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Pakistan level T20I series in second game at Clontarf


Dublin, Ireland – Pakistan Men beat Ireland Men by seven wickets in Dublin on Sunday, levelling the series at 1-1 and turning Tuesday’s third and final match into a winner-takes-all decider.

Batting first, Ireland made 193-7 from their 20 overs, the highest total at Clontarf Cricket Club and their best score in T20Is against Pakistan.

It wasn’t enough, however, as the visitors’ star-studded side romped home thanks to a 140-run partnership between Mohammad Rizwan (75*) and Fakhar Zaman (78), with both batters dropped earlier in their innings.

The start of play was delayed due to rain over Clontarf Cricket Club. When the toss was able to take place, Pakistan captain Babar Azam elected to field after guessing right.

Both teams made one change from Ireland’s dramatic victory in Friday’s first game, with the hosts bringing in Graham Hume for Barry McCarthy and the tourists selecting Mohammad Amir in the place of Shadab Khan.

Making his 390th appearance for Ireland, captain Paul Stirling surpassed Kevin O’Brien as Ireland’s most capped player across all formats and soon set about taking the attack to Pakistan’s bowlers.

He and fellow opener Andrew Balbirnie, whose 77 in the first match was crucial in securing a famous win for the Irish, raced to 29 from the first three overs before Stirling (11) was superbly caught off the bowling of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Ireland were further pegged back when Afridi removed Balbirnie two deliveries later. Then things looked bleak when Harry Tector was given out lbw to Naseem Shah the very next ball.

The 24-year-old was handed a reprieve, however, after Shah was shown to have overstepped the line with his front foot.

Tector went on to make 32 from 28 deliveries, sharing a 62-run stand with Lorcan Tucker for the fourth wicket.

Tucker went on to register a seventh T20I half century from just 32 balls and was well supported by a rapid-fire knock of 22 from Curtis Campher, who launched Afridi for two huge sixes in the same over before succumbing to Amir.

Further late hitting was provided by first Mark Adair (15) and then Gareth Delany (28) as Ireland set Pakistan a target of 194 for victory.

Despite Saim Ayub smashing a six from the second delivery of the over, Mark Adair immediately struck the very next ball to give Ireland a third-ball breakthrough.

By the time Hume had Azam caught behind the following over, Pakistan were reduced to 13-2 and Ireland had made a dream start.

Rizwan and Zaman thwarted any hopes of further early scalps, with the latter particularly destructive in his innings of 78 from 40 balls – a knock that included six fours and six more sixes.

The 15th over departure of Zaman only saw Rizwan kick on. The 31-year-old showed why he is ranked third-best T20I batter in the world in an 46-ball 75 which shepherded his team to an ultimately comfortable victory with 19 balls to spare.


Ireland v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Clontarf Cricket Club, Dublin, Ireland — 12 May 2024

Ireland 193-7 (20 overs; L Tucker 51, H Tector 32, G Delany 28*, C Campher 22; S Afridi 2-37, A Afridi 2-32) 

Pakistan195-3 (16.5 overs; M Rizwan 79*, F Zaman 78, A Khan 30*; G Hume 1-20, M Adair 1-33, B White 1-39) 

Pakistan won by seven wickets.

See full scorecard