Pakistan outclass Ireland to clinch T20I series

Pakistan on Tuesday inflicted a six-wicket defeat on Ireland in yet another one-sided match to bag the three-match T20I series 2-1 at the Clontarf Cricket Club in Dublin. After losing the first match by five wickets, the Babar Azam-led unit made an excellent comeback in the series as they won the remaining T20Is with dominant performances. Chasing the 179-run target in the third T20I, Pakistan, once again, had a disappointing start as opener Saim Ayub departed for the pavilion after contributing just 14 runs. However, the pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan rose to the occasion and formed a 139-run partnership which not only helped Pakistan steer to victory but also etched their names in the history books. Babar and Rizwan became the first pair to score 3,000 partnership runs. While doing so, they also became just the first batting pair to have 10-century stands. The closest to them is India’s pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul with five-century partnerships. Babar also smashed three sixes in a row and four in an over to Benjamin White, which was the first time in his career. Following Rizwan (56 off 38) and Babar (75 off 42) departures, Azam Khan (18 off 6) took Pakistan over the line as the visitors chased down the target in 17 overs. Meanwhile in the first innings, Pakistan restricted Ireland to 178/7 after the home side had a strong start to the innings. Ireland lost Ross Adair (7) early in the innings after being put into bat first by Pakistan. He was removed by Shaheen Afridi in the third over. Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker paired up and accelerated the scoring rate. The home side reached 100 in 10.4 overs before Balbarine (35) was dismissed by Abbas Afridi. Tucker remained firm in his approach and continued attacking the Pakistan bowlers. In his 41-ball 73 knock, he smoked 13 fours and a six before being dismissed by Imad Wasim. The visitors looked to put pressure back on the home side with another dismissal. Shaheen had the better of Neil Rock (4). Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir removed George Dockrell (6) from the other end. Abbas continued the series of wickets by removing Curtis Campher (1). Shaheen Shah Afridi was Pakistan’s MVP with the ball as the left-armer only conceded 14 runs while taking three wickets in four overs. Playing XIsPakistan: Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Hassan Ali, Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir Ireland: Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (c & wk), Ben White, Craig Young