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

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DUBLIN: Ireland’s T20I captain Paul Stirling took a dig at Pakistan cricket following his team’s historic victory in the first T20I of the three-match series at Clontarf Cricket Club here on Friday.

Speaking after the match, Stirling commented on his decision to Pakistan into bat after winning the coin toss and asserted that the touring nation have the ‘flattest pitches’ in the world.

“We are absolutely delighted. We wanted to start the summer off well and it was almost a perfect day for us. When you come here, especially from Pakistan, the flattest pitches in the world, ask them to bat first and see what they can get. We were happy to chase 180,” stated Stirling.

He further lauded opening batter Andy Balbirnie for his match-winning half-century, which earned him the Player of the Match award.

“Brilliant knock from Balbirnie, he got through the powerplay and picked up the pace later. It was a fantastic knock. We have had great games here especially against Pakistan. Absolutely delighted to get over the line,” Stirling said.

Put into bat first, Pakistan accumulated 182/5 in the allotted 20 overs, courtesy of Babar Azam’s anchoring half-century, followed by Iftikhar Ahmed’s late onslaught.

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Babar remained the top-scorer for Pakistan with a 43-ball 57, followed by young opener Saim Ayub, who scored 45. Whereas, Iftikhar bolstered the team total with an unbeaten cameo of 37.

Set to chase 183, Ireland amassed the total for the loss of five wickets and a ball to spare, at the back of a strong third-wicket partnership between Harry Tector and Balbirnie.

Balbirnie and Tector knitted an anchoring 77-run partnership for the third wicket to recover Ireland from a dismal start as Paul Stirling (8) and Lorcan Tucker (4) perished cheaply.

Tector perished in the 13th over after scoring 36 off 27 deliveries while Balbirnie carried his bat all the way through to the 19th over to put Ireland in touching distance.

He top-scored for Ireland with 77 off 55 deliveries, peppered with 10 boundaries and two sixes.

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

READ: Babar Azam reveals reasons behind Pakistan’s shock Ireland defeat

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