Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ireland claim famous T20 victory over Pakistan

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Curtis Campher and Gareth Delaney scampered a single with the second-last delivery as Ireland beat Pakistan in their T20 international, claiming a sensational victory on a beautiful day in Clontarf.

Set 183 for victory, Ireland lost two early wickets, but paced the reply brilliantly to win by five wickets as the home side took the first game in the three match series. It’s the first time Ireland have beaten Pakistan in a T20 international.

Ireland captain Paul Stirling won the toss and put the visitors into bat, backing his bowlers on a sunny afternoon at the north Dublin venue.

The Pakistan openers, Saim Ayub and Mohammad Rizwan, put on seven early runs, but Rizwan was caught outside his crease attempting a quick single, only to be run out by a fantastic diving throw by Harry Tector in the second over.

Ayub and captain Barber Azam took their side from seven for one to 92 by the 12th over before Ayub fell for 47 from a brisk 29 deliveries including four fours and three sixes, caught on the long-off boundary by Curtis Campher, giving Gareth Delaney his first wicket.

Azam reached his 50 off 39 deliveries in the 13th over as his side went past three figures, eventually falling for 57, skying one off the bowling of Craig Young straight down the throat of long-on Mark Adair with the visitors on 116 for 3 in the 15th.

Young got his second wicket in the same over, Ben White at mid-wicket taking the catch to dismiss Aham Khan for a duck.

Shadab Khan also failed to score as Barry McCarthy, football style, ran him out kicking the ball onto the stumps off his own bowling as Pakistan were suddenly 123 for five in the 16th over.

McCarthy also took a brilliant running/diving catch to get rid of Fekhar Zamon (20) in the 18th over with Pakistan on 150 for 6.

Ifitikhar Ahmed (14 not out) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (37 not out) helped Pakistan to 182 for six at the end off their 20 overs.

In reply Andrew Balbirnie and Stirling (8) reached 14 before the Irish captain was removed in the second over quickly followed by Lorcan Tucker who only managed four runs.

However a 77-run partnership between Balbirnie and Harry Tector (36) took Ireland past 100 and a quick 24 by George Dockrell off just 11 balls put them in sight of victory.

Balbirnie was eventually bowled for 77 but Gareth Delaney (10 not out) and Curtis Campher (15 not out) took Ireland over the line with just one ball to spare

The second game of three-match series is on Sunday in Clontarf, followed by the final fixture on Tuesday, and in three weeks, the squad fly out to the US, where they kick off their T20 World Cup campaign.

Ireland and Pakistan are in the same group and will face each other on 16 June in Lauderhill, Florida.

Pakistan have four further T20s in England after this series, while Ireland play a tri-series in the Netherlands with Scotland also taking part before their World Cup opener against India in New York.

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