Two wickets in an over; says ‘didn’t feel I missed a lot’

Jasprit Bumrah made a winning return to international cricket as India narrowly edged Ireland by 2 runs (DLS method) to win the first T20I in Dublin on Friday. The win gave India a 1-0 lead in three-match series.

Most importantly, though, Bumrah, making his first appearance in 11 months, picked up two wickets – both in the very first over – and took home the Player of the Match honours.

Bumrah got things underway against Ireland by conceding a boundary. The low floater was easily cracked towards square-leg by former Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie.

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But Bumrah roared back and got the better of Balbirnie with an in-swinger which beat the bat, missed the pad and went on to clatter into the stumps. Balbirnie looked to drive the delivery which landed outside off but was left surprised by the inward movement.

Lorcan Tucker came in at No 3 for Ireland. He started slowly by playing two deliveries for dots. Bumrah almost struck with an in-swinging yorker on the third delivery but for the Irish player to play it out to safety.

Tucker tried to play an elaborate shot to get out of the pressure situation but ended up gifting away his wicket. On a full delivery by Bumrah, Tucker attempted a scoop but mistimed it and made it an easy catch for wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.

Elsewhere in the first T20I, Prasidh Krishna, also returning from a lengthy injury layoff, and Ravi Bishnoi took two wickets each to restrict Ireland to 139/7. For the hosts, Barry McCarthy provided the fight with a half century after Ireland were reduced to 59/6 at one stage.

In reply, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s attacking start saw India narrowly breach the DLS mark to win. India were 47/2 when the umpires decided to halt play because of rain. It became the last action of the day with the second T20I to be played at the same venue on Sunday.

‘Didn’t feel I missed out a lot’

Bumrah made his captaincy debut against Ireland in the contest. He became the first Indian captain to win the Player of the Match on T20I debut. But his focus remained on the bowling and being there for his teammates.

“Felt very good, so many sessions I did at the NCA, didn’t feel I missed out a lot or was doing something new. Credit to the staff, they kept me in good spirits,” said Bumrah when asked about his comeback during the post-match presentation ceremony.

He added, “You are not thinking about yourself, you are thinking about others out there. Not really nervous but very happy. There was some swing upfront so we wanted to use it. Luckily we won the toss and it was coming out fine. There was some help due to the weather, so very happy.”

Bumrah thanked the sell-out crowd that remained despite the persisent showers.

“Everybody is very confident, they are very well prepared. I think the IPL also helps. It is always good, wherever we go, they (crowd) support us, that helps us to keep the spirit high,” concluded India’s first bowler T20I captain.

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