Ireland secure dramatic tie with Pakistan at Clontarf
|First one-day international, Clontarf:|
|Pakistan 266-5 (47 overs) tied with Ireland 275-5 (47 overs) (D/L method)|
Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien starred with the bat as Ireland secured a tie with Pakistan in the first one-day international at Clontarf.
Pakistan made 266-5 off 47 overs but that total was adjusted to 275 under the Duckworth-Lewis method after their innings was interrupted by rain delays.
Opener Stirling made 103 off 107 balls to set up a chance of victory.
Kevin O'Brien took up the chase and ended 84 not out off 47 balls, scoring a four off the last ball to tie.
O'Brien's spectacular innings included 11 fours and two sixes, while at the other end Trent Johnston finished the game unbeaten on seven.
Ireland came into the game hoping to beat a full ICC Test-playing member for the first time at home while Pakistan are using the matches as preparation for the forthcoming Champions Trophy in England.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, setting Ireland a substantial total to chase despite four interruptions caused by rain and hail.
A second-wicket partnership of 188 between Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq created the platform for the Pakistan innings, Hafeez ending unbeaten on 122 off 113 balls and Shafiq contributing 84.
O'Brien and Alex Cusack were the pick of the Ireland bowlers, ending with figures of 2-43 and 2-50 respectively.
Ireland reached 62 in reply before losing skipper William Porterfield for 19 and then Ed Joyce fell after making 32.
Stirling and O'Brien led the way in a dramatic run chase as the Irish battled their way to a draw, having needed 22 runs to win off the final two overs.
O'Brien struck a four off the final ball from Saaed Ajmal as the hosts fell agonisingly short of a historic victory.
"It feels like a loss as we came so close, but just couldn't get over the line," admitted O'Brien afterwards.
The second one-day international between the sides will be staged at Clontarf on Sunday.