Ireland are having a miserable time of it this weekend on the sporting front, after their cricketers joined the national rugby union side in defeat, with a comprehensive seven-wicket loss in the end to Pakistan. Before the tournament had begun, Irish fans would have held out hope rather than a firm belief that they could make it out of the group stages, which would have given affirmation to their growing presence in world #Cricket. That the loss will be so hard felt by the side is testament to their progression and growing confidence as the matches have been played out, with their interest in the competition lasting longer than the more-favoured Test-playing nation of England.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Pakistan would still have been strong favourites in Adelaide, given their pedigree and improving form as their games have progressed, but they had much to thank Sarfraz Ahmed's century for in their successful run chase. That meant that the captain's knock by William Porterfield earlier in the day, another wonderful century, proved to ultimately be in a losing cause.

With the winners knowing that their place in the quarter-finals would be confirmed at the game's conclusion, Ireland decided to set the pace by batting first. After losing Paul Stirling early on with their score on just 11, it was not the ideal start, but his fellow opener Porterfield continued to flourish and keep the innings ticking along, despite seeing his side reduced to 86-3 at one point. He eventually fell on 107 to Sohail Khan, his first World Cup century and by far the class act in his side's slightly disappointing total of 237 all out from their 50 overs.

Advertisements

Wahab Riaz took 3-54 and Sohail 2-44, as Pakistan maintained their control over the Irish batting.

Chasing a relatively low score for the victory, by comparison to some of the 400 plus totals posted during this World Cup, Pakistan ensured a controlled chase with a century opening partnership between Sarfraz and Ahmed Shehzad. Sarfraz had been dropped on 37, but it was Shehzad who was dismissed with the score on 120-1, closely followed by the run out of Haris Sohail just six runs later. Irish hopes were raised at that point, but a third-wicket partnership of 82 put their rivals back in control again. Sarfraz batted right the way through to remain 101 not out at the end, as his side reached 241-3 in 46.1 overs.

For Ireland it has been a promising tournament, beating West Indies, Zimbabwe and UAE along the way and only failing to make the last-eight due to heavy defeats at the hands of South Africa and India. That reduced their run rate dramatically and was their ultimate downfall, as West Indies scraped through to the quarter-finals on the same points as the Irish, but having a vastly superior run rate.

Advertisements

Pakistan have been improving throughout their games, winning the last four fixtures in a row now, and will harbour hopes of springing a surprise on Australia when they face them in the quarter-finals on Friday. With the match being played at the same venue as for the Irish game, they may well be able to utilise that recent experience against the Aussies.