(Reuters) - India warmed up for their tour of England with a routine 76-run victory over Ireland in Dublin on Wednesday in their 100th-ever T20 game.
Virat Kohli’s side were given the perfect preparation for more onerous tasks later on their tour when they made the most of warm conditions to post 208 for five off their 20 overs in the first of the two-match series.
Ireland, who are ranked 14 places below India, were never really in the hunt after losing a wicket in the second over and finished on 132 for nine.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma top scored with 97, batting through to the final over before being bowled trying to go for the big hit that would have brought up his century.
India, who left out Dinesh Karthik for Suresh Raina and played two spinners, only lost their first wicket in the 16th over when Shikhar Dhawan departed for 74 after putting on 160 with Rohit.
Three Indian wickets fell in a thrilling final over — including Kohli for only his second international T20 duck — although they still managed to end their innings with a six.
Peter Chase was Ireland’s most successful bowler with four for 35.
Ireland struggled to overcome the early loss of the belligerent Paul Sterling (1) and although James Shannon struck some heavy blows in his 60, there was never much chance of their repeating some of their previous limited-over successes which have seen then beat Pakistan and England over 50 overs.
Slow left-armer Kuldeep Yadav was India’s most successful bowler with four for 21 from his four overs. Spin partner Yuzvendra Chahal also weighed in with three wickets.
India play Ireland again at the same venue on Friday before heading to England for three T20s, three ODIs and five Test matches.
Reporting by Neil Robinson, Editing by William Maclean