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Clinical Afghanistan take series lead with 109-run win

08 Mar 2019 CricBuzz

Afghanistan bounced back in fine fashion from their previous four-wicket loss to Ireland, to pick up a clinical 109-run win, and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series with one to play. In a chase of 224, they managed only 114 in 35.3 overs on Friday (March 8).

Williams Porterfield and Paul Stirling gave Ireland a steady start, but Aftab Alam was the wrecker in chief, returning 4 for 25 in eight overs in what is his first game of the tour. He struck with the wicket of Porterfield to give Afghanistan the break, after which, Ireland fell apart like ten pins. Simi Singh (20) and Kevin O Brien (26) offered resistance for a bit, but together with Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, Ireland were skittled in less than 40 overs. The spin duo picked up two apiece in economical spells which didn't have them concede over three an over.

Earlier, Ireland kept Afghanistan to 223 after opting to bowl. After making early inroads, Afghanistan did well to recover from 23 for 2 and rode on skipper Asghar Afghan's half-century. While he held his end rather well, wickets tumbled at the other after a brief resistance as Afghanistan slipped from 58 for 2 to 81 for 6. The skipper marched on and added vital runs with Mohammad Nabi, who too got a half-century, but the former's run-out for 54 pegged them back once again.

Nabi fought on and kept Ireland's attack at bay with an adept 64, but you can't keep Rashid Khan out of the game. He once again came to haunt Ireland - only, this time with the bat as well, as he belted a 58-ball 52 to give Afghanistan a competitive total.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 223 in 49.1 overs (Asghar Afghan 54, Mohammad Nabi 64, Rashid Khan 52; James Cameron-Dow 3-32) beat Ireland 114 in 35.3 overs (Kevin O' Brien 26; Aftab Alam 4-25) by 109 runs.


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