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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020
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Amazing rearguard action saves Pakistan after Irish battle at Clontarf

Ed Joyce cracked a century for the underdog Irish against the former One Day world champions.

Ireland's Tim Murtagh, James Shannon and Trent Johnston celebrate a wicket.
Ireland's Tim Murtagh, James Shannon and Trent Johnston celebrate a wicket.
Image: ©INPHO/Kieran Murray

IRELAND LOOKED SET to record a stunning One Day Series victory over Pakistan only for an amazing rearguard action to save the day for the tourists.

Pakistan were reeling at one stage of the one day match in Clontarf but wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal (81) and Wahab Riaz (47) combined to bludgeon their team back into the match. Ireland were forlorn at the close of the game and will be bitterly aware of how close they came to defeating the former world champions.

Kevin O’Brien, who batted superbly to earn Ireland a tie in the first One Day International on Thursday, took four wickets but was unable, like Paul Stirling and Alex Cusack, to stem the late flow of runs from the visitors.

Riaz clattered four sixes to all sides of the ground in a display of unorthodox and brave batting. When Akmal went, late in the piece, to an ungainly hoick, Riaz calmly steered the ship home to avoid a huge upset.

Earlier in the day, Ed Joyce struck a superb, unbeaten 116 to guide Ireland to a competitive total of 229. Joyce hit 12 fours and a six in 132 balls with only Niall O’Brien (29) and brother Kevin (38) offering any meaningful support.

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Ed Joyce salutes the crowd after reaching his century. (©INPHO/Kieran Murray)

229 looked like it may be plenty when Pakistan slipped to 17/4 at one stage of their inninings but Akmal and Riaz held their nerve to prevent a defeat that would have reverberated around the cricketing world.

The winning margin, in the end, was one wicket as Pakistan finished on 230/9.

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Patrick McCarry

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