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Pakistan claim T20I series 2-1 against Ireland

Pakistan claim T20I series 2-1 against Ireland

Ireland vs Pakistan. (Source -Getty Images)

DUBLIN – Ireland Men fell to a 2-1 series defeat at the hands of Pakistan, with the tourists sealing victory by six wickets in the final match of the three-game T20I series in Clontarf on Tuesday.

Set 179 for victory, the stellar Pakistan pairing of Babar Azam (75) and Mohammad Rizwan (56) put on a 139-run partnership for the second wicket to see their side home with 18 balls to spare.

The tough three-match series – whilst a loss for Ireland – still provided enormous positives having beaten Pakistan for the first time in T20Is in the opening game.

There were bright moments at Clontarf Cricket Club on Tuesday, too, particularly in the shape of stand-in captain Lorcan Tucker’s superb knock of 73 from just 41 deliveries after his side were put into bat first.

Both sides made changes at the toss. Tucker stepped in for the rested Paul Stirling to skipper Ireland, with Ross Adair and Neil Rock replacing the captain and Gareth Delany, respectively. Azam, meanwhile, swapped in Hasan Ali for Naseem Shah.

Adair launched Mohammad Amir for an enormous six with just his second ball of the innings but was clean bowled in the third over trying to give Shaheen Shah Afridi the same treatment.

That brought Tucker to the crease, where he joined former white-ball captain Andrew Balbirnie. The pair immediately took apart the Pakistan bowling attack as they raced to 50-1 at the end of the powerplay.

Tucker, who had made 51 in the previous game, reached a second successive half-century – and eighth overall in T20Is – from just 29 balls. By the time Balbirnie was caught in the deep for 35, Ireland had brought up their 100 in the 11th over, with Lorcan Tucker relishing the added responsibility of captaincy.

Tucker’s knock was imperious, but the 27-year-old was denied a first T20I century when caught at long-on, ending an innings that included 13 fours and one six.

Harry Tector, who earlier launched his first ball over the ropes for six, went on to produce a well-made unbeaten 30 from 20 balls at the back end of the innings as Ireland set Pakistan 179 to win the series.

Ireland then went in search of early wickets and Mark Adair duly delivered, removing opener Saim Ayub in the third over. Adair was excellent throughout and took two more wickets late on but, unfortunately for the hosts, Pakistan were otherwise ruthless in their pursuit of victory.

While they offered several chances, the visitors showed their incredible overall quality within their squad to walk away with the Floki trophy having secured a 2-1 T20I series win.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland v Pakistan, 3rd T20I, Clontarf Cricket Club, Dublin, Ireland — 14 May 2024

Ireland 178-7 (20 overs; L Tucker 73, A Balbirnie 35, H Tector 30*; S Afridi 3-14, A Afridi 2-43)

Pakistan 181-4 (17 overs; B Azam 75, M Rizwan 56; M Adair 3-28, C Young 1-49)

Pakistan won by 6 wickets

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