Friday, May 24, 2024

Ireland Shock Pakistan In Latest Jolt To T20 World Cup Prep

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Ireland beat Pakistan in the first T20I of their three-match series in Dublin today (May 10), getting over the line with a ball and five wickets to spare.

The latest tremor in Pakistan’s preparations for the T20 World Cup was sealed when Curtis Campher scampered through with Gareth Delaney for a leg bye to give Ireland their first-ever T20I win over Pakistan and their first win over Pakistan in a men’s international since 2007. Ireland had been set 183 to win batting second, with Andy Balbirnie hitting 77 off 55 opening up before a 36 from Harry Tector and 24 off 12 balls from George Dockrell saw them come out on top.

Pakistan had suffered an early blow when Mohammad Rizwan was run out in the second over of the match, a direct throw from Tector doing the business. However, Saim Ayub and Babar Azam shared an 85-run partnership to take the score towards three figures by the 12th over. While Ayub’s 45 off 29 balls came at a healthy rate, Babar has once again come under criticism for the pace of his innings. He made a 43-ball 57 before skying a ball from Mark Adair to Craig Young at long on.

From there Pakistan suffered a collapse when Azam Khan was out in the 15th over for a duck, with Shadab Khan dismissed three balls later for another duck. While Iftikhar Ahmed briefly inflicted some Ifti-mania with a 15-ball 37, it only brought Pakistan up to 182 at the end of their innings.

The loss to Ireland, who are in Pakistan’s group in the T20 World Cup, comes after a series draw on home soil to a New Zealand squad missing most of their first-choice players. With Babar only recently reinstated as captain, it’s another bump in the road for their tournament preparation.

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