Lorcan Tucker’s blazing 84 helps Ireland level T20I series vs USA

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Lorcan Tucker’s 56-ball 84 effort saw Ireland come back from a shocking defeat to the United States in the opening T20I to defeat the hosts by nine runs in the second game to level the two-match series 1-1 here.

Setting the hosts 151 for victory, thanks to a lone hand from the 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batter, Ireland turned the screws with a strong bowling performance, headlined by a calm final over from the experienced Mark Adair.

In a change from the opening match of the series where they won by 26 runs, USA skipper Monank Patel opted to bowl first, bringing Vatsal Vaghela into debut in place of Xavier Marshall.

Going into the second match with an unchanged line-up from their first-up defeat, Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie walked out with Paul Stirling, though lost his partner by the end of the first over. Opting for the spin of Nisarg Patel in the opening over, Monank’s plan delivered immediate dividends, with Stirling adjudged lbw for 5.

Backing up his unbeaten 57 from 49 balls in the first match, Tucker looked in imperious form, hitting his first ball for a boundary off left-armer Saurabh Netravalkar. Captain Balbirnie looked in good touch with two early boundaries of his own, only to pick out Sushant Modani at deep backward square-leg.

Tucker and Curtis Campher countered during the powerplay, moving the Irish to 59/2, though the work was undone in the first ball of the seventh over, with Campher miscuing a slog to Marty Kain at long-on for 17 (11 balls).

Tucker continued in his push despite the loss of partners at the other end, moving to 50 from just 32 balls despite the loss of Shane Getkate (5) and Neil Rock in the 12th over for four. He then moved into the seventies with a six off American spearhead Ali Khan.

USA began their chase emphatically through left-hander Ryan Scott, slapping boundaries off consecutive balls of the opening over. Moving the score to 19/0 inside the first two overs, the USA looked to have taken an early hold of the match, only for Scott to be run out by Curtis Campher for 11.

The wicket of Scott halted the hosts, scoring just seven runs from the next two overs. The lack of runs heaped pressure on Ritwik Behera and Monank Patel, eventually leading to the wicket of Behera for a 23-ball 16.

Brief scores: Ireland 150 in 18.5 overs (Lorcan Tucker 84; Saurabh Netravalkar 3/33) beat USA 141/7 in 20 overs (Sushant Modani 27; Curtis Campher 4/25) by 9 runs.

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