Babar and Rizwan lead Pakistan smash-and-grab T20 series win over Ireland

DUBLIN (AP) — Pakistan blew away Ireland by six wickets and won its Twenty20 series 2-1 on Tuesday.

The Pakistanis chased down 193 with 3.1 overs to spare on Sunday to level the series and had no problems overhauling Ireland’s 178 on Tuesday with three overs remaining.

Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan crushed the home bowling in a second-wicket stand of 139 runs.

Babar lashed 75 off 42 balls and Rizwan clobbered 56 off 38. They were out in consecutive overs on the verge of victory.

Successive sixes by Azam Khan wrapped it up 181-4 to 178-7.

“Big tournament coming up and this is good practice,” Babar said with the T20 World Cup next month.

Rizwan hardly saw the strike in the first three overs but once he lost his opening partner Saim Ayub, he opened up. Rizwan hit three sixes and four boundaries.

Babar struck four sixes in one Ben White over — the 14th — and finished with five maximums and six boundaries.

His 39th fifty-plus score broke Virat Kohli's record in T20s.

Ireland was looking good for eclipsing its Sunday total halfway through its innings.

Captain Lorcan Tucker and opener Andy Balbirnie blazed 85 runs for the second wicket. Balbirnie made 35.

Tucker hit 73 off 41 with 13 boundaries but when he was caught at deep extra cover, Ireland folded in the face of outstanding death bowling.

Shaheen Shah Afridi finished with 3-14 off four overs, Mohammad Amir contributed 1-32 and Imad Wasim was an economical 1-23.

Pakistan moves to England for a four-match T20 series starting on Tuesday.


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