Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and co. left shattered as Ireland secure historic first-ever T20I win over Pakistan

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In a thrilling encounter on Friday, Ireland pulled off a stunning victory over Pakistan by five wickets in their first T20I in Dublin. This remarkable win marked Ireland’s first T20 triumph over Pakistan; the victory has set the stage for an exciting showdown just a month ahead, with their meeting scheduled at the T20 World Cup, too.

Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi react after loss to Ireland(X/FanCode)

Facing a formidable target of 183, Ireland showcased a brilliant batting display as they chased down Pakistan’s total with a ball to spare. Opener Andy Balbirnie led the charge with a commanding 77 off 55 balls, laying a solid foundation for Ireland’s pursuit of victory. Supported by Harry Tector’s gritty 36, Balbirnie steered Ireland past the 100-run mark with ease.

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With Balbirnie’s departure in the 19th over, the equation boiled down to 16 runs required from just eight balls. However, Curtis Campher emerged as the hero of the hour, smashing 15 runs from seven balls to seal a historic win for Pakistan, leaving Babar Azam’s men shell-shocked.

Watch the winning moment:

Ireland’s victory was set up by an impressive bowling effort and fielding performance earlier in the day. The home side showcased their prowess with the ball, restricting Pakistan to 182-6 despite formidable contributions from Babar Azam and Saim Ayub.

Fast bowler Craig Young emerged as a standout performer, claiming crucial wickets of Babar (57) and Azam Khan (0) to derail Pakistan’s momentum in the middle overs. Supported by impeccable fielding, including two crucial run-outs and exceptional catches in the deep, Ireland demonstrated their prowess in all departments of the game.

Ireland take 1-0 lead

With the win, Ireland took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against Babar Azam’s side. While this was Ireland’s first win over Pakistan in T20Is, it is their second overall over the team across all formats. Their first win against Pakistan came way back in 2007, when they produced a stunning upset at the ODI World Cup, ensuring the side’s exit from the group stage.

Pakistan are placed with Ireland in the group stage of the T20 World Cup, too; the group also includes arch-rivals India, USA, and Canada. India will take on Babar Azam’s men on June 8 in New York.

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