankin to get Ireland past their lowest ever T20 total of 68 against West Indies eight years ago.
India changed both their opening bowlers, with Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul, making his debut at the age of 28, and both enjoyed success in their first two overs.
Pandya dismissed the dangerous Kevin O’Brien second ball before the spinners took over, bamboozling the outclassed Ireland batsmen.
Wilson, who took over the wicket-keeping gloves to allow William Porterfield to come into the team, in place of Stuart Poynter, had asked for an improvement on Wednesday’s 76-run defeat but the only team that improved was India.
Earlier, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina both smashed half-centuries as India piled up 213-4 at Malahide.
Rahul hit 74 and Raina 69 as Peter Chase and O'Brien conceded 39 in the last two overs.
Apart from Rahul, who sat out the first game, India also brought in Dinesh Karthik, Yadav and Kaul.
Joining MS Dhoni on the sidelines were Shikhar Dhawan and, as expected, the two opening bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Ireland replaced Stuart Poynter with William Porterfield to strengthen the batting with skipper Gary Wilson taking over the wicket-keeping duties but at halfway it looked mission impossible for their hopes of squaring the series.
Chase carried on where he left off on Wednesday with the prize scalp of Virat Kohli for nine.
But it was another 106 runs before Kevin O'Brien ended the second wicket stand, with his first ball, taking a return catch to dismiss Rahul who faced 42 balls and hit three fours and six sixes.
Raina hit five fours and three sixes in his 45-ball innings but his exit was the precursor for the carnage from the last 15 balls as India took control....