Lorcan Tucker lit up his first game as Ireland captain with a sparkling half-century - his second in successive innings - but was again on the losing side at Clontarf yesterday as Pakistan eased home by six wickets to claim the T20 international series 2-1.

The decider followed a similar pattern to the second game with Tucker’s 73 from 41 balls helping the Boys in Green to 178-7, a decent total but one that Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam made a nonsense of as they added 139 for the second wicket.

Skipper Azam hit leg-spinner Ben White for four enormous sixes in the 14th over on his way to a top score of 75 that propelled his side home with three overs to spare.

“It was a great privilege to captain, although it would have been nice to start with a win,” Tucker said, after taking charge from the rested Paul Stirling.

“We set up a platform nicely but we couldn’t finish our innings well and it was an outstanding chase by Pakistan.”

Ireland should have set a more challenging target after Tucker and Andy Balbirnie added 85 in 8.1 overs for the second wicket, but momentum was lost when the stand-in skipper failed to clear long off in the 14th over.

Balbirnie had already gone for 35, including three dismissive sixes, and with in-form Harry Tector starved of the strike - he faced only 20 of the 55 balls bowled when he was at the crease - expectations of posting 200+ disappeared as quickly as the lower middle order.

Rookie Neil Rock, presumably included along with opener Ross Adair to gain experience should they be called on in next month’s T20 World Cup, managed four from six balls, George Dockrell’s only scoring shot from seven deliveries was a maximum, and Curtis Campher fell for a single.

Tector, who struck his first ball over the mid-wicket boundary, finished with 30 not out but even he couldn’t get Shaheen Afridi away as the great left-armer returned 3-14 from four fiery overs.

Mark Adair responded with 3-28 but the remainder of the bowling attack looked toothless without the pace of Josh Little and the spark of Barry McCarthy, who had a back spasm after Friday’s victory.

Ireland will head to Amsterdam at the weekend, for a tri-series with the Netherlands and Scotland, in good shape though, with that first World Cup game against India in New York exactly three weeks away.