Ireland target win over Pakistan in first Clontarf clash

Phil Simmons
Ireland coach Phil Simmons


Clontarf, Dublin
Thursday, 23 May
Start time:
10:45 BST
Updates on the BBC Sport website

Ireland aim to show that they can compete strongly against the top Test-playing nations by winning at least one of their two one-day internationals against Pakistan at Clontarf.

The Irish have yet to beat one of the leading nations on their home soil.

"It's difficult when you play games at home as we only have a few squad days together in which to gain momentum," said Irish coach Phil Simmons.

"World Cup qualification takes priority but occasions like these are great."

"Our improvement is a constant work in progress, and while Pakistan have some unbelievable talent in their ranks, we want to prove that we don't just beat the major teams in big tournaments," added Simmons.

Ireland's St Patrick's Day victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup kick-started a revival in the nation's cricket fortunes and a large crowd is expected for the Dublin double-header against one of the world's international giants.

The first match between the sides is on Thursday, with the next on Sunday.

Batsman Ed Joyce says Ireland are well-equipped to deal with the threat posed by the Pakistanis but warns that the pitch at Clontarf may suit the visitors.

"The pitch usually turns and they have quality spinners in Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Hafeez, but if the conditions are cold it should be better for us.

"We always have to work hard against nations of this quality but we are up for it and are capable of causing an upset.

"Having said that, they are a highly skilled team and must be rated as favourites by a long way. They have a fine bowling attack, including probably the best one day bowler in the world," argued the Sussex player.

"I'm really happy with the way I've been playing and most of the other guys have hit some good form, whether with their counties or playing in the new Interprovincial series in Ireland, so hopefully we can hit the ground running," added Joyce.

Pakistan are using the two one-day internationals with the Irish as final preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy event in England.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt, Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County, second ODI only), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Muhammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshaid, Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan, Muhammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Kamran Akmal (wk).

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