India, Australia open with dominant victories; Uganda gets its 1st win at cricket's T20 World Cup

WESTBURY, New York (AP) — Jasprit Bumrah and India's pace attack did most of the damage before Rohit Sharma scored a 37-ball half-century to steer the team to an eight-wicket win over Ireland on Wednesday at the Twenty20 World Cup.

Sharma plundered four boundaries and three sixes before retiring hurt for 52. Rishabh Pant added 36 not out off 26 balls as India reached 97 for 2 in 12.2 overs after routing Ireland for 96.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya took 3-27 for India while Bumrah (2-6) and left-armer Arshdeep Singh (2-35) chimed in to ensure pace accounted for eight of the 10 Irish wickets.

India next plays fierce cricket rival Pakistan in the marquee match of the league stage on Sunday.

“Early wickets set the tone for us,” Sharma said. “It was good to spend time on this wicket, although it didn’t change too much in the second innings. We will prepare for the Pakistan game as if the conditions will be similar.”

In Wednesday’s later games, Uganda secured its first victory in a T20 World Cup match in a low-scoring thriller against Papua New Guinea at Guyana, and Marcus Stoinis posted a half century and took three wickets as 2021 champion Australia opened with a 39-run win against Oman.

India took four fast bowlers into its tournament-opening game in New York, noting the inconsistent bounce in the pitch at the venue where South Africa routed Sri Lanka two days earlier.

It paid off immediately, with Arshdeep causing havoc under overcast conditions to remove both openers and have Ireland reeling at 9-2.

Pandya went in as first change and struck immediately, bowling Loran Tucker (10) and having Curtis Campher (12) caught behind.

Gareth Delany provided some resistance and top-scored with 26, the only Irish batter to cross the 20-run mark, and put on 27 runs with Joshua Little (14).

In a top-order reshuffle, former skipper Virat Kohli opened for India with Sharma but the move backfired when he was caught at third man attacking Mark Adair (1-27).

India's second-wicket pair added 54 off 44 balls before Sharma retired hurt after being struck on the right arm.

Returning to international action after nearly 18 months out since a car accident in late 2022, Pant finished off the match with a reverse-hit six.

Uganda's first win

Uganda dismissed Papua New Guinea for 77 but had to work extra hard for victory, losing its first three wickets by the start of the third over in reply and then slipping to 26-5 before rallying to reach 78-7 with 10 balls remaining.

Riazat Ali Shah's 33 was more than double the highest score by any other batter in the match in difficult, uneven conditions, but he was out with Uganda three runs away from victory.

He had two big reprieves — chopping an inside edge just over his stumps before he'd scored with Uganda on 8-3 and again when the total was 35-5 when Charles Amini dropped a regulation catch in the ninth over.

Uganda rallied to set up victory with a 35-run sixth-wicket partnership between Riazat and Juma Miyagi (13) before a runout added an extra element of tension at the end.

“First win of a World Cup is a special win for us,” Riazat said. “It was not easy to bat on this wicket ... our plan was just to stay in and take our time.”

Stoinis sets up Australia's win

Australia posted 164-5 and then restricted Oman to 125-9 at Barbados in its tournament opener but it wasn't a straightforward win.

The Australians were in spot of bother when Mehran Khan dismissed skipper Mitchell Marsh for 14 and Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck on consecutive balls to make the total 50-3 in the ninth over.

Stoinis took a single off the hat-trick ball and then set about accelerating Australia's run rate in a 102-run stand with opener David Warner.

Stoinis had a reprieve in the 15th over when a fielder caught him in the deep but fell back over the boundary, giving the batter six runs. It was the first of four sixes in that over that cost Mehran 26 runs.

Warner became Australia's highest scorer in T20 internationals before he was out for 56 off 51 balls. Stoinis finished unbeaten on 67 off 36.

“Maybe a few cobwebs for us, but we're better for the run," Stoinis said. “We got the win, some boys spent some time in the middle and everyone got a bowl.”

Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc (2-20) struck in the first over and the Australian bowlers steadily reduced the threat from Oman with regular wickets. Stoinis returned 3-19 to complete a player-of-the-match performance.

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