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Ireland stage comeback, level ODI series against Afghanistan

Ireland stage comeback, level ODI series against Afghanistan

Mar 05, 2019 - 21:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Ireland on Tuesday made a strong comeback and defeated Afghanistaninfo-icon in their third One Day International (ODI) by four wickets, thanks to Balbirnie's 145 off 136 balls.

Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat first and put a decent total of 256 after losing eight wickets in 50 overs game.

Najibullah Zadran helped Afghanistan recover from a perilous situation - 74/5 at one stage - to post a fighting total in the third ODI at the Rajiv Gandhi International cricket stadium in Dehradun.

Zadran’s maiden 104 off 98 balls and captain Asghar Stanikzai’s 75 off 109 balls helped Afghanistan pass the 200 mark and give Ireland something to chase.

Afghanistan lost two of their top three batsmen - Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah - to some accurate bowling from Tim Murtagh and Andy McBrine; both the opening bowlers attacked the stumps more often and were rewarded with an lbw dismissal each.

From 53/3, Afghanistan were soon reduced to 74/5 in the span of five overs and looked in trouble at the end of 20th over.

But a 117-run association between Asghar Afghan and Zadran revived Afghanistan's innings, although lost two key wickets (Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi) in the 45th over.

Andy McBrine was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors with a tight spell of 1-37 in his ten overs that included two maidens.

In replay, Ireland off to a shaky start but managed to chase the target with a fantastic 136 balls 145 from one down A Balbirnie.

After three matches the series is 1-1 now after the second ODI was abandoned on Saturday.

It was Ireland's first victory on the tour after it lost the Twenty20 series 3-0.

The fourth match will be on Friday with the last game scheduled for Sunday.

nh/ma

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