16 Jun 2024, 23:54

Ireland recover to set Pakistan target of 107 to win in Florida

LAUDERHILL, United States, June  16, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - T20 World Cup cricket
was finally played in Florida on Sunday, at the fourth attempt, with Pakistan
restricting Ireland to 106-9 in the final game in Group A.

The Irish had been struggling at 32-6 in the seventh over and will hope
their seamers can also take advantage of help from the Lauderhill surface.

After the first three games at the venue were all abandoned because heavy
rains caused a waterlogged outfield, the overwhelmingly pro-Pakistan crowd were
rewarded with some top class opening bowling.

Left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi did the bulk of the damage picking up
three early wickets as Ireland's top order was ripped apart.

The Irish, who have not been able to practice for the past week due to wet
facilities, were in deep trouble at 32-6 with seamer Mohammad Amir also picking
up two wickets on a surface that was offering plenty for the quick bowlers.

But Gareth Delany provided some much needed resistance for the Irish,
blasting three sixes as he made 31 from 19 balls.

Delany's entertaining knock -- and a 44 run partnership with Mark Adair --
came to an end when Imad Wasim's slow left-arm spin found the edge and Shabad
Khan ran in from point to make the catch.

Adair tried to keep the momentum going but he departed for 15 when he
slogged Imad to long on and Afridi held on to the catch despite Usman Khan
colliding with him.

All-rounder Imad picked up his third wicket bowling Barry McCarthy but Josh
Little provided some valuable lower order runs with his unbeaten 22 taking
Ireland to three figures.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam had won the toss and chose to bowl.

Both teams have already been eliminated from the tournament with India and
the USA taking the top two group spots and places in the Super Eights stage.

While nothing is at stake in the contest, in terms of qualification,
bottom-placed Ireland will be seeking their first win of the competition.

Pakistan will be keen to finish above Canada in third place.