Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik
Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik. (Photo: Twitter)

India pacer Umran Malik was all praises and thankful to India captain Hardik Pandya for showing faith in him as he was tasked with defending 17 runs in the last over in the second T20I against Ireland, a task he completed despite some hiccups at the start, as India won by 4 runs and pocketed the series 2-0.

India, coming into the second and final T20I with a lead of 1-0, posted a mammoth 225/7 in 20 overs on a batting beauty of a pitch. All this happened due to 104 from Deepak Hooda, who became the 4th Indian to score a T20I century, and 77 from Sanju Samson who opened the innings in place of injured Ruturaj Gaikwad.

The duo added a record T20I partnership of 176 for India for the second wicket as India thumped the Irish bowlers to all parts of Malahide ground in Dublin.

India, Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. (Photo: Twitter)

However, Ireland started with vengeance posting 72 runs inside 6 overs with Paul Stirling making 40 in 17 balls and captain Andy Balbirnie making 60. Then Harry Tector made 39 and George Dockrell made 34* as Ireland came very close to the target and a famous win, but Umran Malik kept his cool and handed India a 4-run win.

It Was A Dream For Me To Play For India And It Has Come True: Umran Malik

Umran Malik had made his debut in the 1st T20I which was curtailed by rain and bowled just one over, conceding 14 runs. However, tasked with defending 17 runs in the last over of the second match, Malik bowled a no-ball and conceded two fours in his first three deliveries before giving away only three runs off the final three deliveries.

Malik said that he got emotional when Bhuvneshwar Kumar handed him the India cap before the first T20I on Sunday.

IRE vs IND: Umran Malik Receives Maiden India Cap, Set To Make His India T20I Debut In 1st T20I vs Ireland
IRE vs IND: Umran Malik Receives Maiden India Cap, Set To Make His India T20I Debut In 1st T20I vs Ireland

“It was a dream for me to play for India and it has come true. I was almost in tears when Bhuvi bhai handed me the cap. It felt good after I successfully defended 17 runs in the final and we won the series,” he said in a video posted by BCCI.

22-year-old Malik also expressed gratitude to skipper Hardik Pandya for showing enough faith in him.

Umran Malik. PC- BCCI
Umran Malik. PC- BCCI

“I bowled wide to start with. Then Hardik bhai told me to bowl a normal length and it became a no ball. When they needed eight runs off three balls, Hardik bhai told me that if I could bowl two dots, we would win the match. Thankful to Hardik bhai for showing faith in me and thanks to god that I didn’t let him down,” Malik added.

India’s next assignment in white-ball cricket will be the three ODIs and three T20Is against England.

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