About the Match
Ireland is proud of its achievements so far standing 4th on the table with 6 points and they are just 2 points away to ensure a berth in the quarter-finals; they will be eager to do so when they face Pakistan on 15th March at Adelaide. Pakistan too has 6 points from 5 matches but their higher NRR places them 3rd in group B and an assured place in the quarter-finals; however, they will definitely want to go ahead with a win here. It will be interesting to see the two sides in different shades of green fighting out on Sunday with one of them trying to keep their world cup hopes alive.
It’s been a dream run with 3 wins so far and they are very close to featuring in the world cup quarter-finals; while they lost to India by 8 wickets, their performance with bat and ball was good. Porterfield and Stirling have been in very good form, and they put up a 89-run opening stand against India; Niall O’Brien’s run-a-ball 75 once again proved the middle-order strength while Andy Balbirnie and Ed Joyce are strong assets to keep the scoreboard ticking. The 259 run target set by them was hardly enough against the Indian batting line-up; the bowlers weren’t sharp enough with only Thompson picking up 2 wickets and they need to do better in the game against Pakistan. Against Zimbabwe, Cusack claimed 4-32, Mooney and Kevin took 2 wickets each while Dockrell and McBrine claimed a wicket each to defend the 331-run target set by the batsmen and win the match by a close margin of 5 runs. Ed Joyce and Balbirnie had set a 138-run stand for the 3rd wicket against Zimbabwe, which had helped the team amass the big total; and they will be crucial for the match against Pakistan along with Porterfield and all-rounders like Kevin and Stirling, who will be eager to come out all guns blazing on Sunday.
It was an emphatic win against South Africa that has boosted their confidence and they will be eager to take on Ireland with full-force. While the batting can certainly improve on many fronts, Sarfraz Ahmed and Ahmed Shehzad look good to combine well as openers. Misabh-ul-Haq’s heroic 56 off 86 and Younis Khan’s return to form with 37 off 44 helped the team build the total to a decent 222, a target that was difficult to defend but the bowlers came through. Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali took 3 wickets each to demolish the Protean top order and ensured to seal a quarter-final berth. Sohail Khan struck to remove AB de Villiers, who looked dangerous in the slog overs, and with a little bit of luck Pakistan won the match by 29 runs D/L method. Although their campaign started with a poor note with big losses against India and West Indies, the players look confident enough to surge into the next stage with a big win here.
Although Ireland will fight till the very end and ensure to keep their hopes alive, Pakistan with their recent performance looks mighty hungry to move ahead with a morale-boosting win here.
Pakistan, 1.25 @ Bet365