“What’s wrong with this Pakistan team?”: Legends react to Pakistan’s shambolic loss to Ireland

Ireland stunned Pakistan by five wickets in the first T20I. (Source: X.com)

In a thrilling encounter in Dublin on Friday, May 10, a determined Ireland team maintained their composure to clinch a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in a closely contested match. With the triumph in the first T20I, Ireland have taken the lead in the three-match series.

This victory marks the first time Ireland has defeated Pakistan in T20Is, with the teams having faced off only once before in the 20-over format. It stands as Ireland’s second win against Pakistan, following their surprising success at the 2007 50-over World Cup.

Not only is this win significant in the context of the series, but it also enhances Ireland’s chances of automatic qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup.

Pakistan batted first and posted a total of 182/6, with skipper Babar Azam scoring 57 off 43 balls and Saim Ayub contributing 45 runs from 29 balls. Iftikhar Ahmed also played a crucial role with a quickfire 37 off just 15 balls.

In response, Ireland chased down the target of 183 with five wickets in hand and one ball to spare, largely due to a solid third-wicket partnership between Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector.

Balbirnie’s impressive knock of 77 was crucial in securing the victory. However, it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of George Dockrell and Curtis Campher. Dockrell’s rapid 24 runs shifted the momentum in Ireland’s favour after Harry Tector’s dismissal. Ultimately, it was Campher who held his nerve in a nerve-wracking final and took his team past the finish line.

Pakistan is enduring a tough run in T20Is this year. The Shaheen Afridi-led Pakistan began the year with a 4-1 series loss to New Zealand on an away tour. Following this, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reinstated Babar as the white-ball captain. Under Babar’s leadership, Pakistan faced tough competition as they drew the five-match T20I series against a second-string New Zealand side at home. The recent defeat to Ireland adds to their woes, especially with the T20 World Cup looming just a few weeks away.

The loss has elicited reactions from Pakistan cricket legends, reflecting the disappointment and concern over the team’s performance.

Waqar Younis wrote on X: Are you serious? What’s wrong with this Pakistan team?

“We will get better when we will try to play good cricket. The players must think about the team and we will continue to lose if things stay like this. I am looking that players are prioritising personal goals which is not good for the side. The team management will soon identify this,” Kamran Akmal said on his YouTube channel.

“We need to seriously check out what mistakes are being made,” Junaid khan wrote on X. “With such a big event coming up, the team is struggling. First we only managed to level the series with a weaker New Zealand side and now we have lost our first t20 against Ireland. Some serious discussion needed.”

“I wanted to ask that were they (Pakistan) checking the bench strength even today?” Ahmed Shehzad wrote on X. “Try your strength sometimes.”

“The bowling has been letting Pakistan down since the tour of New Zealand. Since removing Shaheen from the captaincy, problems could be seen,” Rashid Latif said on his YouTube channel.