India gained a 1-0 lead in the two-game series after chasing down Ireland’s 108-4 in a rain-affected T20 International on Sunday. The game in Malahide was reduced to 12 overs per side due to a rain-delayed start. India captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and inserted the hosts with chances of rain to cause another interruption. While it didn’t pour once the game started, Ireland got off to a terrible start as captain Andy Balbirnie was out for a duck before Paul Stirling (4) and Gareth Delany (8) also fell inside the first four overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India’s enforcer with the ball. The senior paceman made good use of the conditions to swing the ball both ways. He removed Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie with a vicious inswinger and returned 1/16 including a maiden. Amid the bowler’s impressive showing, it was the speedometer that made waves on social media. It showed Bhuvneshwar bowling at 200kph-plus speed on a couple of occasions, leaving Indian fans baffled.
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Bhuvneshwar’s very first delivery of the game read 201 kph. The speedometer then clocked 208 kph in the same over, leading to many fans tweeting about the technical glitch. Some even brought in Shoaib Akhtar, who holds the record of bowling the fastest ever delivery in world cricket at 161.3 kph.
While Bhuvneshwar inflicted early damage, Hardik got himself into the attack in the second over and took two deliveries to dismiss Paul Stirling. However, Harry Tector’s 64 not out, aided by Lorcan Tucker’s 16-ball 18 allowed Ireland to set a respectable total.
“Yes, I did enjoy bowling. There was a bit of swing with the new ball. It was much better to bat after 4-5 overs. Doesn’t matter what format it is, if you get these kinds of wickets it is always good to bowl Test-match line and length,” said Bhuvneshwar after India cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win.
The senior India pacer also heaped praise on Umran Malik, who made his international debut after an impressive IPL season with Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 22-year-old speedster from Jammu received his India cap from Bhuvneshwar.
“Umran made his debut, and few more are yet to make, so we have a lot of exciting talent. This is the kind of format which produces many cricketers. The best part about our team is wherever we go people come out to support us.”