Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ireland Captain’s “Flattest Pitches” Jibe At Pakistan After Historic Win | Cricket News

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Paul Stirling took a cheeky dig at Pakistan after beating the Babar Azam-led side.© X (Twitter)

Ireland captain Paul Stirling took a cheeky dig at Pakistan after beating the Babar Azam-led side in the first T20I of a three-match series in Dublin on Friday. Former captain Andrew Balbirnie’s 77 helped guide Ireland to their first victory over Pakistan in 17 years. It was just Ireland’s second win against Pakistan following their shock triumph at the 2007 50-over World Cup in the West Indies. Speaking after the match, Stirling took a swipe at the pitches in Pakistan, labelling them as the ‘flattest decks in the world’.

“We are absolutely delighted. We wanted to start the summer off well and it was almost a perfect day for us. When you come here, especially from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world, ask them to bat first and see what they can get. We were happy to chase 180. Brilliant knock from Balbirnie, he got through the powerplay and picked up the pace later. It was a fantastic knock. We have had great games here especially against Pakistan. Absolutely delighted to get over the line,” Stirling said after the match.

After Ireland opted to bowl, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opener Saim Ayub added 85 runs for the second wicket after the early dismissal of wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan.

Babar top-scored for the tourists with 57 in a total of 182-6 while Ayub hit 45. Iftikhar Ahmed (37) and Shadab Khan (14) added some crucial runs down the order to steer Pakistan to 182/6.

In response, Ireland reached a target of 183 with a ball to spare.

Ireland needed 40 to win from the last four overs, with Abbas Afridi dismissing George Dockrell for 24.

With Ireland needing 11 off the last over, Curtis Campher under-edged a boundary off Abbas and eventually sealed victory with a leg bye.

“I didn’t watch the last over. (I) went to the tent and put a towel over my head. I felt it was my job to get the team over the line… Harry said if we could bat normally till the 13th over, we could get the runs. That was a partnership which set it up,” Balbirnie, who was dismissed in the 19th over, said after the match.

(With AFP Inputs)

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