Ireland v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Dublin May 25, 2013

Dogged Ireland eye series win


Match facts

Sunday, May 26
Start time 1045 local (0945 GMT, 1445 PKT)

Big picture

The first ODI of the two-match series was another telling advertisement of what Ireland are capable of on a cricket field. The end result may have been a tie but Pakistan were biting their nails for the most part as Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling nearly pulled off a spectacular victory. With the second match becoming a virtual final, Ireland have a great chance to win the series and attract international attention. For Pakistan, it is a matter of pride; a loss here could dent their morale ahead of the Champions Trophy in England.

Traditionally, Pakistan's bowling has been their strength but Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Saeed Ajmal were expensive in the first ODI. The batting was far more solid, with Mohammad Hafeez vindicating a move to No.3 in the batting order. He scored his fifth ODI hundred - his first in 14 months. Asad Shafiq was equally impressive with an almost run-a-ball 84. Pakistan will need to raise their game quickly to defuse the Ireland threat.

Ireland are the best team among the Associate nations and once again impressed against an international side. The bowlers kept a stranglehold on Pakistan in the first 10 overs and the batsmen negotiated Ajmal with ease. Ireland's thirst to perform on the world stage is clear from O'Brien saying the result felt "like a loss."

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches only)
Ireland: TWWLW

Pakistan: TWLWL

Watch out for

Saeed Ajmal failed to defend 15 runs in the final 6 balls of the innings and conceded 71 runs in 10 overs as Ireland tied the first ODI after being behind for most part of the chase. Ajmal, though, is Pakistan's trump-card and has the experience to bounce back strongly.

Though he could not push Ireland across the line, Kevin O'Brien was at his belligerent best as he raced along at a strike rate close to 180. The right hander blasted 43 runs off 21 balls from Ajmal alone and his presence in the middle order poses a clear danger to Pakistan.

Team news

Ireland are expected to field an unchanged team.

Ireland (probable): 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wkt), 5 Gary Wilson, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Andrew White, 8 Alex Cusack, 9 Trent Johnston, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 George Dockrell

Pakistan are likely to make one change with Wahab Riaz being tipped to replace Ehsan Adil, who only bowled three overs in the first ODI.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Imran Farhat, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Umar Amin, 7 Kamran Akmal (wkt), 8 Saeed Ajmal, 9 Junaid Khan, 10 Mohammad Irfan, 11 Ehsan Adil/Wahab Riaz

Pitch and conditions

Though the weather is likely to remain cloudy, a full 50-over game is expected on Sunday.

Stats and travia

  • Ed Joyce needs 33 more to complete 1000 runs in ODIs.
  • Paul Stirling holds the record for the highest score by an Ireland batsman. The second highest belongs to Kevin O'Brien. Both players appear twice on the top ten list.
  • Mohammad Hafeez, who scored his fifth ODI century, last played at No.3 in February 2005
  • Hafeez needs one more wicket to complete 100 wickets in ODIs


"Full credit to Ireland. They needed almost ten runs an over for the last 12 overs but they batted well and we know we will have to improve our performance."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq

"We definitely feel we can win the series. We respect Pakistan, they are a great team but we have nothing to fear having come so close here."
Kevin O'Brien believes his team can win the series

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • uzair on May 26, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    give ireland test status their far more competitive than zimbabve or bangladesh.There are only 8 competitive test teams and we haven't added to that tally for a long time while ireland with the cricket they are playing are a strong candidate for the 9th spot

  • uzair on May 26, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    does this mean that abdur rahman is better than saeed ajmal because they were equally effective in UAE while a.rahman is has had a far more impact than saeed ajmal in ireland series and english county or is saeed ajmal just out of touch

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Imran Farhat should not be in team. Ireland os improving day by day and they should be encouraged. They should visit Pakistan, it will be good for them, Saeed Ajmal will comeback IA.

  • Cricket Fan on May 26, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Team Ireland is better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. They are equal to Westindies. Give them TEST STATUS then Players like EJG MORGAN and RANKIN will return to their country. Then they will be a rich team with strong players.

  • Mian Ahmad on May 26, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    icy weather in ireland is troubling Pakistan team at the moment,,, they will get better & better i believe,,,,,,its good to see hafeez batting at No 3... my playing XI k.akmal, jamshed, hafeez, asad, misbah, malik, amin, ajmal, junaid, irfan, ehsan/wahab

  • Kathy on May 26, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    This is one instance the weather is playing a large part in proceedings. It is freezing cold for the team....much harder to go from heat to cold than the other way around. Pakistan Team is good....frozen bodies finding it harder to move! They have to majorly toughen up mentally!

  • Avais on May 25, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Why, Misbah is persisnting with Adil ?, Oh, forgot, he is from Faisalbad too. Wahab Riaz is far better choice. With Hafeez finally agreed to bat at one drop and doing well, Kamran should open with Jamshed and they can play both Shoib Malik and Umar Amin. Umar Amin is useful 4-5 over bowler also.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Give the blokes Test-playing status; they deserve it.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Jamshed kamran hafeez asad misbha umar afreedii hamad Razzaq juneed rahat ajmal 10 ovr juneed 10 ovr rahat 10 over akmal 20 ovr afreedi razaq aur hafeez

  • MOHAMMED on May 25, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Ireland have a good chance to win the match and series as this Pakistan Side is the weakest side at present.

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