Ireland knocked out by Pakistan

Published: Sunday 15th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Ireland were knocked out of the cricket World Cup as Pakistan cruised to a seven-wicket win at the Adelaide Oval.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s unbeaten 101 condemned Ireland to an early exit despite an impressive showing in Pool B where they won three games. They go out after West Indies’ win over the United Arab Emirates gave them a better net run-rate.

Despite William Porterfield’s maiden World Cup century, Ireland could only make 237 as they were bowled out in 50 overs and that total failed to trouble the Pakistan batsmen, with Sarfraz and Ahmed Shehzad leading the way with an opening partnership of 120, before Umar Akmal hit the winning runs in the 47th over.

After winning the toss, Ireland made an uncertain start to the innings with Porterfield’s partner, Paul Stirling, falling leg before for just three.

Ed Joyce (11) and Niall O’Brien (12) each fell cheaply as the Irish skipper calmly batted on at his own pace.

Andrew Balbirnie, who enjoyed a good tournament, shared a partnership of 48 for the fourth wicket but could not get going and fell to the part-time bowling of Haris Sohail to leave Ireland 136 for four after 30 overs.

Porterfield reached Ireland’s second century of the tournament from 124 balls, with 10 fours and a six and looked well-placed to see his side to a daunting first innings total in what was effectively a play-off for a quarter-final spot.

The left-handed opener was finally dismissed by the impressive Sohail Khan for 107 in the batting powerplay, and his wicket derailed the innings when the acceleration was due.

Gary Wilson hung around for 29, but again the lower-order failed to offer any support to him or Kevin O’Brien as Wahab Riaz steamed in to clean up the tail and finish with figures of three for 54 from his 10 overs.

The new-look opening combination of Sarfraz and Shehzad oozed class as they cruised to a century partnership in the 19th over.

Sarfraz proved to be an effective foil for his partner, rotating the strike with ease, with Shehzad the more aggressive of the two before he played one shot too many and top-edged a pull to give Stuart Thompson the breakthrough.

Sarfraz misjudged a run shortly after to leave Sohail stranded and run out for just three to give Ireland hope, but Misbah-ul-Haq calmed things down with a typically measured 39.

He trod on his own stumps with 30 needed, but Akmal accompanied Sarfraz to his maiden one-day international century which saw Pakistan through to the next round of the competition.

Published: Sunday 15th March 2015 by The News Editor

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