Pakistan has convincingly beaten Ireland to qualify for the knockout stage of Cricket World Cup 2015. Ireland batted first and made 237 runs. Pakistan had to chase 238 runs in 50 overs.
Start of Ireland was not very good but William Porterfield came to the aid of his team and scored a brilliant 100 to carry his team to a respectable total. When he was at the crease, 270 runs seemed on the board but once he departed on 107 runs from 131 balls, the rest of the team fell apart.
Wahab Riaz bowled superb once again and took 3 wickets for 54 runs. He has moved to 6th position in the top wicket takers list of this world cup. He has taken 14 wickets in this world cup till yet. Sohail Khan took 2 wickets for 44 runs. Shahid Afridi once again went wicket-less but he was economical as he gave away only 38 runs in his 10 overs quota. Umar Akmal took 4 catches in the field.
In reply to Ireland’s total of 237, Pakistan started slowly but Sarfaraz and Ahmed Shehzad took on the Irish bowling and both scored brilliant fifties. They gave Pakistan their first 100 runs opening stand as well. Before this match, Pakistani openers added only 52 runs in total in 5 matches they played in this world cup.
Ahmed Shehzad was dismissed for 63 runs only in 71 balls while Haris Sohail was run out cheaply for 3 runs off 7 balls. Misbah Ul Haq made 39 runs in 46 balls. He has made 5 fifty plus scores in his last 10 One Day Internationals. In the last 3 matches he has scored 3 consecutive fifty plus scores. He is the only batsman of Pakistan in the top 10 scoring batsmen of this world cup. He was unfortunate to get out in an unusual manner. He was out hit wicket.
Pakistan chased down the target in 46.1 overs for the loss of just 3 wickets. Sarfaraz Ahmad was the top scorer as he scored 101 runs in 124 balls. Man of the match award was given to Sarfaraz Ahmad for his brilliant batting performance. Sarfaraz Ahmad has become the first Pakistani batsman to score a century in this world cup. This was Sarfaraz Ahmed’s first ever ODI hundred as well. Umar Akmal remained not out on 20 runs from 29 balls.
Pakistan will take on Australia in the Quarter Final on Friday, 20th of March 2015 in Adelaide Oval. It has been a tremendous come back from Pakistan in the tournament as after losing first two matches, they were likely not to qualify to the knock out stage of the tournament but they held their nerves and won their last four matches to qualify for the quarter final.
Imran Khan, former and only world cup winning captain of Pakistan has predicted that if Pakistan can manage to defeat Australia in quarter final, there is no stopping them from becoming the world champions.