Pakistan snatch remarkable victory
May 26th 2013 by Cricket Ireland | International
A 93 run partnership in just 10 overs between Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz snatched victory for Pakistan in a thrilling encounter in the second RSA Insurance Series ODI at Clontarf Cricket Ground.
Ireland got off to the worst possible start losing Thursday’s centurion Paul Stirling, for a duck and then captain William Porterfield soon after. Ed Joyce and Kevin O’Brien both batted brilliantly and helped Ireland get up to a defendable total of 229. Ed Joyce finished with 116 not out, Kevin O’Brien made 38 and Ireland will be disappointed that apart from Niall O’Brien’s 29 no other Irish batsman made double figures.
Pakistan would have been happy to restrict Ireland to 229 given Ireland’s score after 40 overs of 176 for 4, Abdur Rehman’s left arm spin did most of the damage with 4 for 48 but Pakistani debutant Asad Ali was equally impressive with 1 for 22 off 10 overs.
It was simply a dream start to the second innings for Ireland with Tim Murtagh bowling his best spell in an Ireland shirt taking 2 for 13 off his first seven overs and he formed a great opening partnership with Trent Johnston, the veteran who claimed Farhat and Shafiq in a superb spell to reduce Pakistan to 17 for 4 after 10 overs.
Ireland sensed a win and when Pakistan were reduced to 133 for 7 after good spells from George Dockrell and Alex Cusack, it looked like the game was Ireland’s, but in came Wahab Riaz to join Kamran Akmal in a partnership that completely changed the game. Kamran Akmal at first and then Wahab Riaz were particularly brutal and hit twenty-one boundaries between them including six maximum’s in a ten-over blitz that all but sealed the win for Pakistan. Kevin O’Brien removed Akmal late on but with just 4 runs left to win despite some late nerves Pakistan won home by two wickets to scenes of great jubilation at a sold-out Clontarf Cricket Ground.
Kamran Akmal’s innings won him the RSA Man of the Match whilst Kevin O’Brien was a very worthy winner of the RSA Man of the Series award for his all-around performances over the two matches but it was Misbah Ul-Haq that raised the series trophy as Irish hearts were left broken.