Pak Crush Ireland In First ODI By 7 WicketsBelfatst, May 29: Junaid Khan took four wickets for just 12 runs, spinner Saeed Ajmal chipped in with 3-6 and Mohammad Hafeez hit a half-century as Pakistan romped to a seven-wicket victory over Ireland in
Belfatst, May 29: Junaid Khan took four wickets for just 12 runs, spinner Saeed Ajmal chipped in with 3-6 and Mohammad Hafeez hit a half-century as Pakistan romped to a seven-wicket victory over Ireland in their one-day international on Saturday.
Earlier, Pakistan's bowlers skittled Ireland out for 96 in only 20 overs and the tourists eased to 97-3 in the 28th over to secure victory in a rain-affected match.
Paul Stirling top-scored for the hosts with 39 after play had been delayed by more than three hours due to morning rain.
But after Stirling became Junaid's first victim, the wickets fell at regular intervals to leave Ireland vulnerable in a match reduced to 36 overs-a-side. Hafeez, with 52, and Taufeeq Umar (23) ensured there would be no upset.
Junaid Khan ensured Ireland came back down to earth after their World Cup exploits as the hosts were bowled out for just 96 in the first one-day international here Saturday.
Left-arm paceman Junaid, in only his fifth match at this level, made light of the cold and blustery conditions at Stormont to take four wickets for 12 runs in five overs before off-spinner Saeed Ajmal polished off the tail with three for seven in three.
Ireland, who at the World Cup defeated old rivals England in Bangalore, were dismissed in a mere 20 overs. Rain, which had reduced what should have been a 50 overs per side contest to 38 before a ball had been bowled, returned to cut the match to 36.
At the interruption, Ireland were in trouble at 76 for six and it would have been even worse but for a whirlwind 39 from 22 balls by Paul Stirling. The Middlesex opener hit seven fours and a six, including 19 off Tanvir Ahmed which took him out of the attack.
But when he was out, skying Junaid into the covers in the sixth over, his team-mates folded with virtually no resistance. Ireland captain William Porterfield gave up his opening slot to Ed Joyce but it suited neither of the county cricketers as both were caught behind for an aggregate of five runs.
Apart from Stirling, only Gary Wilson (11) and Kevin O'Brien (15), the hero against England with the fastest-ever World Cup century, reached double figures. Such was Pakistan's dominance, even Younis Khan was given a rare bowl by his new one-day captaiin, Misbah-ul-Haq.
He got among the wickets when he had John Mooney caught in the gully but at that stage Pakistan were well on their way to taking a decisive lead in this two-match series.Duckworth/Lewis method for rain-affected matches helped their cause even more, setting Pakistan a revised victory target of 95 in 36 overs.
Rain had delayed the start of the first of a two-match series in what is also Ireland's first game since the World Cup, where they beat England and Pakistan reached the semi-finals. The match has been shortened to 41 overs a side because of the rain.
Ireland: E Joyce, P Stirling, W Porterfield (captain), A Cusack, G Wilson, K O'Brien, A White, J Mooney, T Johnston, N Jones, B Rankin
Pakistan: Mohammad Hameez, Taufeeq Umar, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Salman, Tanvir Ahmed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan
Umpires: Ian Gould (ENG), Mark Hawthorne (IRL) Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)