T20 World Cup: Pakistan sign off with nervy win over Ireland

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam hits a shot during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between Pakistan and Ireland at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. Photo: AFP/ Chandan Khanna

Captain Babar Azam guided Pakistan through a nervy chase as they ended their T20 World Cup campaign with a three-wicket win over Ireland on Sunday in the last Group A match, a dead rubber after both teams were already eliminated.

Pakistan finished third in the five-team group with four points after losing to India and the United States, who progressed to the Super Eight stage. Ireland finished bottom with one point, ending their campaign without a win.

After Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl, Shaheen Afridi (3-22) dismissed Andrew Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker in the first over while skipper Paul Stirling and George Dockrell fell to Mohammad Amir (2-11), leaving Ireland reeling at 28-5 in the sixth over.

Gareth Delany (31 off 19 balls) helped stabilise Ireland's innings but fell to Imad Wasim (3-8) before an unbeaten last-wicket partnership of 26 runs between Joshua Little (22 not out) and Benjamin White (5 not out) got them to 106-9.

After Pakistan openers Mohammed Rizwan and Saim Ayub (both 17) fell during the powerplay, Barry McCarthy (3-15) dismissed Usman Khan and Shadab Khan in the same over, leaving Pakistan looking shaky at 57-5.

But Azam (32 not out) anchored the innings and Pakistan chased down the target with seven balls to spare, as Lauderhill's Central Broward Park stadium finally saw a match completed after three of its previous games were washed out.

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