Sarfraz Ahmed scored his maiden One Day International ton to help Pakistan defeat Ireland by seven wickets in their 2015 ICC World Cup Pool B encounter in Adelaide on Sunday. This result sees Pakistan advance into the quater-finals where they will face Australia. After winning the toss and deciding to bat first the Irish got off to a slow start losing their first wicket of Paul Stirling (3) in the fourth over when the opener was trapped LBW by Ehsan Adil (1/31) with the score on 11.
Skipper William Porterfield was joined by Ed Joyce and together put on a useful partnership of 45 runs to get their side to 53/1 before Joyce was dismissed by Wahab Raiz (3/54). The skipper brought up his 12th half century as the Irish total reached 85/2. The skipper continued to play his gem of an innings as he watched his partners at the other end depart cheaply; Niall O’Brien for 12 and Andy Balbirnie for 18 with his side on 134/4.
Gary Wilson, the new man at the crease, joined the established Portfield and took the score to 179/4 with the captain converting his half century off 124 balls scoring 10 fours and one six. Porterfield was able to add a further six runs to his score before his captain’s innings came to and end off the bowling of Sohail Khan (2/44). Gary Wilson (29) departed two overs later followed by Stuart Thompson (12) and Kevin O’Brien (8) as the Emerald Island found themselves on 216/8.
John Mooney (13) and George Dockrell (11) managed to see them through to the final over before both departed with Ireland ending their 50 overs on 237 all out. In reply the Pakistanis made light work of their target getting the first 116 runs in the first 22 overs without losing a wicket. The openers Ahmed Shehzad and Ahmed put on the opening stand that got them off to a great start with both batsmen recording a half century each.
Shehzad (63) was the first wicket to fall when he got a top edge off a Thompson (1/59) ball straight to mid-on. Haris Sohail was the next man in however he only managed three runs before he too departed leaving the Green Shirts on 126/2 requiring a further 112 runs off 156 balls. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Ahmed put on a stand of 82 runs to take them to 207/2 before the skipper departed for 39 when he stepped back onto his stumps off a Alex Cusack (1/43) delivery.
Umar Akmal (20 not out) joined the established Sarfraz (101 not out) putting on a match winning partnership with the latter bringing up his maiden ton and Pakistan’s first at this World Cup to lead them over the line as they ran out winners by seven wickets and qualify for the knockout stages. The man of the match award went to Sarfraz Ahmed for his batting performance scoring 101 not out off 124 balls including six fours.