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‘You come here from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world’ – Paul Stirling explains how Ireland trumped Pakistan

'You come here from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world' - Paul Stirling explains how Ireland trumped Pakistan

Paul Stirling. (Photo Source: Fancode)

Ireland kicked off their three-match T20I series against Pakistan brilliantly, defeating the visitors by five wickets in the opening game at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Friday, May 10. It was a morale-boosting start for the Irish ahead of their meeting with Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in June. After the historic victory, Ireland captain Paul Stirling explained how Pakistan’s flat pitches helped Ireland decide their strategy against the visitors.

“We are absolutely delighted, we wanted to start the summer off well and it was almost a perfect day for us. When you come here, especially from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world, ask them to bat first and see what they can get. 170 was OK but we leaked a few, but we were happy to chase 180,” Stirling said in the post-match presentation.

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

The match began with Pakistan batting first after losing the toss. Despite a steady 57 off 43 from captain Babar Azam and 29-ball 45 from Saim Ayub, the visitors could only put 182/6 in their 20 overs thanks to some disciplined Irish bowling led by Craig Young (2/27 in four overs) and Joseph Delany (1/11 in two overs).

The Irish side began their chase but found itself in trouble at 27/2. However, a masterful 77 off 55 balls from the experienced Andrew Balbirnie, along with handy contributions from Harry Tector (36 off 27), Goerge Dockrell (24 off 12) and others, propelled the hosts to a historic five-wicket win with a bowl to spare.

Also read: Ireland announce three squads for rigorous schedule ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

Stirling praised Balbirnie’s match-winning knock and way in which he paced the chase to help the side win. The Irish captain also spoke about their dominance over Pakistan at home.

“A brilliant knock from Balbirnie, he got through the powerplay and picked up the pace later on as well. He timed it to perfection, it was a fantastic knock. We have had great games here, especially against Pakistan and to get over the line today is brilliant<‘ he further added.

With the first win under their belt, the hosts have an early 1-0 lead in the three-game series. The Babar Azam-led side will need to regroup quickly, with the second T20I taking place on Sunday at the same venue.

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