U19 WC: Pakistan thrash Ireland by three wickets

Potchefstroom, (UNI) Pakistan defeated Ireland by three wickets in a Super Six match of the U19 World Cup here on Tuesday.

Disciplined work from Pakistan bowlers meant that Ireland crept at a run rate of one for the first five overs. This pressure yielded a wicket, as Ubaid Shah had Jordan Neill caught off his bowling. The batsmen tried to pull but the ball reached him earlier than he had anticipated, and a top edge went straight to Ubaid.

Ireland’s innings lost its balance in the first half of the second Powerplay. They lost five wickets for merely 50 runs. All of the batsmen fell while trying to seize the initiative away from Pakistan. Ali Raza, Ahmad Hassan and Amir Hassan picked a wicket apiece, while Ubaid had a second breakthrough in the 24th over.

Ireland had their first proper partnership of the game when John McNally and Harry Dyer came together for the seventh wicket. By the time Dyer perished to Haroon Arshad in the 37th over, the duo had put together 65 runs, which was two more than the effort of first six wickets combined. Ireland were still far away from a fighting total and needed a late push.

Despite McNally’s fighting 53, Ireland couldn’t up the ante in the last Powerplay. They were bowled out by the 49th over. Ubaid was once again Pakistan’s star with 3/31.

Pakistan openers were off to a characteristic positive start going at about five an over before Reuben Wilson struck. The pacer had the big scalp of Shahzaib Khan, Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in the tournament when the batter tried to cut the ball but edged one to slip. Ollie Riley got the other opener in the next over. Shamyl Hossain mistimed a pull and ended up lofting the ball in the air, straight back to the keeper.

Azan Awais and Saad Baig began a reconstruction job. The duo moved the chase ahead without taking too many risks. They hit merely five fours between them during their stay at the crease. Awais’s vigilance was broken when he missed one from Dryer, and was trapped leg before.

Dryer struck again in the form of Saad Baig’s wicket to leave Pakistan four down for 78. Ubaid Shah was promoted up the order and sent in to partner Ahmad Hassan. The experiment didn’t work as Ubaid fell for eight. Ahmad Hassan and Haroon Arshad fought back with a solid sixth wicket stand. They added 63 runs from 75 balls to bring Pakistan on the brink of a win. Despite losing Arshad at 159, Pakistan managed to cross the line by the 44th over.

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