DUBLIN: Ed Joyce scored his first one-day international hundred for Ireland as the hosts set Pakistan a target of 230 to win the second one-day international at Clontarf on Sunday.
Conditions were much improved on the cold and wet weather the teams experienced in the thrilling tie on Thursday and Joyce found them to his liking, finishing 116 not out in Ireland’s 229 for nine.
Joyce came to the middle in the first over after Paul Stirling, the Ireland century-maker in the tied meeting between the sides on Thursday, was caught off a mistimed pull at mid-wicket for a duck and the Sussex captain stayed for the remainder of the innings, facing 132 balls and hitting 12 fours and a six.
He gave one chance, on 61, in the first over of the powerplay, to Mohammad Hafeez at backward point, a juggling effort which should have been held, and he and Kevin O’Brien made Pakistan pay scoring 53 in the next five overs.
O’Brien’s innings was cut short on 38 by Abdur Rehman, one of three changes to the Pakistan team from the first game.
Out went the world’s leading one-day bowler Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil, with Wahab Riaz, Asad Ali and Rehman coming in.
Significantly, all the batsmen survived from Thursday’s encounter, indicating it was the bowling with which the tourists were most unhappy.
Asad Ali made an immediate impression when he had Ireland captain William Porterfield caught behind in his second over for one and Riaz also got among the wickets when Niall O’Brien also gave a catch to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal for 29.
Rehman was the pick of the bowlers with four for 48 from his 10 overs ripping through the middle order of Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack in devastating fashion.
Tim Murtagh stayed with Joyce to add 33 for the ninth wicket, a partnership which could yet be important at the end of the day.