The last league match of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will see Pakistan and Ireland face off for a place in quarterfinals. Both teams have so far won three matches and have six points each. Winner of this match will directly proceed to quarters while loser’s luck depends on the outcome of West Indies vs United Arab Emirates (UAE) match. Even though this match is between a full-member nation and an Associate Nation it still has tinge of rivalry. It was Ireland in 2007 edition of World Cup that eliminated Pakistan. So Green Shirts will be in no mood whatsoever to take their opponents lightly. Here are some key battles that could change course of the match. Also Read- Pakistan vs Ireland Match Preview.
1) Mohammad Irfan vs Paul Stirling
Tall left-arm Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Irfan has been providing his team with early breakthroughs and against Ireland similar role is expected from him. His knack of picking early wickets makes him a dangerous bowler. In Ireland camp opener Paul Stirling is one batsman who likes to dominate early on. It will be interesting to see how these two go against each other. Check Out- Updated Points Table here of 2015 Cricket World Cup.
2) Wahab Riaz vs Niall O’Brien
In 2007 World Cup Niall O’Brien’s 72 helped Ireland chase down 133 to register the famous win. It has been long time since then, but memories are fresh and it won’t be a surprise if O’Brien comes up with such performance once again. To stop this right-hander batsman from emulating his famous act, Wahab Riaz is the one bowler Pakistan will be looking up to. Riaz’s match-winning performance against Zimbabwe and South Africa has been revelation for Pakistan and his team will be hopeful he repeats his heroics.
3) Ahmed Shehzad vs Alex Cusack
Right-arm fast bowler Alex Cusack has been Ireland’s strike bowler and his contribution with ball can help Ireland dominate Pakistan. He has bowled some valuable spells upfront and in the death overs. Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad was under fire and finally managed to get some runs against Zimbabwe, but his early departure against South Africa has once again raised questions on his form. It won’t be easy for him to unsettle Cusack. Also Read- ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule in IST: Time Table, Fixture & Venue Details of all WC 2015 Matches.