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IRE vs PAK 2024: Iftikhar Ahmed hopeful of comeback after shocking defeat

IRE vs PAK 2024: Iftikhar Ahmed hopeful of comeback after shocking defeat

Iftikhar Ahmed (photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed remains optimistic about his side’s chances of bouncing back in the three-match T20I series against Ireland after a disappointing loss in the opening encounter on Friday, May 10. The Irish side pulled off an absolute thriller, chasing down 183 to defeat Pakistan by five wickets in the first T20I at Castle Avenue in Dublin.

Despite a fighting 37* off 15 balls from Iftikhar towards the end, Pakistan’s total of 182/6 proved insufficient. In a video posted on the official social media handle of Pakistan Cricket, the 33-year-old is still confident to come back in the three-match T20I series.

“When I came runs were needed and I played my natural game. The way our team is we didn’t perform to that level. We lacked in fielding, we dropped a catch and gave away a couple of boundaries as well. This is part of the game and we are hopeful that we will make a comeback in the series with two games remaining,” Iftikhar said.

 

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) May 11, 2024

Also read: Paul Stirling explains how Ireland trumped Pakistan

We will try to win our next series: Iftikhar Ahmed

The visiting team had gotten off to a poor start after losing the toss, with opener Mohammad Rizwan departing for just one. Though Babar Azam scored a stylish 57 and Saim Ayub scored a 29 ball-45, the middle order faltered with Azam Khan and Shadab Khan falling for ducks.

Iftikhar’s cameo took Pakistan to a competitive total, but their bowling couldn’t contain the Irish batters led by Andy Balbirnie’s 77 off 55 deliveries.

“With the quality our team has, we can make a comeback against Ireland. We will try to win our next series against England and take confidence into the upcoming T20 World Cup,” he concluded.

Also read: Ireland register shock win in Dublin to kick off series

Pakistan have been trying to find the right combinations ahead of the World Cup, but their middle-order issues persist. The bowling also had an off day, with only Shaheen Shah Afridi being economical.

The second T20I between both sides will be played at the same venue on May 12. Interestingly both teams are also placed in the same group in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in June this year. Pakistan will lock horns with Ireland on June 16 at Central Broward Park in Florida.

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