Pakistan vs Ireland 1st ODI Cricket Live Streaming, 23rd May 2013
Pakistan vs Ireland 1st ODI Cricket match Live Streaming: Pakistan have won the toss and Chose to bad
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Contests between Ireland and Pakistan are rare - this will be only their fourth meeting - but the fixture has a place in cricket folklore. Labelled as minnows, Ireland produced a monumental upset to send Pakistan crashing out of the 2007 World Cup in the group stage. Pakistan's pain has healed over time but the memory of that embarrassment lingers.
Pakistan put the record straight with victories in their last series against Ireland - two matches in May 2011, both won comfortably - and will hope for similar success as they warm up for the Champions Trophy.
They are in good spirits but would like their top-order batting to find some form. An extra opener has been drafted into the XI so Mohammad Hafeez can move to No. 3, hoping to solidify the batting which can be brittle, as seen against Scotland last week when they slipped to 115 for 5. It took Misbah-ul-Haq to anchor the innings but a score of 231 would not be enough against better sides, and Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer admitted that, from a similar position, Ireland would likely to have gone and won the match.
Keeping Pakistan to a similar total will be key for Ireland to try and upset the odds. After cruising through the latest round of World Cricket League Championship matches in March, they are desperate to prove they belong at the top table of international cricket. It is important Ireland seize on any opportunity to impress. Last year's ODI against Australia was a damp squib but this year, two matches against Pakistan and the biennial fixture against England are three more chances to put on a good show on and off the field.
They have a bowling attack capable of troubling Pakistan, likely to be spearheaded by Tim Murtagh who has shown sublime form for Middlesex and is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship. Ireland's batting will also be led by a man bang in form for his county; Ed Joyce has averaged 72.75 in six Championship innings for Sussex.
But Pakistan's attack will ask more testing questions of Joyce and Ireland's line-up. Junaid Khan proved he is capable of leading the attack with 3 for 19 against Scotland. He assumed the senior role from Umar Gul, who remains sidelined with a knee injury. The threat of Saeed Ajmal remains, albeit in less helpful conditions.