Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ireland beat Pakistan in a T20 for the first time

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DUBLIN (AP) — Curtis Campher ran a leg bye off the penultimate ball for Ireland to stun Pakistan by five wickets in a Twenty20 on Friday.

In their first T20 matchup since 2009, and just a month out from meeting again in the T20 World Cup, the Irish scored 183-5 in reply to Pakistan’s 182-6.

Ireland set up its first T20 win over Pakistan by bowling well and fielding brilliantly. The home side engineered two run outs, and Campher and Barry McCarthy made two brilliant catches in the deep.

Fast bowler Craig Young conceded only 27 runs and dug out Babar Azam and Azam Khan in the same over as Pakistan got crucially bogged down in the middle overs.

Babar’s 43-ball 57 and opener Saim Ayub’s 29-ball 45 launched the visitors and Iftikhar Ahmed gave them a boost at the death with an unbeaten 37, including 17 in the last over.

But Ireland, coming off a 2-1 series loss to Afghanistan, was undeterred.

“We were happy to chase 180,” captain Paul Stirling said.

Opener Andy Balbirnie anchored the Irish with 77 off 55 balls including 10 boundaries.

Balbirnie and Harry Tector, 36 runs, took Ireland past 100. When Balbirnie was bowled by a Shaheen Shah Afridi full toss in the 19th over, Ireland needed 16 more runs from eight balls.

Campher knocked them off with 15 from seven balls.

The second of their three T20s is on Sunday.

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AP cricket:

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