Ajmal, Gul give Pakistan an easy win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Ireland v Pakistan
Player:WB Rankin, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Kamran Akmal
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 15th June 2009


Pakistan's strong bowling line-up again proved why they are currently rated as one of the best in the world. The bowlers were so efficient that Ireland, a side which had earlier knocked Bangladesh out of the tournament and had scared Sri Lanka on Sunday, never looked like chasing 160. They finally fell short by 39 runs.


Ireland lost their first wicket in the third over at a team score of 13. Niall O'Brien (7 off 10 balls) fell to a short one from Mohammad Aamer.


Then Paul Stirling and skipper William Porterfield (40 off 36 balls) added 24 runs for the second wicket before Shahid Afridi again did something which has become so predictable of him these days. He cleaned up Stirling and in the process again picked up a wicket in his first over. The right-hander had started to look settled having scored 17 off 16 balls.


Then came the big one between the skipper and Kevin O'Brien. The duo added 45 runs and though the run rate at which they scored never threatened, they did look as if they had the ability to surprise. Saeed Ajmal though had other ideas. He bowled a quicker one and Porterfield chipped it straight to Younis Khan.


Then the same script unfolded as Umar Gul from one end and spinners from the other, created a web around the Irish batsmen. Something the inexperienced outfit was not able to fathom. It almost became a procession as one after the other, Irish batsmen started to walk back to the dug-out, most of them clean bowled.


Earlier, having won the toss and electing to bat Pakistan, courtesy their openers, again started off well. The batsmen started cautiously as Boyd Rankin was on all the good places to start off. His new ball partner Trent Johnston though was adamant on spoiling his partner’s efforts. Johnston gave away 29 runs in his first two overs as on the other end, Rankin had just given away seven from his first three.


The Irish finally tasted success in the last over of the powerplay when Shahzaib Hasan fell to Alex Cusack. Cusack bowled a length delivery around the off-stump and Shahzaib leaned forward trying to scoop it over mid-off but couldn't clear the fielder positioned there.


In a surprise move, Afridi (24 off 13 balls) entered the arena and he alongside Kamran Akmal continued the carnage. He looked good for his brief stay at the wicket but Kyle McCallan got the better of him as he was lured by the flight of a ball that was slower than he thought.


Then Younis Khan also got out for a personal score of 10. At this stage with Pakistan going at a rate of less than eight and having lost three wickets looked to be in a little spot of bother. But Akmal (57 off 51 balls) was playing well. He finally fell cleaned up by Johnston.


Post that some lusty hitting by Abdul Razzaq at the end (15 off 9 balls) made sure the team reach a competitive total.