India all-rounder Deepak Hooda Smashed his maiden T20I century in the second T20I against Ireland at The Village, Dublin on Tuesday. Hooda completed the hundred in just 55 balls with the help of eight boundaries and six sixes. With this innings, he became only fourth Indian to hit a century in the shortest format of the game. Earlier only Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina had achieved this milestone in T20 cricket.
Though a mini-collapse took place for India after the duo were dismissed, the Ireland bowlers did not have much to be positive about at the end of the innings. Batting first, India were not off a good start, losing Ishan Kishan for just 3 after he was dismissed by medium-pacer Mark Adair with help from wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker. This brought Deepak Hooda to the crease, who joined the opener Sanju Samson.
The duo went for some big hits and maintained some good running between the wickets. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, India was at 54/1 with Hooda (26*) and Samson (24*). The duo soon reached their 50-run partnership. The duo switched their gears after this, punishing Irish bowlers more. Hooda brought up his maiden fifty in just 27 balls. At the end of 10 overs, India stood at 97/1 with Hooda (50*) and Samson (42*). The ninth and tenth over bowled by Gareth Delany and Andy McBrine went for 15 and 16 runs respectively. The duo brought their 100-run stand in just 55 balls. Samson also brought up his first T20I fifty in 31 balls.
Between 10-15 overs, the duo brutalised the Irish attack, getting 80 runs within these five overs. Hooda in general was more dominant as a batter. Ireland finally got a breakthrough after Adair clean bowled Samson for a brilliant 77 off 42 balls, ending the brutal 176-run stand between the duo. Hooda soon brought up his maiden T20I century in just 55 balls, becoming the only fourth Indian to hit a century in the format. Suryakumar Yadav, who was next at the crease after Samson’s wicket looked good, smashing two fours and a six, but was dismissed for 15 off 5 by medium-pacer Josh Little after being caught behind by keeper Tucker. This brought captain Hardik Pandya to the crease. Hooda was soon back to the pavilion. He was dismissed by Little after his heroic 104 off 57 runs with nine fours and six sixes.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik joined Pandya on the crease. He was dismissed for a golden duck by medium-pacer Craig Young. All-rounder Axar Patel was dismissed on the very next ball for a golden duck. India had at this point, undergone a mini-collapse after Samson’s departure, losing four wickets within 28 runs. Harshal Patel was next up on crease and was clean bowled soon by Adair. India finished off their 20 overs at 227/7, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1*) and Pandya (15*) Mark Adair was the pick of the bowlers for the Irish, taking 3/44. Little and Young got two wickets each.