India beat Ireland by 8 wickets in T20 World Cup opener
NEW YORK: (Web Desk) India defeated Ireland by eight wickets in the teams’ T20 World Cup opener in New York on Wednesday.

 Ireland gave India a 97-run target to win after a dominant display by their attack, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh striking twice in the third over to reduce Ireland to 9-2 after Rohit won the toss.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya took two wickets in two balls on his way to 3-27 and Jasprit Bumrah, the player of the match, 2-6.

Chasing the target, India captain Rohit edged Mark Adair through the hands of Andrew Balbirnie at second slip, on the last ball of the first over.

Rohit punished Ireland with a 37-ball innings, including four fours and three well-struck sixes as he made a partnership of 54 with Rishabh Pant.

The wicketkeeper finished on 36 not out and ended the match with a typically flamboyant reverse-scooped six off Barry McCarthy as India won with more than seven overs left.

Rohit was not there alongside him, however, having been previously struck on the arm by Josh Little, although he struck the two balls he faced immediately afterwards from the paceman for resounding sixes.

Star batsman Virat Kohli fell for just one, slicing Adair to deep third man, but it made little difference to India, bidding to win a major tournament since their 2013 Champions Trophy triumph.

India will return to the ground on Sunday to play arch-rivals Pakistan in the showpiece match of the group phase.