India ease to victory over Ireland in opening Dublin T20
|First Twenty20 international, Malahide:|
|India 208-5 (20 overs): Rohit 97, Dhawan 74; Chase 4-35|
|Ireland 132-9 (20 overs): Shannon 60; K Yadav 4-21, Chahal 3-38|
|India won by 76 runs|
A superb opening stand of 160 between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma helped India to a 76-run win in the first of two Dublin T20s against Ireland.
Dhawan (74) and Rohit (97) plundered the Irish bowling attack although Peter Chase took 4-35 as India posted 208-4 at a sun-kissed Malahide.
Ireland crumbled under scoreboard pressure despite an impressive 60 from James Shannon.
The hosts finished on 132-9 with Kuldeep Yadav claiming 4-21.
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It was Yadav's first four-wicket haul in T20 internationals and he was ably backed up by fellow spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-38).
The teams meet again at the same venue on Friday with India continuing their preparation for three T20s against England.
Hosts struggle in the heat
Ireland captain Gary Wilson elected to field and his decision backfired as India set a big target on a slow wicket and an outfield parched by a rare Irish heatwave.
A required run-rate of 10.45 soon climbed after the early dismissal of big-hitting opener Paul Stirling.
Ireland were still in with a chance at 85-3 but the fall of Shannon, who smashed four sixes in a stand-out knock, triggered an Irish collapse.
Yadav and Chahal exploited Ireland's desperate attempts to improve their run-rate as rash shots, including the stumping of Wilson, dashed Irish hopes of a shock victory.
Jasprit Bumrah (2-19) took the first and last Ireland wickets while the hosts will reflect on only Shannon scoring more than 12 runs.
Openers put on a show
The 8,000 crowd, including a large contingent of Indian supporters, was treated to an exhibition of top-class batting from Dhawan and Rohit.
Both clubbed five sixes as they racked up their 160 stand in 16 overs to leave the tourists in a strong position.
The opening partnership was the fourth highest in T20 internationals and just five runs short of India's best between Sharma and KL Rahul, set just six months ago against Sri Lanka.
MS Dhoni (11) also smashed a maximum while Manish Pandey's first and only ball faced sailed over the boundary ropes.
It was a tough day for the Ireland bowlers but Chase picked up three wickets in the final over including India captain Virat Kohli for a two-ball duck.
The Irish go into Friday's second T20 without Josh Little, who has withdrawn from the squad because of injury and is replaced by David Delany.
While there was much to admire at Malahide, it was also a game of dropped catches from both sides.
Stuart Thompson let Rohit off the hook twice in two overs but he made amends to a degree by then taking catches to dismiss Dhawan, Dhoni and Kohli.
India also suffered the catching hiccups with Chahal and Rohit failing to collect after skied shots from Shannon.
It's an area India will aim to improve for what promises to be sterner challenges against England.