Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz led a Pakistan fightback as the tourists secured a two-wicket victory in the second one-day international against Ireland in Clontarf, Dublin, on Sunday.
Set 230 for victory, Pakistan slumped to 133-7 at the end of the 37th over, but Akmal, with a classy 81 from 85 balls, and Riaz, with a hard-hitting 47 from just 35 with eight boundaries, took the game away from Ireland in a stunning partnership of 93 in 62 balls.
Akmal, named man of the match, was out with four needed for victory, but by then Pakistan had finished the job with two wickets and eight balls left.
A superb new-ball spell by Trent Johnston and Tim Murtagh reduced Pakistan to 17-4 in the 10th over, but Misbah-ul-Haq (24) and Shoaib Malik (42) started the recovery.
The loss of Malik, leg before to George Dockrell, was quickly followed by a superb catch in the covers by Kevin O’Brien to dismiss Abdur Rehman and at that moment even the Pakistan contingent in the crowd expected an Ireland victory.
However, while Akmal and Riaz kept their heads, the Ireland bowlers panicked, the four-balls became more frequent and the batsmen did not miss out.
Earlier, Ed Joyce scored his first one-day international century for Ireland in his side’s 229-9.
Joyce came to the middle in the first over after Paul Stirling was caught off a mistimed pull at midwicket for a duck and he stayed for the remainder of the innings, finishing on 116 from 132 balls, with 12 fours and a six.
He gave one chance, on 61, 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 Rehman.
Asad Ali made an immediate impression when he had Ireland captain William Porterfield caught behind in his second over for 1 and Riaz also got among the wickets when Niall O’Brien also gave a catch to wicketkeeper Akmal when on 29.
Rehman was the pick of the bowlers with four for 48 from his 10 overs, ripping through the middle order.
Murtagh stayed with Joyce to add 33 for the ninth wicket, but in the end it was not enough and Ireland are still waiting for their first home win over a major Test nation.