Pakistan and Ireland await a damp finish in Florida


Ireland vs Pakistan
June 16, Lauderhill, Florida, 10:30am local time

Big picture: An end to two disappointing campaigns

There are parties you don’t want to be at, and parties the host doesn’t want you at. And then there are parties no one wants to be at.

Pakistan and Ireland find themselves in that last position, in extremely wet conditions in Lauderhill, Florida. They’ve both been eliminated from the T20 World Cup, and nothing that happens during their final group game on Sunday can change that. But it must be played, weather permitting, and so they will gear up for one more fixture that will have no impact on this tournament, and almost certainly no implications on qualification for the next one in 2026.
For Pakistan, it’s one more day in America before the players return to face the wrath of a nation whose anger has been bubbling up in the days following defeats to the USA and India. PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi is in an impregnable position, and is expected to ring the changes in the coming weeks, with Pakistan’s central contracts also up for review at the end of this month. Babar Azam’s side can do little to change the mood back home, though another defeat won’t help at all.
Ireland have also endured a disappointing tournament, especially since the build-up was promising. A home win over Pakistan and victory in a T20 tri-nation series in the Netherlands. But crumpling on a horror pitch in New York against India set the tone for a dismal campaign, with a defeat against Canada the nadir. While their qualification chances were theoretically alive before Lauderhill’s weather washed out their match against the hosts, all that’s left now is the hope that they may end their party in the USA on a high note.

Pakistan: WLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Ireland: LLWWW

This is almost certainly Imad Wasim‘s final international match. Controversially brought back into the side, he has failed to provide the stardust Pakistan believed he would bring when they persuaded him to rescind his international retirement. His performances with the ball have been solid, if unspectacular, with no batting contribution of any heft, a point his innings during Pakistan’s chase against India painfully underscored. His statement before the tournament that “no one remembers semi-finalists and finalists, people remember champions” has aged like milk after Pakistan’s earliest T20 World Cup exit, but at this point, a game to remember as he signs off is the best consolation he can ask for.
Lorcan Tucker scored two half centuries in three games against Pakistan last month, before following up with 40 and 55 in the tri-series against the Netherlands and Scotland. Since then, his runs have dried up as Ireland’s T20 World Cup campaign flamed out before it even got off the ground. He has managed starts in each of the group games, getting into double figures while facing 13 and 15 balls. With no pressure and little to lose, Tucker has the opportunity to rediscover the form he found against Pakistan just a few weeks ago.

Pakistan may give Abrar Ahmed and Abbas Afridi – the two players who haven’t got a game so far – a start.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 2 Saim Ayub 3 Babar Azam (capt) 4 Fakhar Zaman 5 Usman Khan 6 Shadab Khan 7 Imad Wasim 8 Shaheen Afridi/Abbas Afridi 9 Naseem Shah/Abrar Ahmed 10 Haris Rauf 11 Mohammad Amir

It’s been over a week since Ireland last played, so it’s trickier to predict how Ireland line-up.

Ireland: (probable) 1 Andy Balbirnie 2 Paul Stirling (capt) 3 Lorcan Tucker (wk) 4 Harry Tector 5 Curtis Campher 6 George Dockrell 7 Gareth Delany 8 Mark Adair 9 Barry McCarthy 10 Josh Little 11 Craig Young/Ben White

The matches in Lauderhill between USA and Ireland on Friday, and India and Canada on Saturday, were both abandoned without a toss because of lots of rain and an extremely wet outfield. The forecast for Sunday is better, however, but it depends on how much rain falls overnight and the state of the outfield in the morning.

  • Pakistan have never before been eliminated from a T20 World Cup after just three games
  • Ireland have lost four successive completed T20 World Cup games. They have only had one worse run, when they lost six in a row across the 2009, 2010 and 2012 World Cups.
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