ICC T20 Cricket World Cup: Heavy defeat ‘a tough one’ for Ireland – Stirling

Captain Paul Stirling says Ireland “weren’t quite up to the challenge” as India stormed to victory in their Twenty20 World Cup opener.

India won by a commanding eight wickets as they restricted Ireland to just 96 runs in New York.

Stirling admits the heavy loss in their opener was “a tough one” as India mastered the conditions of the unpredictable temporary pitch at the Eisenhower Stadium.

“The toss played a really important part in overcast conditions and then the pitch offered all sorts,” he added.

“We weren’t quite up to that challenge and India bowled really well to put us under pressure.”

After putting their opponents in at the crease after winning the toss, Hardik Pandya took 3-27 for India as Ireland struggled to 96 all out with 24 balls of their innings left unused.

Rishabh Pant hit the winning runs with 46 balls to spare, to the joy of the majority of the 20,604 fans cheering for India inside the ground.

“We wanted to put a bit of pressure back on the India bowlers, that’s our approach,” Stirling added.

“Unfortunately we kept losing quick wickets and that stalled our momentum.

“They are a quality bowling attack, they never seem to miss.”

Ireland are back in action against Canada on Friday, 7 June as they look to bounce back from their disappointing opener.

“We’ve got a couple of big games coming up now and learning about the pitch has been valuable for us, getting a run out there.

“We’ll be looking to put all that right on Friday.”

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