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1st oDI: Pakistan set mammoth 338 target for Ireland

DUBLIN: Thanks to brilliant hundred by Left-arm opening batsman Sharjeel Khan, Pakistan have posted a huge total of 337/6 on board in the first ODI match against Ireland at The Village, Malahide, Dublin.

After winning the toss, Irish skipper William Porterfield decided to bowl first, citing the green-top pitch, and bit of damp due to overnight rain.

The pitch behaved likely in the first hour, but turned heaven for batsmen for the rest of the series.

Though, skipper Azhar Ali went to pavilion very early, but it was Sharjeel Khan’s show who made the most out of the opportunity given to him.

With 9 huge sixes and sixteen boundaries, the Hyderabad-born rising star smashed 152 runs off just 86 balls.

This was the third quickest 150 runs in ODIS after AB de Villiers and McCullum.

Hafeez gave him best possible support in the middle, as the duo posted a 90-runs partnership in 92 balls. Hafeez departed for 37, but Sharjeel kept going on a brisk pace.

After his wicket, Babar Azam and Sarfraz also returned to dug out cheaply, putting Pakistan lower middle order in pressure.

But, that was the time when experienced Shoaib Malik(57*) , and debutante Mohammad Nawaz (53) stood for their team, both scoring fifties. The pair added 105 valuable runs to the total in just 13.2 overs. to take the score to 337.

Babar Azam also contributed a little to the score with his brisk 29.

From Ireland, the only bowler to stand alone was BJ McCarthy who took four out of six wickets fallen in the innings for 62 runs.