Pakistan survive scare, end T20 World Cup campaign with win

Picture by Debasis Sen

Pakistan survived a scare as they ended their 2024 T20 World Cup campaign on a good note by getting the better of Ireland by three wickets. The Asian nation chased down the target of 107 in only the 19th over.

The foundation of Pakistan’s consolation victory was based on their impressive performance with the ball. On a track that had enough moisture, Pakistan won the toss and opted to field. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammed Amir, the senior pace bowlers, had Ireland in all kinds of trouble at 32 for 6. 

Greath Delany, batting at No. 7, turned out to be the top-scorer for Ireland with 32. The all-rounder also strung together a stand of 41 with Mark Adair to give Ireland’s score a sense of respectability. Josh Little, batting at No. 10, also made a timely contribution by cracking 22 of 18 deliveries. Meanwhile, Imad Wasim, the spinning all-rounder, supported the seamers by taking three wickets.

In the chase, Mohammad Rizwan and Saim Ayub provided Pakistan a decent start. However, in the fifth over, Adair accounted for Ayub and that was followed by Rizwan losing his wicket to Barry McCarthy. Subsequently, Pakistan suffered a collapse as they slid to 62 for 6. The way McCarthy dismissed Shadab Khan with a delivery that kicked off the surface gave an inkling of the tough conditions on view.

Babar Azam, the Pakistan skipper, then shepherded the chase with a 34-ball unbeaten 32. Abbas Afridi gave him decent support with 17. After Abbas was dismissed, Shaheen provided the finishing touches by tonking a couple of sixes. On the other hand, McCarthy was the chief wicket-taker, finishing with three scalps.