x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Pakistan hope the joke will be on rivals

Younus Khan is aiming to set the record straight against Ireland - a team that has been a thorn in the Pakistan side.

Anyone would think Younus Khan could not give two hoots about what happens to his Pakistan side, judging by his jolly demeanour at the World Twenty20. He has explained away their defeats by saying this competition is "just for fun" and that this format is all about entertainment, "like WWF". However, life has just got a bit more serious. After handing a convincing defeat to New Zealand, a revengeful Pakistan take on Ireland on their way to reach the last four.

"We are angry about losing to them in the World Cup in the West Indies," said Younus, referring to the shock defeat which forced their exit from the 50-over showpiece in 2007. "This is an important match for my boys. We really want to go out there and crush them." The captain justified the late momentum after Umar Gul restricted the Black Caps to just 99 with a spell of five wickets for just six runs, the first five- wicket haul in a Twenty20 international. "No one wants to tour Pakistan, and the tournaments we played were not against high-ranking teams," Younus added. "We have given chances to young players, and everyone expects us to win every game. That is not possible.

"We are slow starters, but if we can beat Ireland we will be in the semi-finals." Pakistan v Ireland, ART Prime Sport, 4.30 pm