Match Report – IRE vs PAK 2nd T20I, May 12, 2024


Pakistan Defeated by 195 runs for 3 wickets (Fakhar 78, Rizwan 75*) Ireland 193 for 7 (Tucker 51, Shaheen 3-49) with seven wickets and 19 balls remaining

For more than half the game, Ireland held out hope of achieving a famous series win. But a formidable attack from Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman, who put on a 140-run partnership off 78 balls for the third wicket, helped Pakistan win the second T20I in Dublin with seven wickets and 19 balls to spare. Fakhar scored 78 off 40, while Rizwan remained unbeaten on 75 off 46, as Azam Khan closed out the match with a flurry of sixes to level the series 1–1.

Zaman joined Rizwan after the openers were out cheaply. Saim Ayub's dry run continued, with the third ball being a diving catch by Curtis Campher, while Babar dismissed a harmless medium pace ball from Graham Hume in the next over, leaving Pakistan chasing the target of 194 for 2 runs. Out on 13 runs on the wicket.

But Rizwan, who has recently been demoted in favor of Ayub, displayed his value in the powerplay by combining dazzling slog sweeps with judicious placement. He carried the bulk of the run-scoring until Zaman went to bed. Zaman sent Craig Young to square leg in the fifth over, and apart from a few costly drops, Pakistan faced no trouble.

There was a slight slowdown after the seventh over, but Ireland's lack of ability to push forward put Pakistan in a strong position. It was the 13th over when the game completely slipped away from Ireland as Pakistan conceded 21 runs off Young, causing the asking rate to drop from 10 to 8.4. Even after Zaman's dismissal, there was still time for Azam to play a stormy innings of 30 runs in 10 balls.

The biggest concern was another inconsistent bowling performance after Pakistan failed to defend 183 runs in the first T20I. Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Amir were expensive and Pakistan were unable to stop Ireland in the powerplay. Lorcan Tucker's 51 from 34 balls dominated the first half of Ireland's innings, while Campher punished Shaheen once again in the middle overs. Each of the hosts' top seven batsmen scored double figures, and all but two achieved a strike rate of 150 or more, resulting in a first-innings score Pakistan's bowlers will look to allow on this surface. Are very good for.

Shaheen, Aamir attack top and tail

Shaheen Afridi is famous for being lethal with the new ball, while Aamir is known for his variations in the death overs. The left-arm pace duo opened the bowling as well as closed it out and punished themselves at each stage. Shaheen was among the wickets, but that did not save him from the onslaught as Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling were on the attack in the powerplay. Shaheen himself got a reprieve when he dismissed both players in his second over, but he learned no lesson from bowling to Campher in the first game.

In the 15th over, Shaheen bowled to Campher's body and kept it up fine leg, but hit a four and a six. A late decision to push the fielder back allowed Campher to anticipate a fuller delivery, driving it beautifully past cover for another six, before hitting a boundary to complete the over for 21 runs. .

Gareth Delany punished Afridi and Amir as Ireland reached 190 with the loss of 29 runs in the last two overs. The pair finished with combined figures of 8-0-93-4.

Pakistan's spinners pulled Ireland back

After Ireland reached 68 for 2 in seven overs, Pakistan turned to spin with field spreads. This is where Imad Wasim is adept at slowing down the opposition. Harry Tector struggled for rhythm and was pushed by Lorcan Tucker. He showed little ambition against the part-time bowler Ayub as Ireland scored 16 runs from three overs and Pakistan regained some control.

Hume's double fallacy

Hume's day had started quite well. He removed Babar in the second over as Ireland's defence, but then made two costly mistakes when Rizwan and Zaman were on pace. He trapped Rizwan at deep midwicket on the last ball of the powerplay and then edged Zaman at fine leg five balls later. Ireland had let their bid for a historic series win slip away, and Rizwan and Zaman's century partnership took the series to a decider on Tuesday.

Daniel Rasool is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @danny61000


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