Pakistan faces Ireland in first ODI today
August 18, 2016
DUBLIN (92 News) – Pakistan take on Ireland on Thursday in the first of two ODIs at Malahide ahead of their five-match series with England. The first One-Day International will be played at Dublin today. The match will start at 02:45 pm as per Pakistan Standard Time. Umar returns to the side 16 months after he last played an ODI, his experience of English conditions gaining him a place in the squad ahead of the towering Mohammad Irfan. Pakistan is leaning towards experience for this series as there is a lot hinging on it. It is currently ranked ninth in the ICC ODI rankings, languishing on 87 points, seven behind eighth-ranked West Indies. With the four bottom-placed teams in the 12-team rankings needing to play in the ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2018 alongside six teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the ICC World Cricket League, Pakistan will hope to jump above West Indies and secure automatic qualification for the tournament proper in 2019. In their most recent clash, Pakistan beat Ireland by seven wickets in the ICC World Cup 2015 game in Adelaide, when both William Porterfield and Sarfraz Ahmed scored centuries. The more famous clash between the sides came in the 2007 World Cup, when Ireland knocked out Pakistan at Sabina Park in Kingston, winning by three wickets. Given that its hopes of automatic qualification for the 2019 event depend heavily on the results in the next few weeks, Pakistan cannot afford a repeat of that. Teams (from): Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), John Anderson, Peter Chase, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Stuart Poynter, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, Craig Young. Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz.