Paul Stirling credited Ireland’s historic win over Pakistan to their strategy of exploiting the flat pitches, suggesting that inviting Pakistan to bat first allowed them to assess the target.

Ireland began their three-match T20I series against Pakistan on a high note, securing a five-wicket victory in the series opener at Castle Avenue in Dublin on May 10. The win provided a boost for the Irish team ahead of their upcoming clash with Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in June.

Pakistan batted first after losing the toss. Despite a steady innings of 57 off 43 balls by captain Babar Azam and a quick 45 off 29 balls from Saim Ayub, they managed only 182/6 in their 20 overs due to disciplined bowling by Ireland, notably Craig Young and Joseph Delany.

In response, Ireland faced early trouble at 27/2 but recovered thanks to a brilliant 77 off 55 balls by Andrew Balbirnie. Contributions from Harry Tector (36 off 27), George Dockrell (24 off 12), and others guided Ireland to a historic five-wicket victory with one over to spare.

After the match, captain Paul Stirling attributed the victory to their strategy, highlighting how Pakistan’s flat pitches influenced their decision to invite the visitors to bat first. Stirling also expressed satisfaction with chasing down Pakistan’s target of 180 runs, despite conceding a few extra runs.

“We are absolutely delighted, we wanted to start the summer off well and it was almost a perfect day for us. When you come here, especially from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world, ask them to bat first and see what they can get. 170 was OK but we leaked a few, but we were happy to chase 180,” Stirling said.

Stirling further hailed Balbirnie’s innings, praising his ability to control the chase effectively. He highlighted Balbirnie’s timing and described it as a fantastic knock, emphasizing Ireland’s strong performances against Pakistan at home.

With the series opener win, Ireland takes a 1-0 lead, putting pressure on Pakistan to bounce back in the second T20I, scheduled for Sunday at the same ground.

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Last Updated on May 11, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter