Friday, May 24, 2024

Ireland stuns Pakistan ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

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Pakistan was handed a sobering reality check ahead of next month’s 20-over World Cup, following its first-ever loss on Friday in a T20 International to Ireland in Dublin.

Put into bat, Pakistan managed a modest 182 for six against the limited bowling resources of its opponents at the Castle Avenue.

Skipper Babar Azam made 57 and opener Saim Ayub contributed 45 but it was not really a flying start as Pakistan reached the 100-mark in the 13th over.

Iftikhar Ahmed smashed 37 not out off 15 balls down the order but Pakistan still settled for a middling total.

Andy Balbirnie (77) top-scored for Ireland, which chased down the target with one ball to spare to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

“The pitch was two-paced. I think 190 would have been a par score,” Babar said after Pakistan’s loss.

“I don’t think we executed the plans. We attacked in the first six overs but didn’t finish well. I think we were ahead in the first 10 overs but not in the last 10 overs.”

Pakistan will play four T20 matches in England later this month before the 2009 champion begins its World Cup campaign with a June 6 match against tournament co-host United States in New York.

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