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Babar Azam hit a superb 75 as Pakistan beat Ireland by six wickets to clinch a 2-1 win in the T20 series at Clontarf.

Ireland posted 178-7 with Lorcan Tucker (73) and Andrew Balbirnie (35) putting on 85 for the second wicket.

A partnership of 139 between Babar and Muhammad Rizwan helped Pakistan to 181-4 with three overs to spare.

Ireland won last Friday’s opener before the tourists hit back to level the series two days later.

Pakistan elected to bowl first and they dismissed Ross Adair, who replaced captain Paul Stirling, with just 16 on the scoreboard.

Stand-in skipper Tucker made 73 off 41 balls while Balbirnie smashed three sixes before Harry Tector was left unbeaten on 30.

Shaheen Afridi took an impressive 3-14 before Pakistan cruised to the victory target.

Babar was in sparkling form and hit four maximums from a Ben White over as the tourist sealed the series victory.

Mark Adair was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 3-28 and the teams will meet again in the group stage at next month’s T20 World Cup.

The most significant setback for Pakistan was the continuation of Saim Ayub’s lean run, the opener top-edging one to short third early on. But in the sort of middling chase they thrive on, Mohammed Rizwan and Babar took full advantage, Babar bedding himself in while Rizwan lit the powerplay up.

The two swapped roles once the fielding restrictions lifted, and Babar benefitted from George Dockrell putting him down on 19. As on Sunday, Ireland fell away after that, with Babar capitalising on uninspiring bowling to steamroll his way to a 42-ball 75.

ScorescColor:> Ireland 178-7 (20 overs): Tucker 73 (41), Balbirnie 35 (26): Shaheen 3-14 lost to Pakistan 181-4 (17.0 overs) Babar 75 (42), Rizwan 56 (38); Adair 3-28. Pakistan won by six wickets.

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