PAK vs IRE: Pakistan have ‘flattest pitches’ in the world, says Ireland skipper

Babar Azam-led unit was handed a five-wicket defeat in the first T20I

By Web Desk
May 11, 2024
Ireland skipper Paul Stirling. — Cricket Ireland

Ireland’s skipper Paul Stirling took a dig at Pakistan saying that the latter have the “flattest pitches” in the world after the home team defeated Babar Azam’s men by five wickets in the first T20I in Dublin.

Pakistan couldn’t defend the 183-run target as the home side chased it down with one ball to spare in the last over. Stirling opened up after the match and congratulated his team and called it a “perfect day”.

He also called the pitches in Pakistan “flattest” before stating that the plan was to ask them to bat first and see how much they could score here.

“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. We were happy to chase 180,” Stirling said after the match.

He also praised Andrew Balbirnie who was named the Player of the Match for scoring 77 on 55 balls and guided his side to an important win.

“Brilliant knock from Balbirnie, he got through the powerplay and picked up the pace later. It was a fantastic knock. We have had great games here especially against Pakistan. Absolutely delighted to get over the line,” Stirling added.

Earlier on Friday, despite a brilliant start while defending the 183-run target as Pakistan managed to get two wickets in the first five overs with Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi striking for them, the Green Shirts couldn’t stand against Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector.

Pakistan got a major breakthrough when Shaheen removed Balbirnie but Gareth Delany (10 on 6) and Curtis Campher (15 on 7) cruised the home side to victory.

Batting first, Pakistan posted 182/6 as skipper Babar Azam starred with 57 off 43 balls while Saim Ayub made 29-ball 45. Iftikhar Ahmed chipped in with 15-ball 37*.

The Men in Green lost Mohammad Rizwan (1) early in the innings. Babar paired with Saim to provide stability to the innings with an 85-run stand.

Pakistan struggled for a bit where they lost four wickets for 31 runs but Iftikhar covered the runs at the backend.

He smoked 15-ball 37, powered by three fours and as many sixes. Shaheen Shah Afridi also remained unbeaten, scoring 13 runs from 7 deliveries, hitting two sixes, with a strike rate of 185.71.