Cricket Article

Ireland Pip Afghanistan to Win ODI

Ireland beat Afghanistan by 72 runs to win their ODI.

It was Afghanistan who won the toss in Belfast and invited Ireland to bat first, enjoying earlier success when James McCollum was lbw in the 5th over to Dawlat Zadran. Then the same bowler had Andrew Balbirnie caught behind. However, Paul Stirling and William Porterfield then out on 99 for the third wicket, until Porterfield, who had reached 53, was caught by Zadran off Rashid Khan. Next to fall was Stirling who was caught by Asghar Afghan off the bowling of Gulbadin Nabi for 71, which included 2 sixes.

Gary Wilson was run out for 10, but Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell added 37 before O’Brien was caught by Mujeeb Ur Rahman off Aftab Alam for 32. Mark Adair and Dockrell took the score to 201, but then there was a late collapse as the last four wickets fell for just nine runs in the space of three overs. Zadran picked up another wicket, and there was a further two for Alam, as Ireland were bowled out for 210, with seven balls yet to be bowled.

Alam claimed 3 for 28, whilst Zadran took 3 for 35.

The Afghans were soon struggling in their reply. Mohammad Shahzad fell to the bowling of Tim Murtagh, followed by Zurmatal who was caught by Stirling off the same bowler, and then Hazratullah Zazai was bowled by Adair for 14. Hashmatullah Shahidi was caught behind off Adair, before Afghan and Nabi shared a stand of 54 for the fifth wicket.

Their stand was broken was Nabi was caught behind off the bowling of O’Brien for 27, having hit 2 sixes. Next to go was Afghan, lbw to Boyd Rankin, having top scored with 29. Gulbadin and Rashid Khan put on 16, but then Afghanistan suffered a collapse to rival that of Ireland. Rankin had Rashid caught by Porterfield, and then, three balls later, he had Zadran caught behind.

Gulbadin and Alam added 18 for the ninth wicket, but Gulbadin was caught by a substitute fielder with Adair the bowler, and he then wrapped up the innings when he had Mujeeb caught and bowled.

Afghanistan had been bowled out for 138, with more than 14 overs to be bowled.

Man of the match Adair finished with 4 for 19, whilst Rankin took 3 for 40.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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