Pakistan seal T20I series with dominant win over Ireland

DUBLIN   -   Powered by stellar performances from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, along with a remarkable bowling effort by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan secured a commanding victory over Ireland in the decisive third match to seal the T20I series 2-1.

Chasing a target of 179, Pakistan reached the mark with 18 balls remaining, losing only four wickets. The chase was highlighted by an impressive 139-run partnership for the second wicket between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, which decisively tilted the game in Pakistan’s favor.

The innings, however, commenced on a shaky note with young opener Saim Ayub falling early for 14. Following Ayub’s dismissal, Babar and Rizwan took control, hammering the Ireland bowlers with a flurry of boundaries. Rizwan, aggressive in his approach, scored 56 off 38 balls, including four fours and three sixes, before being bowled by Mark Adair in the 15th over.

Babar continued the onslaught before he too was dismissed by Adair after a scintillating 75 from 42 balls, adorned with six fours and five sixes. Despite a minor hiccup with Iftikhar Ahmed falling cheaply afterward, Azam Khan (18* off 10) and Imad Wasim (1*) steered Pakistan to a smooth finish. Mark Adair was the standout bowler for Ireland, claiming three wickets, while Craig Young managed to snag one.

Earlier, Ireland had a troubled start after opting to bat first, losing opener Ross Adair for just seven runs. However, captain Lorcan Tucker and Andy Balbirnie steadied the ship, putting together an 85-run partnership. Tucker was the top scorer with a vibrant 73 off 41 balls, driving Ireland to a competitive total of 178/7. Shaheen Shah Afridi was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with impressive figures of 3/14.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi congratulated the Green Shirts on the series victory over Ireland and wished them luck for the upcoming T20I series against England and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

“Congratulations to the Pakistan Cricket team for winning the series against Ireland,” Mohsin Naqvi tweeted. “With teamwork and dedication, you have proven to be the best team in the world. “Best of luck, boys, for the England series and the World Cup.”

Scores in Brief

PAKISTAN 181-4 (Babar 75, Rizwan 56, Mark Adair 3-28) beat IRELAND 178-7 (Tucker 73, Balbirnie 35, Tector 30*, Shaheen 3-14, Abbas 2-43) by six wickets.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt