Pakistan conclude T20 WC with unimpressive win

Babar’s resistance at the wicket ensured Pakistan concluded the World Cup T20 on a winning note

By Abdul Mohi Shah
June 17, 2024
Pakistan´s Fakhar Zaman batting in ICC men´s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between Pakistan and Ireland at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida on June 16, 2024. — AFP

FORT LAUDERDALE (Florida): Pakistan recovered from the top-order collapse to register an unimpressive three-wicket win against Ireland in their last World Cup T20 2024 outing at the Lauderhill Stadium Sunday.

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It was left to Babar Azam (32 not out) and Abbas Afridi (17) to repair the damage from 62 for 6 to reach 95 when the 7th wicket fell. Abbas and Babar put on 33 runs for the 7th wicket to raise hopes of winning against a modest winning target of 107 set by Ireland. Shaheen Afridi’s two towering sixes then settled the matter in the 19th over with three wickets in hand.

Babar’s resistance at the wicket ensured Pakistan concluded the World Cup T20 on a winning note.

“The pitch was supportive for fast bowlers. The crowd has always backed Pakistan. We have not been able to make it to the next stage which is a matter of concern for everyone,” Man of the Match Shaheen Shah Afridi, said.

Pakistan’s wickets kept on tumbling in the face of a low winning target with none other than the skipper staying long enough at the wicket to keep Pakistan in the game. Yet another top-order collapse saw Saim Ayub and Mohammad Rizwan (17 each), Fakhar Zaman (5), Usman Khan (2) and Shadb Khan (0) making a mess of the easy target as Pakistan were reduced to 57 for 5 in 9.3 overs. When Imad Wasim (4) lost his wicket in the 11th over Pakistan were reeling at 62 for 7.

Earlier, in what turned out to be a powerful bowling display, Pakistan restricted Ireland to a low 106 for 9. The victory however was not enough to take Pakistan into the next stage following their decisive defeats against hosts the US and India.Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-22) and Imad Wasim (3-8) were the pick of bowlers for Pakistan. Gareth Delaney (31) and Josh Little (22) lifted Ireland from 32 for 6 to reach 106 for 9. “We have fought till the end and never allowed Pakistan to open hands while defending a low total,” Ireland captain Paul Sterling, said.“ I am happy we finished well. In batting, we failed yet again but at the end we achieved a win,” Babar said. Pakistan team skipper maintained that barring a few occasions in the T20 World Cup, bowling went well. “It was in the batting we lacked behind which resulted in an early exit. As a team, we didn’t play well.”

Score: Ireland 106 for 9 in 20 overs (Gareth Delaney 31, Josh Little 22, Imad Wasim 3-8, Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-22)Pakistan 111 for 7 in 18.5 overs (Babar Azam 32 not out, Abbas Afridi 17, Shaheen Shah Afridi 13 not out, Barry McCarthy 3-15, Curtis Campher 2-22).

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