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http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/5/24/pakistan-and-ireland-tie-in-dublin

Pakistan, Ireland tie in Dublin

UPDATED 24 May, 2013 12:01PM AEDT | by Omnisport

Pakistan and Ireland played out a thrilling tie in the first one-day international at the Clontarf Cricket Club Ground, Dublin on Thursday.

A knock of 84 from Asad Shafiq and Mohammed Afeez's 122 not out set the tone for the tourists, as they posted 266 in an innings reduced to 47 overs by rain.

The weather interruption left Ireland needing 276 to win by virtue of the Duckworth-Lewis method, a target which looked all the more attainable throughout Paul Stirling's innings.

The 22-year-old provided 103 runs for the hosts' cause before edging to Umar Afin, but was succeeded at the crease by Kevin O'Brien, who was in equally imperious form.

The red-haired batsman's knock of 84 - including 12 runs in the final over - ensured his country enjoyed a happy end to an incredible game.

Ireland took the initiative early on in the match following a rain break in the sixth over, and were helped in that regard by the retirement of opener Nasir Jamshed due to a back injury in the ninth.

As a result, Pakistan could only take 32 runs from their first 12 overs before Imran Farhat was dismissed in the 13th, having contributed just nine.

Hafeez had arrived at the crease following Jamshed's injury, and the right-hander began his innings by claiming singles with ease.

But when Shafiq replaced Farhat the tone of the game changed, with the 27-year-old and Hafeez exchanging boundaries to noticeably pick up the pace.

Their impressive stand was not ended until the 43rd over, when Shafiq clipped the ball into the grateful hands of Trent Johnston while bidding for another six to see his knock end at 84 runs.

And the Pakistan innings came to an end after Misbah-ul-Haq was run out for zero and Kamran Akmal was dismissed for 13, though Hafeez (122) remained unmoved, having helped his side to 266 runs.

Knowing that they required an adjusted 276 to win, Ireland made a solid start to their reply grabbing 58 runs from the first 12 overs.

But Shafiq and Hafeez, who had made the hosts toil for so long with the bat, then combined to dismiss opener William Porterfield in the 13th.

Porterfield in truth played a poor shot from Hafeez's delivery, making Shafiq the lucky recipient of a simple catch at mid-wicket.

That dismissal brought Ed Joyce to the crease, and the former England man was to play a fine supporting role as Stirling piled on the runs to put Ireland in a strong position.

Though the pair were eventually accounted for within three overs of each other for 32 and 103 runs respectively, Kevin O'Brien's introduction began the journey towards a sensational conclusion.

The 29-year-old, who had earlier taken two Pakistan wickets, had little help from Gary Wilson (11) and Niall O'Brien (4) but did not seem to need it as he racked up the score.

Yet despite the scoring flurry from Kevin O'Brien, he and batting partner Johnston required an improbable 15 runs from the final over of the notoriously tricky Saeed Ajmal to win.

But Johnston's two combined with 12 from Kevin O'Brien - including one six and a final-ball four - ensured Ireland secured a deserved tie from a fabulous game.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 24 May, 2013 11:59AM AEDT

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