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Imad and Shaheen's three-fers, Babar's unbeaten knock secure Pakistan's win over Ireland

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Lauderhill, 16 June 2024: Pakistan beat Ireland by three wickets at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill to end their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign on a winning note. This was Pakistan’s second win in the tournament out of the four matches in Group A. Today’s win means Pakistan ended in third position in the five-team group. India and USA in the group have already qualified for the Super Eight stage of the tournament.

Chasing 107 to win, Pakistan were on course for a comfortable win as they were 52 for two at the end of the eighth over. Soon after the departure of Fakhar Zaman (5,9b), in the ninth over, Usman Khan (2, 3b), Shadab Khan (0, 2b) and Imad Wasim (4, 6b, 1x4) fell in a span of 18 balls as Pakistan were in a spot of bother with 62 for six in 11 overs.

At that crucial juncture of the game, captain Babar Azam (32 not out, 34b, 2x4s) was joined by Mohammad Abbas Afridi, who was playing his first game of the tournament. Abbas scored 17 off 21, hitting a four and a six before getting out in the 18th over. Abbas added a 33-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Babar.

That Pakistan managed to achieve the target in 18.5 overs without losing any more wickets was due to Shaheen Shah Afridi’s two sixes, who returned undefeated on 13 off five balls.

For Ireland, Barry McCarthy grabbed three wickets for 15 runs in four overs. Curtis Campher took two wickets for 24 runs in four overs.

Earlier, after being put into bat, Ireland managed to score 106 for nine in their allotted 20 overs. Shaheen Afridi had a dream start as the left-arm pacer got Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker in the first over of the match with two runs on the board. Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir got the prize scalp of Ireland’s captain Paul Stirling in the next over as Ireland were reeling at four for three.

Shaheen and Amir struck once more in the powerplay as Ireland scored 32 with half of their side back in the pavilion. In the next over Haris Rauf sent Curtis Campher (7, 14b, 1x4) back to the hut as Ireland were reduced to 32 for six in 6.3 overs. At that stage of the game, Gareth Delany and Mark Adair got together and the pair knitted a 44-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

Imad Wasim sent both Delany (31, 19b,1x4, 3x6s) and Adair (15, 19b, 2x4s) in quick succession and also number nine batter Barry McCarthy (2, 7b) as Ireland lost nine wickets for 80 runs on the board. Josh Little’s unbeaten 22 helped Ireland post 106 in their 20 overs.

Imad and Shaheen bagged three wickets apiece, while Amir ended up taking two wickets for 11 runs.

Scores in brief:

Pakistan beat Ireland by three wickets

Ireland 106-9, 20 overs (Gareth Delany 31, Josh Little 22 not out; Imad Wasim 3-8, Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-22, Mohammad Amir 2-11)

Pakistan 111-7, 18.5 overs (Babar Azam 32 not out; Barry McCarthy 3-15, Curtis Campher 2-24)

Player of the match – Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)