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Iftikhar Ahmed ‘hopeful’ for Pakistan comeback in Ireland T20Is

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DUBLIN: All-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed pinned his hopes on Pakistan to stage a comeback in the ongoing three-match series against Ireland after succumbing to a shock loss in the series opener at Clontarf Cricket Club here on Friday.

In a video statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Iftikhar Ahmed acknowledged the team’s shortcomings in fielding, adding that they did not play at their full potential.

“When I came runs were needed and I played my natural game. The way our team is we didn’t perform to that level. We lacked in fielding, we dropped a catch and gave away a couple of boundaries as well,” stated Iftikhar.

“This is part of the game and we are hopeful that we will make a comeback in the series with two games remaining,” he added.

He then went on to express his confidence in the team’s ability to force a turnaround in the ongoing series against Ireland and win the England series to attain confidence before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

“With the quality our team has, we can make a comeback against Ireland. We will try to win our next series against England and take confidence into the upcoming T20 World Cup,” Iftikhar concluded.

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For the unversed, Iftikhar Ahmed played a brief yet effective cameo against Ireland and bolstered Pakistan’s total at the backend.

The right-handed batter smashed three fours and as many sixes on his way to an unbeaten 37 off just 15 deliveries.

His blazing knock powered Pakistan to a competitive total of 182/5 but the touring side yet ended up on the losing side as Ireland chased down the target with a ball to spare, at the back of Andy Balbirnie’s half-century.

Pakistan and Ireland next face each other in the second T20I of the three-match series at the same venue on Sunday.

READ: Paul Stirling’s remarks about Pakistan go viral after Ireland’s historic win

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