Shaheen Afridi shines with ball and bat as Pakistan beat spirited Ireland

While both sides were out of contention for the knockout stages, pride was still on the line when Pakistan faced Ireland in their final group stage encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The match at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, turned out to be a thrilling affair, with Pakistan ultimately emerging victorious by three wickets. However, the star of the show was undoubtedly Shaheen Afridi, whose brilliance with both bat and ball proved decisive for his team.

The 2024 T20 World Cup group stage witnessed a captivating contest between Pakistan and Ireland, even though neither team could progress further in the tournament. Pakistan, seeking their first win of the competition besides the one against Canada, came up against a spirited Irish side desperate to register their maiden victory. The match showcased high-quality bowling and tense chases, with Shaheen Afridi emerging as the pivotal figure for Pakistan.
A Festival of Fast Bowling: Early Wickets Set the Tone

The early stages of the match were dominated by some exceptional fast bowling from both sides.

Afridi Spearheads Pakistan’s Pace Attack

Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan’s young pace sensation, lived up to his reputation with a devastating opening spell. He removed both Irish openers, Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker, within his first over, showcasing his trademark swing and pace. Afridi continued his dominance, dismissing Harry Tector cheaply in his third over, leaving Ireland reeling at a precarious 15/4. Mohammad Amir, Pakistan’s experienced left-arm pacer, joined the party by removing the dangerous Paul Stirling, further restricting the Irish batting.

Ireland Show Fightback Through Lower Order

Despite losing wickets early on, Ireland displayed commendable resilience. Gareth Delany played a crucial knock of 31 runs, providing some much-needed stability to the middle order. The lower order also chipped in with valuable contributions. Josh Little, the young left-arm seamer, impressed with an unbeaten 22, while Ben White provided valuable support with an unbeaten 5. This spirited fightback from the tailenders helped Ireland post a respectable total of 106/9 on the board.

Pakistan’s Chase: A Test of Character

Pakistan’s chase in response to Ireland’s modest total started brightly, with openers Mohammad Rizwan and Saim Ayub getting off to decent starts. However, Ireland’s spin duo of Curtis Campher and George Dockrell applied pressure, removing both openers within quick succession. Fakhar Zaman’s dismissal by a substitute fielder further dented Pakistan’s progress, leaving them at 52/3 after eight overs.

Shaheen Afridi’s Cameo Proves Match-Winning

Just when Pakistan’s chase seemed to be faltering, Shaheen Afridi stepped up once again, this time with the bat. Promoted up the order due to the precarious situation, Afridi displayed remarkable composure and power-hitting skills. He smashed some crucial boundaries, including a towering six over long-on, to ease the pressure on the middle order. Afridi’s quickfire cameo of 22 runs from just 16 deliveries proved invaluable in guiding Pakistan towards victory.


Pakistan’s win over Ireland, secured with three wickets remaining, was a much-needed boost to their confidence after a disappointing group stage campaign. While the victory itself may not have been enough to qualify for the knockout stages, it highlighted the team’s fighting spirit and the exceptional talent of Shaheen Afridi. Afridi’s all-round performance, with three crucial wickets and a match-winning cameo with the bat, showcased his immense potential as a future leader of the Pakistan cricket team. The experience gained from this encounter will undoubtedly benefit Pakistan as they prepare for future challenges.

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