Sarfraz Ahmed guides Pakistan into quarters

Sarfraz Ahmed prepares to sweep the ball AFP

Sarfraz Ahmed scored his maiden ODI hundred to steer Pakistan into the Quarter-finals, by comfortably beating their Irish opponents by seven wickets in Adelaide on Sunday.

Sarfraz' innings came after Ireland, buoyed by a hundred from their captain William Poterfield, scored a modest 238 in their innings.

Sarfraz and his opening-partner Ahmed Shehzad insured that Pakistan didn't lose an early wicket, as they set about the chase.

The duo added 120 runs for the first wicket, before Shehzad fell in the 23rd over for 63. Haris Sohail followed two-overs later and his departure brought Misbah-ul-Haq to the crease.

At the 30-over stage, Pakistan had scored 150 and looked good to score the remaining runs with ease. Misbah though departed in the 39th over for 39.

Sarfraz and Umar Akmal guided their side closer to the target. Sarfraz finally got to his hundred, which is also Pakistan's first of the tournament, in the 46th over, before Akmal added the finishing touches. Pakistan will play Australia in the Quarter-finals on March 20.

"Very happy," Sarfraz, the Man of the Match, said. "Even before the match, Waqar said we haven't scored a hundred so we must try and get the hundred. Very important win. It was do or die for us. The bowlers and the fielders did really well. You could see they were giving it their all in the do-or-die match."