In the ongoing ICC U19 World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa, Pakistan secured a thrilling three-wicket victory over Ireland in their first Super Six match. Opting to bowl first, Pakistan’s bowlers put up a disciplined performance, restricting Ireland to 180 runs. Despite a challenging chase, Saad Baig and his teammates successfully chased down the target in 43.4 overs.
In the initial five overs, Ireland struggled against Pakistan’s bowlers, managing to advance at only one run per over. The pressure eventually led to a breakthrough as Jordan Neill was dismissed by Ubaid Shah. Neill’s attempt at a pull shot resulted in a top edge straight to Ubaid.
Subsequently, Ireland’s innings lost stability during the first half of the second powerplay, with five wickets falling for just 50 runs. Ali Raza, Ahmad Hassan, and Amir Hassan each claimed a wicket, while Ubaid secured his second breakthrough in the 24th over.
Despite a resilient 53 from John McNally, Ireland struggled to accelerate during the final Powerplay and was eventually bowled out by the 49th over. Ubaid emerged as Pakistan’s standout performer with figures of 3/31.
In response, Pakistan’s openers made a positive start, scoring at a rate of approximately five runs per over. However, Reuben Wilson managed to dismiss Shahzaib Khan, Pakistan’s top run-scorer in the tournament. Ollie Riley then removed Shamyl Hossain in the following over.
Azan Awais and Saad Baig rebuilt the innings cautiously, adding 63 runs for the fourth wicket. However, Ireland’s Reuben Wilson struck again, dismissing Awais. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Ahmad Hassan and Haroon Arshad mounted a solid partnership for the sixth wicket, bringing Pakistan closer to victory.
Ahmad Hassan’s unbeaten 57 off 72 balls eventually guided Pakistan to victory in the 44th over. Pakistan will now face Bangladesh in their second and final Super Six match on February 3.