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PAK vs IRE: Ireland clinch maiden victory against Pakistan in T20I

Courtesy: Geo News

Hosts stun Green Shirts by five wickets in first T20I of three-match series

DUBLIN: Ireland clinched their maiden T20I victory against Pakistan as they beat the Green Shirts in the opener of the three-match series at the Clontarf Cricket Club, Dublin, on Friday.

The hosts stunned the Green Shirts by five wickets in was a historic win as this was the first time the Irish hosted Pakistan in T20Is.

Despite a brilliant start while defending the 183-run target as Pakistan managed to get two wickets in the first five overs with Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi striking for them, the Green Shirts couldn’t stand against Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector.

Both the Irish batters stood tall against Pakistan’s bowling attack and formed a formidable 77-run partnership which brought the home team back in the game after a disastrous start.

Tector departed after scoring 36 runs but Balbirnie stood tall and continued to score for his side. George Dockrell brought the much-needed energy to Ireland’s innings as he scored 24 runs on 12 balls with four boundaries, which turned out to be the turning point of the match.

Shaheen bagged two wickets while Abbas Afridi, Imad Wasim and Naseem Shah picked one wicket each.

Pakistan got a major breakthrough when Shaheen removed Balbirnie but Gareth Delany (10 on 6) and Curtis Campher (15 on 7) cruised the home side to victory.

Batting first, Pakistan posted 182/6 as skipper Babar Azam starred with 57 off 43 balls while Saim Ayub made 29-ball 45. Iftikhar Ahmed chipped in with 15-ball 37*.

The Men in Green lost Mohammad Rizwan (1) early in the innings. Babar paired with Saim to provide stability to the innings with an 85-run stand.

Saim was caught by Campher off the bowling of Delany after scoring 45 runs off 29 balls, including four boundaries and three sixes.

Meanwhile, Babar crossed fifty for the 38th time in T20Is. He was caught by Mark Adair off the bowling of Craig Young, scoring 57 runs from 43 deliveries.

Pakistan struggled for a bit where they lost four wickets for 31 runs but Iftikhar covered the runs at the backend.

He smoked 15-ball 37, powered by three fours and as many sixes. Shaheen Shah Afridi also remained unbeaten, scoring 13 runs from 7 deliveries, hitting two sixes, with a strike rate of 185.71.

1- Header image: rish batsmen bumb fists during second innings of opening match of ongoing T20I series in Dublin on May 10, 2024. — PCB

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