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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

Pakistan beat Ireland to end T20 World Cup campaign on winning note

Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi pick three wickets each
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi celebrates after he bowls Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie during Sunday’s T20 World Cup game at Lauderhill. AFP
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi celebrates after he bowls Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie during Sunday’s T20 World Cup game at Lauderhill. AFP
Babar Azam flips the coin in Pakistan’s final game of the T20 World Cup on June 16, 2024. Photo via X/PCB
Babar Azam flips the coin in Pakistan’s final game of the T20 World Cup on June 16, 2024. Photo via X/PCB

Pakistan beat Ireland by three wickets in their last match of the T20 World Cup played in Florida on Sunday.

Although the Green Shirts team won the match, their batting still struggled as they chased the low target in the second last over of the game.

Skipper Babar Azam, with 32 off 34 deliveries, was the leading run-scorer for his side.

Pakistan restricted Ireland to 106-9 in the final game in Group A.

The Irish had been struggling at 32-6 in the seventh over and will hope their seamers can also take advantage of help from the Lauderhill surface.

After the first three games at the venue were all abandoned because heavy rains caused a waterlogged outfield, the overwhelmingly pro-Pakistan crowd were rewarded with some top class opening bowling.

Left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi did the bulk of the damage picking up three early wickets as Ireland’s top order was ripped apart.

The Irish, who have not been able to practice for the past week due to wet facilities, were in deep trouble at 32-6 with seamer Mohammad Amir also picking up two wickets on a surface that was offering plenty for the quick bowlers.

But Gareth Delany provided some much needed resistance for the Irish, blasting three sixes as he made 31 from 19 balls.

Delany’s entertaining knock – and a 44 run partnership with Mark Adair – came to an end when Imad Wasim’s slow left-arm spin found the edge and Shabad Khan ran in from point to make the catch.

Adair tried to keep the momentum going but he departed for 15 when he slogged Imad to long on and Afridi held on to the catch despite Usman Khan colliding with him.

All-rounder Imad picked up his third wicket bowling Barry McCarthy but Josh Little provided some valuable lower order runs with his unbeaten 22 taking Ireland to three figures.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam had won the toss and chose to bowl.

Both teams have already been eliminated from the tournament with India and the USA taking the top two group spots and places in the Super Eights stage.

While nothing is at stake in the contest, in terms of qualification, bottom-placed Ireland will be seeking their first win of the competition. Pakistan will be keen to finish above Canada in third place.

Pakistan have won only one match in the tournament after successive defeats against India and the United States. Meanwhile, Ireland have failed to win a single game so far.

Pitch and conditions

Heavy rain and a soaked outfield forced the cancellation of both Friday’s USA vs Ireland and Saturday’s India vs Canada matches in Lauderhill before the toss.

While Sunday’s forecast looks brighter, the fate of the match hinges on the amount of rainfall overnight and the condition of the pitch in the morning.

Squads

Pakistan has replaced Naseem Shah for Abbas Afridi in the game, whereas, Ben White replaced Craig Young for the Irish side.

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Abbas Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Amir

Ireland: Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little and Ben White

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ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024