By Rex Clementine

Pakistan’s World Cup campaign never had momentum after they lost a super-over thriller to the United States. Having been beaten by arch-rivals India in front of 35,000 fans in New York in another epic encounter, the former world champions were knocked out as US and India went through to the second round. Against Ireland, they were playing for pride and were really tested as they lost seven wickets in pursuit of a target of 107 and eventually got home with seven balls to spare.

Ireland themselves finished off a disappointing competition not being able to win a game. They were beaten by even Canada.

Florida had a miserable time with the first three games they were hosting washed out due to inclement weather. Floods in Florida had brought life to a standstill, but even when it stopped raining, the game couldn’t go on as the outfield was wet.

Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Amir sharing the new ball bowled some unplayable deliveries to finish with five wickets between them as Ireland were 32 for six inside the Power Play. Then, Imad Wasim polished off the tail with three wickets in his four overs that cost just eight runs.

The drop in pitches in the United States had tested batting units and Pakistan had a challenging task chasing down the target.

Saim Ayub was opening the batting with Mohammad Rizwan instead of Babar Azam. Both openers made 17 each but it was a struggle for rest of the batters who contributed very little.

Captain Babar had to put up a bold face and stitch some partnerships with the tail to see Pakistan over the line. Babar finished unbeaten on 32. If not for lower order resistance from Abbad Afridi (17) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (13) this could have ended up embarrassment for Pakistan.