Afghanistan and Ireland in India, 3 T20I Series, 2019

Afghanistan vs Ireland - 3rd T20I

Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun

Date & Time: 24 February 2019

Ireland 178/8

RR: 8.9 | Afghanistan beat Ireland by 32 runs

commentary

Right then. 3-0 to Afghanistan. They were expected to win and thoroughly deserved to win too. They continue to take giant steps in international cricket. Ireland, on the other hand, can only hope to learn from this for the better. The format switches now as ODIs begin. The first of 5 will be played on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 1 pm local (0730 GMT). Do join us then. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!

Victorious Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan thanks the almighty for helping them win the series. Says that this is for the people of Afghanistan. Admits that there is a heavy workload leading into the World Cup and hence a few players will be flown in for the ODIs. Thanks (in Pashto) to the crowd for supporting in large numbers.

MOHAMMAD NABI HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS 81 FROM 36 BALLS. Says that he is feeling very good about the fact that if he could not take wickets from the ball, he could do well with the bat and on the field. On his Big Bash experience, Nabi says that it does a world of good to the other members after sharing. MOHAMMAD NABI IS ALSO NAMED THE MAN OF THE SERIES.

Ireland captain, Paul Stirling says that they played better today, managing to spend some time in the middle. Adds that they were not far away from a win. Hopes that down the line, the guys from the middle order will learn to chip in and finish off games. On the upcoming ODI series, Stirling says that a few new guys are coming in which promises to be an exciting package.

Earlier, in the first innings, it was a Mohammad Nabi show with the bat as his 81 from 36 catapulted the home side post 200. The Irish struggled with the ball again with only George Dockrell standing out. Who will be the Man Of The Match? Nabi, or Rashid? Stay tuned for the presentation...

Kevin O'Brien tried hard after that to play a lone hand but it was too much for him to do. Rashid Khan then strut his stuff, picking up 4 wickets in 4 balls to end with a 5-fer. Mohammad Nabi played a key role too in keeping Ireland quiet in the middle overs, finishing with 0/28 in 4 overs.

Till that 'dewy' moment, Afghanistan were not at their best at all, putting catches down, bowling bad balls, misfielding, etc... But post that wiped off incident, they came out roaring. They needed one opportunity and they got that in the form of Andy Balbirnie. At that moment, Ireland needed 83 from 38 balls. That dismissal opened the floodgates and the hosts just went through.

Ireland began their chase of 211 in a decent fashion, not cowing down in spite of losing Stirling early. In fact, during the 96-run stand for the second wicket between O'Brien and Balbirnie, it seemed like the visitors would gun this total easily. But then came that moment at the end of the 13th over when the dew was swept across the outfield.

Another day. Same teams. Another match. But same result. Afghanistan continue their winning run and maintain their grapple on Ireland. Tonight was probably a case where the Men In Green could have won but after the dew was wiped across the outfield, the game changed totally.

19.6
1
R Khan to B Rankin, Full and around middle, pushed down to long on to end the game with a single. AFGHANISTAN WIN BY 32 RUNS AND COMPLETE A 3-0 WHITEWASH!
19.5
1
R Khan to S Poynter, Pushes this towards point and takes a run.
19.4
0
R Khan to S Poynter, The googly, around middle, Poynter misses his flick and is hit on the pads.
19.3
1
R Khan to B Rankin, Works it down the leg side for a single.

Boyd Rankin walks in at number 10.

19.2
0
R Khan to J Little, OUT! BOWLED! Rashid gets a fifer. Does not matter where he bowls. He gets wickets in Sharjah, Dubai, Ireland, Netherland, Windies and even in India. Full and around off, Little gets across to paddle but misses and the ball hits the off stump.
19.1
0
R Khan to J Little, Outside off, Little looks to cut but misses.
18.6
1
S Shirzad to J Little, Another heave-ho and the ball goes off the inner half of the bat towards long on. Just a single.
18.5
4
S Shirzad to J Little, FOUR! Full on middle, Little swings it down the ground and beats long on.
18.4
1
S Shirzad to S Poynter, Outside off, punched through the covers for a run.
18.3
4
S Shirzad to S Poynter, FOUR! Full and around middle, Poynter gets down and across, sweeping it over square leg. Too little, too late.
18.2
1
S Shirzad to J Little, On middle and leg, flicked through mid-wicket for a run.
18.1
1
S Shirzad to S Poynter, Short and outside off, cut through the covers for a single.

Sayed Shirzad to bowl the 19th over.

17.6
1
R Khan to S Poynter, Full on middle, flicked through mid-wicket for just a run. 3-0-24-4 for Rashid. Can he take 5?
17.5
2
R Khan to S Poynter, Full on middle, pushed down to long on for a couple.
17.4
0
R Khan to S Poynter, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball.
17.4
0
R Khan to J Little, WIDE. This is way too far down the leg side, Little gets a long way across to sweep but misses. The keeper fumbles and the batsmen take a single.

Joshua Little walks in at number 9 with plenty left to do...

17.3
0
R Khan to S Singh, OUT! LBW! FIRST AFGHAN PLAYER TO TAKE A T20I HAT-TRICK! Wow. Rashid Khan, simply wow. One of the best bowlers ever witnessed in this sport. This is another googly, around middle, Simi gets across, looks to flick but misses and is struck right in front of the stumps. Looked plumb and the umpire raises his finger.

Simi Singh to face the hat-trick ball.

17.2
0
R Khan to S Getkate, OUT! Stumped by a mile. Getkate comes down the track and seeing that, Rashid fires it wide down the leg side. Shane misses his flick but the keeper does well to collect and whip the bails off. They appeal and it is referred upstairs. Replays confirm the marching orders.

Stumped first ball?

Stuart Poynter walks in at number 7, replacing Dockrell.

17.1
0
R Khan to G Dockrell, OUT! That is a terrific catch from Nabi now! So what if the experienced bloke could not get a wicket. You cannot keep him out of the game, can you? Full and around off, Dockrell gets down to play the slog sweep but Rashid has fired this a touch wider outside off. This means that Dockrell has to fetch it. Hence, he mistimes it towards long on but it does seem like the ball has enough legs on it. But Mohammad Nabi watches it like a hawk, leaps at the last moment, catches it, parries it in the air, goes beyond the boundary and then comes back in to take the catch! Superb athleticism.
16.6
1
M Nabi to G Dockrell, Driven towards the long on region. The batsmen have run through for a single. 4-0-28-0 for Nabi tonight.
16.5
1
M Nabi to S Getkate, Full and around middle, swiped towards long on for another single.
16.4
0
M Nabi to S Getkate, A low full toss around middle, Getkate can only get it back to the bowler.
16.3
1
M Nabi to G Dockrell, Pushes this through mid on for one.
16.2
1
M Nabi to S Getkate, Full and outside off, driven through mid off for a run.
16.1
1
M Nabi to G Dockrell, Short and outside off, punched through mid on for a single.

Shane Getkate walks in at number 6, replacing O'Brien. Mohammad Nabi returns too. 3-0-23-0 so far.

15.6
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, OUT! Caught behind! My word, Shafaq, take a bow. This wicket is more due to the keeper than the bowler. Fractionally short outside off, O'Brien backs away to the leg side and looks to go inside out but the ball stays low and takes the bottom edge. But Shafiqullah Shafaq gets low and takes a stunner. Rashid starts flying while Shafaq appeals and the umpire raises his finger. KOB is disappointed but that was out. End of a big knock. Sadly, that might be the end of the game.
15.5
1
R Khan to G Dockrell, Short ball, around middle, pulled towards deep mid-wicket for one more.
15.4
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Pushes this down to long on for a run.
15.4
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, THREE WIDES. Down the leg side, a rare loose ball from Rashid, KOB misses his sweep and the blinded keeper misses it too. Two runs taken.
15.3
1
R Khan to G Dockrell, Another long hop, pulled to deep mid-wicket for a run.
15.2
4
R Khan to G Dockrell, MISFIELD, FOUR! Slightly short from Rashid, Dockrell pulls it towards mid-wicket. The fielder in the deep runs to his right and puts in a slide but misses the ball.
15.1
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched wide of long off for a single.

Rashid Khan is back on. Afghan playing his cards perfectly.

14.6
2
S Shirzad to G Dockrell, Outside off, skewed over cover for a couple.
14.5
6
S Shirzad to G Dockrell, SIX! That is an outrageous shot. Dockrell walks across his stumps and Shirzad fires it full on middle. But George just scoops it over fine leg! A second late and the furniture behind would have been damaged.
14.4
1
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, Down the leg side, flicked towards mid-wicket for one more.
14.3
2
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, The batsman flicks it away with a wristy shot. They manage to come back for the second.
14.2
1
S Shirzad to G Dockrell, Walks across his stumps and flicks it through square leg for a run.
14.1
1
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, Full on middle, swung towards long on for a single.

George Dockrell is the new man in. Sayed Shirzad into the attack as well.

13.6
0
Zia to K O'Brien, OUT! DIRECT HIT AND THOMPSON IS GONE! Superb piece of fielding and Afghanistan are back in this game. Outside off, O'Brien punches it towards point and sets off for what looks like an easy single. Thompson starts to run too but Najibullah Zadran at backward point dives to his right, gets up in a flash, takes aim and has a rocket throw at the striker's end. Boom! Thompson is nowhere in the frame.
13.5
1
Zia to S Thompson, Short and outside off, cut through point for a run.

Stuart Thompson is the new man in.

13.4
0
Zia to A Balbirnie, OUT! BOWLED! The slower ball does the trick and Afghanistan breathe again. The 96-run stand has been broken and the pendulum is back into action. A length ball, outside off, Balbirnie looks to defend but the ball comes in a long way, goes past his inner half of the bat and knocks the timber! Decent knock by Balbirnie. 83 more needed from 38 balls now.
13.3
4
Zia to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Oh yes. Full and outside off, Balbirnie gives himself room to the leg side and lofts it cleanly over mid off for a boundary!
13.2
1
Zia to K O'Brien, A short ball now, O'Brien looks to pull but gets a bit of an inside edge towards the leg side as he ends up playing early. A run taken.
13.1
1
Zia to A Balbirnie, Outside off, chopped down to third man for a single.

A bit of a break in play. The outfield is being swept off dew and the Afghans take that moment to have a pep talk. 89 more needed from 42 balls. Both teams still in it. Meanwhile, Zia-ur-Rehman returns. 3-0-35-1 so far.

12.6
1
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Outside off, pushed through point for another single. Ashraf is done for the night - 4-0-39-0.
12.5
1
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Full and around off, driven through mid off for one more.
12.4
0
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, The batsman has been struck on the thigh pad.
12.3
1
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, The batsman plays a sweep shot. The batsmen have run through for a single.
12.2
1
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, On middle and leg, flicked through mid-wicket for a single this time.
12.1
2
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, IN THE AIR... AND DROPPED! Ahhh... the dew again. Full and around middle, O'Brien gets down and sweeps it hard and straight to Sayed Shirzad at deep backward square leg! But he plonks it down. Straight in, straight out. A couple taken.

Sharafuddin Ashraf is back on. 3-0-33-0 so far.

11.6
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Dropped short, punched down to long on for one more.
11.5
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, Balbirnie gets down and sweeps it through square leg, just about evading the umpire there, for a run.
11.4
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched uppishly down to long off for a run.
11.3
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Now he stays back and works it through square leg for a run.
11.2
4
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, FOUR! That is a lovely shot. Full and outside off, Balbirnie stays leg side of the ball and lofts it with ease over cover.
11.1
0
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, pushed back to the bowler.

Mohammad Nabi is back on. Change of ends. 2-0-15-0 so far.

10.6
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Down the leg side, tucked towards short fine leg for a run.
10.5
2
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and fast on middle, pushed towards long on for a brace.
10.4
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, steered towards short third man for a run.
10.3
2
R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched wide of long on for a couple.
10.2
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, tapped towards point for a run.
10.1
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, lofted over cover for a single.

Rashid Khan is on, finally.

9.6
1
Zia to K O'Brien, Down the leg side, tucked through backward square leg for one. The Irish are exactly 100/1 after 10 overs, 16 clear of what Afghanistan were at this stage.
9.5
1
Zia to A Balbirnie, Outside off, dabbed to third man for a run.
9.4
1
Zia to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched off the back foot for a single.
9.3
1
Zia to A Balbirnie, Full on middle, pushed down to long on for one more.
9.2
1
Zia to K O'Brien, Down the leg side, flicked towards fine leg for a single.
9.1
4
Zia to K O'Brien, FOUR! A one-handed shot. Short and around middle, O'Brien looks to pull but his bottom hand comes off the bat. Still, he manages to control the shot and gets it through mid-wicket.

Zia-ur-Rehman is back on. 2-0-26-1 so far.

8.6
4
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, FOUR! He has found that gap to perfection. Fractionally short outside off, Balbirnie goes back and cuts it just wide of short third man, to his right. There is deep backward point in place but he can only be a watcher.
8.5
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched through the covers for another single.
8.4
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Outside off, played through point for one more.
8.3
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Punched off the back foot by the batsman. One run added to the total.
8.2
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Pushes this through mid on for a run.
8.1
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched through the covers where a half-stop by Zia-ur-Rehman keeps the batsmen to a single.
7.6
0
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Short and outside off, cut straight to point. 10 from the over.
7.5
1
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched wide of long off for a single. 50-RUN STAND IS UP.
7.4
2
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, KOB looks to sweep but the ball goes off the inner half of the bat past short fine leg. A couple of runs taken.
7.3
0
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
7.2
6
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, SIX! Terrific hit! Around off, O'Brien stays leg side of the ball, clears his front leg and lofts this dead straight as an arrow to clear the ropes at long off!
7.1
1
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, pushed down to long off for a single.
6.6
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, swept straight to short fine leg for a quick run.
6.5
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, The batsman flicks it away with a wristy shot for a single.
6.4
2
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Outside off, this is forced off the back foot through the covers for a couple.
6.3
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Down the leg side, O'Brien misses his flick and the keeper appeals immediately. But the umpire calms them down. Does not signal a wide either. Did that hit the pads?
6.2
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Action replay of the previous delivery.
6.1
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, pushed down to long on for a single.

Mohammad Nabi is on now.

5.6
0
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, played straight to short mid-wicket. 66/1 in the Powerplay for Ireland, as opposed to 64/2 by Afghanistan.
5.5
4
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Full and fast, down the leg side, Balbirnie sweeps it powerfully and gets it behind square leg.
5.4
2
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Outside off, slammed through the covers for a couple.
5.3
1
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball. They pick up a single.
5.2
0
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, played straight to short mid-wicket.
5.2
0
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, WIDE. Down the leg side, Kevin misses his flick.
5.1
6
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, SIX! Nicely hit. Full and outside off, tossed up slightly, O'Brien leans and lofts it over cover for a biggie!
4.6
4
S Shirzad to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Poor fielding again. Is due getting the better of the Afghans? Outside off, Balbirnie looks to punch it through the off side but gets a thick inside edge which goes towards fine leg. The fielder though, struggles to stop the ball and it goes through.
4.5
1
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, The batsman has punched that ball through the off side. The batsmen have run through for a single.
4.4
1
S Shirzad to A Balbirnie, SAFE AS A HOUSE. On a good length around off, Balbirnie pushes it towards point and calls for a quick single. The fielder quickly gets to the ball and has a shy at the bowler's end and hits them. The umpire refers it upstairs but replays show that Balbirnie is well in.

Direct hit! Is this wicket number 2? Referred upstairs...

4.3
0
S Shirzad to A Balbirnie, The batsman has pushed it to the cover region.
4.2
1
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, Full and wide outside off, Kevin looks to drive but gets a thick outside edge which flies through the vacant slip region towards third man. A run taken.
4.1
4
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, FOUR! Stand and deliver. Full and around middle, O'Brien hammers it straight back over the bowler for a boundary!

Change of ends for Shirzad.

3.6
0
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Around off, solidly blocked from the crease.
3.5
0
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
3.4
0
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, Pushed to the cover region by the batsman.
3.3
4
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, FOUR MORE! Short and outside off, cut behind point for another boundary!
3.2
4
S Ashraf to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Outside off, short in length, Balbirnie goes back and punches it through point and gets a boundary!
3.1
1
S Ashraf to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a single.

Sharafuddin Ashraf comes into the attack.

2.6
0
Zia to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven straight to cover. 13 runs from the over but a big wicket in it as well.

Andy Balbirnie walks in at number 3, replacing his skipper.

2.5
0
Zia to P Stirling, OUT! Caught! There goes the first wicket and with that, probably half the chances of a win for Ireland. Hero of the losing side on Saturday loses out on Sunday. A length ball, around middle, Stirling looks to go over the top but the ball hits the toe end of the bat and lobs to mid on. Simple catch for the opposition skipper and Asghar Afghan makes no mistake.
2.4
0
Zia to P Stirling, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
2.3
1
Zia to K O'Brien, Defended off the back foot by the batsman. One run added to the total.
2.2
4
Zia to K O'Brien, FOUR! A short ball, around off, KOB pulls it over mid-wicket for a boundary!
2.2
0
Zia to K O'Brien, WIDE. Another one down the leg side, flick shot missed.
2.1
6
Zia to K O'Brien, SIX! WHACK! A short ball, outside off, O'Brien goes back and pulls it over mid-wicket!
2.1
0
Zia to K O'Brien, WIDE. Full and down the leg side, flick shot missed.
1.6
0
S Shirzad to P Stirling, Outside off, once again Paul plays inside the line and gets defeated.
1.5
1
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. One run added to the total.
1.4
0
S Shirzad to K O'Brien, Played to the mid-wicket region by the batsman.
1.3
1
S Shirzad to P Stirling, Outside off, pulled away but horribly mistimed. The ball goes just wide of short mid-wicket and the batsmen take a single.
1.2
4
S Shirzad to P Stirling, MISFIELD, FOUR! Outside off, Stirling guides it towards third man. Zia-ur-Rehman gets across and slides but slips due to the dew and the ball goes through!
1.1
0
S Shirzad to P Stirling, On a length around middle, moving away, Stirling plays inside the line and gets squared up. The ball beats the outside edge.

Sayed Shirzad to bowl from the other end.

0.6
4
Zia to K O'Brien, FOUR! Just wide! Full and down the leg side, Kevin flicks it towards short fine leg. The fielder dives to his right but the ball just escapes him! 13 from the opener.
0.5
4
Zia to K O'Brien, FOUR! O'Brien gets himself going now. A short ball, Kevin pulls it over mid-wicket for a boundary!
0.4
0
Zia to K O'Brien, Around middle, defended back to the bowler.
0.3
1
Zia to P Stirling, The batsman has flicked the ball off his pads. One run added to the total.
0.2
4
Zia to P Stirling, FOUR! SUBLIME! That is a nice way to get yourself going after a 90-odd last evening. Overpitched outside off, Stirling leans and drives it wide of mid off for a boundary!
0.1
0
Zia to P Stirling, The batsman was beaten and missed the line of the delivery.