Pakistan Thrash Ireland by 7 Wickets to Tie T20 Series

Pakistan Thrash Ireland by 7 Wickets to Tie T20 Series

Pakistan produced a dominant performance to thrash Ireland by 7 wickets in the second T20I at the Clontarf Cricket Club on Sunday, leveling the three-match series 1-1.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam opted to field first after winning the toss, putting the pressure on Ireland to set a strong total. The Irish batsmen responded well, putting on a record-breaking performance against a potent Pakistani bowling attack. Lorcan Tucker played a crucial knock, scoring a blazing 51 runs off just 34 deliveries. Harry Tector (32 off 28) and Gareth Delany (28* off 10) provided valuable support, helping Ireland reach a mammoth total of 193/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Pakistan’s bowling attack, despite conceding a high score, showed glimpses of brilliance. Shaheen Shah Afridi, the left-arm pace spearhead, was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3 wickets for 49 runs in his four overs. The experienced Abbas Afridi chipped in with two crucial wickets for 33 runs in his four overs. Naseem Shah, the young pace prodigy, also played his part, taking one wicket for 36 runs in his four overs.

Pakistan’s chase began disastrously as they lost both openers – Babar Azam (0) and Saim Ayub (6) – inside the first two overs. This early setback threatened to derail their chase, but a magnificent partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman put them back in control.

Rizwan, known for his composure and technique, played a sheet anchor role, anchoring the innings with an unbeaten knock of 75 runs off 46 balls. He played with a mixture of caution and aggression, ensuring that wickets didn’t fall at regular intervals. Zaman, on the other hand, provided the impetus at the other end. He unleashed a flurry of boundaries and sixes, scoring a swashbuckling 78 runs off just 40 deliveries. Their 154-run stand for the third wicket completely shifted the momentum in Pakistan’s favor.

With the target within reach, wicket-keeper batter Azam Khan provided the finishing touches with a quickfire 30 off 10 balls. He smashed three sixes and two boundaries in his cameo innings, ensuring Pakistan chased down the target with 5 overs to spare.

The Irish bowlers, despite picking up wickets at regular intervals, were unable to contain the rampant Pakistani batsmen. Mark Adair, Graham Hume, and Benjamin White managed to take a wicket apiece, but their bowling attack lacked the penetration to restrict the free-flowing Pakistani batsmen.

This win for Pakistan keeps the three-match series alive, with the final encounter on Wednesday set to be a thrilling decider. Both teams will be aiming to clinch the series victory and showcase their dominance in the shortest format of the game.