Pakistan beat Ireland in a close encounter in their final match of the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup in Florida today (June 16), securing a third place finish in Group A and leaving Ireland winless in the competition.

In a low-scoring thriller, Pakistan faltered in their chase of 107 before just getting over the line in the penultimate over. Shaheen Shah Afridi scored the winning runs with two sixes in the over, in an all-round performance which earned him the Player of the Match award.

The match didn’t start off well for Ireland when they lost three wickets inside the first two overs. Afridi struck twice in three balls in his opening over of the match before following up with another in his second, leaving Ireland 15-4 with Mohammad Amir dismissing Paul Stirling. Their situation got even worse when George Dockrell was dismissed inside the powerplay and Curtis Campher fell in the sixth over to leave them 32-6. 

At that point, Pakistan were eying up bowling Ireland out for the lowest score of any opposition against them in a men’s T20 World Cup (Netherlands 91-9, 2022). However, a 44-run partnership between Mark Adair and Gary Delany took Ireland to 76-7 before they lost their next wicket, Imad Wasim getting into the wickets column. 


Imad’s second wicket came when Mark Adair holed out to Shaheen in the deep, despite a nasty collision between Shaheen and Usman Khan. At 79-8, the record was still on, but an 18-run 22 from Josh Little pushed Ireland up past 100, and stopped them from being bowled out. They finished on 106-9, Ireland’s third-lowest score from a completed innings in a men’s T20 World Cup. 

Pakistan lost two wickets in their powerplay during the chase. Saim Ayub was caught behind off Adair for 17 before Mohammad Rizwan skied a ball from Barry McCarthy for the same score. Usman, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim then all fell in consecutive overs, with Babar Azam helpless at the other end. 

The chase came to a climax in chaotic fashion, with three umpire reviews in the space of seven balls before Abbas Afridi holed out to long on - Babar visibly frustrated at the reckless shot selection with only 12 runs needed and two overs to go. That wicket left Pakistan seven down with Shaheen the new batter.

Facing up to Delany off just his third ball, Shaheen effectively ended the chase with a massive wallop over long-on to take the equation down to four from ten. He was dropped by Stirling off the next ball, before whacking yet another six to finish the game with three wickets to spare.

The result was Pakistan’s second smallest victory margin in terms of wickets in a men’s T20 World Cup, their lowest being two wickets against South Africa in 2012. It was also Ireland’s second narrowest losing margin in the men’s T20 World Cup, having lost by two wickets to Oman in 2016.