T20 World Cup: Babar Azam delivers captain's knock as Pakistan bow out with win over Ireland | Crickit
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T20 World Cup: Babar Azam delivers captain's knock as Pakistan bow out with win over Ireland

AFP |
Jun 17, 2024 12:20 AM IST

Babar delivers captain's knock as Pakistan bow out with win over Ireland

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam guided his team to victory over Ireland on Sunday, with an unbeaten 32, in their final game at the T20 World Cup, avoiding another embarrassing loss for his already eliminated side.

Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, left, celebrates with captain Babar Azam (PTI)
Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, left, celebrates with captain Babar Azam (PTI)

Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets and then hit two sixes to win the game as Pakistan ended a disappointing tournament with a three-wicket win at Central Broward Stadium.

Ireland had recovered from a poor start to make 106-9 with Gareth Delany making 31 off 19 balls and although Pakistan wobbled at 62-6, captain Babar's 32 off 34 balls steadied the ship and avoided another defeat.

Pakistan's shock defeat to the USA and loss to India meant they were eliminated from second-round contention before Sunday's final Group A game in Florida.

After the first three games at the South Florida 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.

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 by bowling Barry McCarthy but Josh Little provided some valuable lower order runs with his unbeaten 22 taking Ireland to three figures.

McCarthy, who finished with figures of 3-15, gave Ireland some hope with a lively opening spell, picking up the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan and removing Usman Khan and Shabad Khan cheaply.

When Curtis Campher dismissed Imad Wasim, whose cut shot to point was well held by Harry Tector, Pakistan looked in danger of another upset at 62-6.

But a 33 run seventh wicket partnership between Babar Azam and Abbas Afridi steadied the innings and Shaheen Shah Afridi's two big heaves over mid-wicket ensured victory with seven balls to spare.

"Let's see, what team needs, I'll be okay with it. We have a good bunch of players, we've to go home, chat and see where we lacked, and then come back. Couldn't finish off close games, as a team we weren't good as a team," said Babar.

The win meant that Pakistan finished third in the group and Ireland ended bottom with a solitary point from their washed-out game against the USA.

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