In a commanding display of both batting and bowling prowess, the Indian team secured a resounding 33-run victory in the second T20I against Ireland, thereby sealing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. After India set a formidable target of 186 runs upon batting first, the pressure mounted on Ireland during their chase. Despite Andrew Balbirnie’s valiant 72-run knock off 51 balls, Ireland found themselves contained at 152/8.
This victory followed India’s earlier success in the rain-affected first T20I, where they secured a two-run win (DLS method). Rinku Singh delivered an impressive performance during the second T20I in Dublin, making a strong statement with the bat (38 off 21 balls). The left-handed batter missed the opportunity to bat in his debut match due to rain, but his innings on Sunday more than made up for it.
Placed at no.5 in the batting order, Rinku started cautiously before unleashing a flurry of power-hitting, elevating his score from 15* off 15 balls to an explosive 38 in just six deliveries. Rinku’s dynamic performance added substantial impetus to India’s innings, culminating in a formidable total of 185/5. His innings featured two fours and three sixes.
Even more significant was the crowd’s response, as they started chanting Rinku’s name when he smashed his first six of the innings in the 19th over. This moment validated Rinku’s rapid rise as a fan favorite, following an exceptional Indian Premier League season with Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this year.
It was no surprise when Rinku was named the player of the match for his explosive knock. During his conversation with presenter Alan Wilkins, captain Bumrah played translator for the two. However, a hilarious moment ensued as Bumrah translated one of Wilkins’ questions for Rinku.
The presenter had asked if Rinku listens to the captain or follows his own pace. Bumrah, in a comically authoritative manner, asked Rinku, “Captain ki baat sunta hai (Do you listen to your captain?).” Rinku’s smile was infectious as he chuckled before responding positively.
“I listen to the captain (smiles). I am feeling very nice. I have been playing for 10 years. All my efforts have borne fruition. I am happy to get the Man of the Match award in my first game,” said Rinku Singh.
With the series already secured, India is aiming for a clean sweep over Ireland as they return to Dublin for the third and final T20I. While Rinku gears up for the Asian Games 2023, Bumrah is likely to make a return to the ODI team after more than a year for the Asia Cup.