Rahul, Raina hit half-centuries as India rack up 213-4 against Ireland

Power-packed: India's Manish Pandey breaks a piece off his bat during his innings

Dublin (AFP) – KL Rahul and Suresh Raina both smashed half-centuries as India piled up 213-4 in the second Twenty20 international against Ireland at Malahide on Friday.

Even the absence of MS Dhoni, one of four changes to the India side from their victory in the first match on Wednesday, did not slow the tourists’ progress.

Rahul hit 74 and Raina 69 before Hardik Pandya clobbered 32 off just nine balls, including four sixes, as Peter Chase and Kevin O’Brien conceded 39 in the last two overs.

Apart from Rahul, who sat out the first game, India also brought in Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav and, for his debut, 28-year-old pace bowler Siddarth Kaul. 

Joining Dhoni on the sidelines were Shikhar Dhawan and, as expected, the two opening bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Ireland replaced Stuart Poynter with William Porterfield to strengthen the batting with skipper Gary Wilson taking over the wicket-keeping duties but at halfway it looked mission impossible for their hopes of squaring the series.

Chase carried on where he left off on Wednesday with the prize scalp of Virat Kohli for nine.

But it was another 106 runs before Kevin O’Brien ended the second wicket stand, with his first ball, taking a return catch to dismiss Rahul who faced 42 balls and hit three fours and six sixes.

Raina hit five fours and three sixes in his 45-ball innings but his exit was the precursor for the carnage from the last 15 balls as India took control.