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T20 World Cup2024 Pakistan Triumphs with 3-Wicket Win Over Ireland in Final Match

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Pakistan’s Hard-Fought Victory

Former champions Pakistan secured a 3-wicket win against Ireland in their final and inconsequential match of the T20 World Cup2024 on Sunday. Despite being eliminated from the tournament following losses to India and the USA, Pakistan managed to restore some pride with this victory.

Ireland’s Struggles with the Bat

Early Collapse

Opting to bowl first, Pakistan’s bowling attack, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/22), dismantled Ireland’s batting lineup. Ireland had a disastrous start, finding themselves at 4 for 3 in the second over. Afridi struck twice in the opening over, removing Andrew Balbirnie (0) and Lorcan Tucker (2). Mohammad Amir added to Ireland’s woes by dismissing their captain Paul Stirling (1).

Middle-Order Resistance

Harry Tector tried to anchor the innings but was trapped lbw by Afridi, reducing Ireland to 15 for 4. George Dockrell briefly resisted with two boundaries but was soon out, caught and bowled by Amir. At the end of the powerplay, half of the Irish side was back in the pavilion.

Lower-Order Fightback

Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany attempted to stabilize the innings. Delany showed some fight, hitting the first six of the innings off Haris Rauf and another off Shadab Khan to bring up Ireland’s fifty. He continued his aggressive approach, adding another six off Abbas Afridi. However, Imad Wasim’s introduction into the attack resulted in Delany’s dismissal, breaking a 44-run stand.

Joshua Little (22 not out) added crucial runs towards the end, taking Ireland past the 100-run mark. Despite his efforts, Ireland finished their innings at 106 for 9 in 20 overs.

Pakistan’s Stumbling Chase

Top-Order Wobbles

Chasing a modest target of 107, Pakistan’s batting vulnerabilities were once again exposed. Opener Saim Ayub started positively, hitting a six and two fours, but was dismissed by Mark Adair. Mohammad Rizwan followed, hitting three fours before falling to Barry McCarthy.

Pakistan’s middle-order collapse continued as they lost four wickets within three overs. Fakhar Zaman (5), Usman Khan (2), Shadab Khan (0), and Imad Wasim (4) were dismissed in quick succession, leaving Pakistan struggling at 62 for 6.

Babar Azam’s Composure

Captain Babar Azam held one end steady, scoring an unbeaten 32. He found support from Abbas Afridi, who added 17 runs off 21 balls. The duo’s 33-run partnership was crucial in inching Pakistan closer to the target.

Shaheen Afridi’s Finishing Touch

With the game still in the balance, Shaheen Afridi came in and played a quickfire cameo. His two massive sixes off just five balls sealed the win for Pakistan, finishing at 111 for 7 in 18.5 overs.

Ireland’s Bowling Efforts

Ireland’s bowlers, especially Barry McCarthy (3/15) and Curtis Campher (2/24), put up a spirited fight. They consistently took wickets, putting Pakistan under immense pressure. However, the low target meant Pakistan had enough time to recover and eventually secure the win.

While the match was inconsequential in terms of the tournament standings, it provided a glimpse into the areas both teams need to work on. Pakistan’s fragile batting order and Ireland’s inability to capitalize on early breakthroughs were evident. This victory allowed Pakistan to end their T20 World Cup2024 campaign on a positive note, while Ireland finished winless.