Victory for Pakistan in low-scoring opener

Ireland

Pakistan dragged their feet across a laboured seven-wicket win over Ireland in Saturday's rain-affected first ODI in Stormont.

Pakistan dragged their feet across a laboured seven-wicket win over Ireland in Saturday's rain-affected first ODI in Stormont.

Having skittled the Irish for 96 all out across 20 overs in a clash reduced to 31 overs per side by over three hours of showers in Belfast, the tourists took all of 27.3 overs to successfully chase down their target.

With victory all but assured by a 73-run opening stand between Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar, the duo promptly fell in quick succession for 52 and 23 respectively.

At 82 for two, Pakistan's middle order had some marginal work to do, but Asad Shafiq failed to oblige and instead handed seamer Alex Cusack (three for 13) his third scalp of the day.

The old guard of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq were left to go through the motions of the truncated match's closing throes, finishing on six not out and four not out respectively.

Earlier the hosts cobbled together a dismal effort with the bat.

Paul Stirling's standalone 39 at the top of the knock was as good as it got for Ireland, with just him and two other batsmen reaching double figures.

Fast bowler Junaid Khan took his cue to bag Man of the Match figures of four for 12, which included the key scalp of danger man Kevin O'Brien, while Saeed Ajmal romped through the tail with three for 13.

The second and final ODI gets underway at the same venue on Monday.

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