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IRE vs PAK, 1st T20I Review: Ireland register shock win in Dublin to kick off series

Ireland vs Pakistan. (Source -Getty Images)

Ireland and Pakistan kicked off their three-game T20I series, and both sides locked horns at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Friday, May 10. The clash began with Pakistan coming into bat first after losing the toss. The visitors got off to a subpar start as opener Mohammad Rizwan was sent packing to the pavilion for just one run with four deliveries played. 

Saim Ayub scored 45 runs in 29 deliveries, with skipper Babar Azam putting in a good showing, scoring 57 runs in 43 deliveries. Fakhar Zaman added 20 runs to the board as well. 

As Pakistan looked to take back control, Ireland struck again as Azam and Shadab Khan were dismissed for ducks each. After the setback in the middle order, Iftikhar Ahmed played a resilient knock of 37* runs in 15 deliveries, with Shaheen Shah Afridi adding 14* runs on the board as Pakistan posted a total of 182 runs in the first innings. 

As for Ireland, Craig Young was the highest wicket-taker for his side, taking two wickets. Mark Adair and Gareth Delany took one wicket each as well. 

Also Read: IRE vs PAK: Mohammad Amir set to miss first T20I

Andy Balbirnie masterclass propelled Ireland to first T20I win

As Ireland aimed to chase down the target of 183 runs, the side found itself in trouble as opener and skipper Paul Stirling was sent packing for just eight runs, with Lorcan Tucker scoring just four runs as well.

It was the knock of veteran Andy Balbirnie that propelled Ireland to a massive victory. The star batter scored 77 runs in 55 deliveries, winning the game for his side. Harry Tector had a significant contribution during the run chase as well, scoring 36 runs in 27 deliveries. 

Ireland managed to chase down the target and win the game by five wickets, gaining an advantage in the series. As for Pakistan, Abbas Afridi was the highest wicket-taker with two wickets to his name, whereas Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Imad Wasim struck once each. 

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