Pakistan battle to down Ireland

2013-05-27 07:59
Kamran Akmal (AFP)

Dublin - Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz led the Pakistan fightback as the tourists secured a two-wicket victory in the second one-day international against Ireland in Clontarf on Sunday.

Set 230 for victory, Pakistan slumped to 133 for seven at the end of the 37th over but Akmal, with a classy 81 from 85 balls and Riaz, with a hard-hitting 47 from just 35, with eight boundaries took the game away from Ireland in a stunning partnership of 93 in 62 balls.

Akmal, named man of the match, was out with four needed for victory, but by then Pakistan finished the job with two wickets and eight balls left.

A superb new ball spell by Trent Johnston and Middlesex's Tim Murtagh reduced Pakistan to 17 for four in the 10th over, but Misbah-ul-Haq (24) and Shoaib Malik (42) started the recovery.

The loss of Malik, leg before to the impressive George Dockrell, was quickly followed by a superb catch in the covers by Kevin O'Brien to dismiss Abdur Rehman and at that moment even the Pakistan contingent in the crowd expected an Ireland win.

But while Akmal and Riaz kept their heads, the Ireland bowlers panicked, the four-balls became more frequent and the experienced batmen didn't miss out.

Earlier, Ed Joyce scored his first one-day international hundred for Ireland in Ireland's 229 for nine in conditions much improved on the cold and wet weather the teams experienced in the thrilling tie on Thursday.

Joyce came to the middle in the first over after Paul Stirling, the Ireland century-maker in the first game, was caught off a mistimed pull at mid-wicket for a duck and the Sussex captain stayed for the remainder of the innings, finishing on 116 from 132 balls with 12 fours and a six.

He gave one chance, on 61, in the first over of the powerplay, to Mohammad Hafeez at backward point, a juggling effort which should have been held, and he and Kevin O'Brien made Pakistan pay scoring 53 in the next five overs.

O'Brien's innings was cut short on 38 by Rehman, one of three changes to the Pakistan team from the first game.

Out went the world's leading one-day bowler Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil, an in came Riaz, Asad Ali and Rehman.

Asad Ali made an immediate impression when he had Ireland captain William Porterfield caught behind in his second over for one and Riaz also got among the wickets when Niall O'Brien also gave a catch to wicket-keeper Akmal for 29.

Rehman was the pick of the bowlers with four for 48 from his 10 overs ripping through the middle order.

Murtagh stayed with Joyce to add 33 for the ninth wicket, but in the end it wasn't enough and Ireland are still waiting on their first home win over a major Test nation.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  wahab riaz  |  cricket

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