Afghanistan and Ireland in India, 5 ODI Series, 2019
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Date & Time: 08 March 2019
RR: 3.21 | Afghanistan beat Ireland by 109 runs
Right then! Yet another series for the Afghans where they cannot lose. They have the chance to win it come Sunday where they have just one box to tick - the top order throwing it away. Their batting runs deep, which is nice but they cannot keep on leaving it to the lower order. Ireland, well, need to bat better. Period. They have got one final chance on Sunday, March 10, 2019 when the 5th ODI will be played, at 1 pm local (0730 GMT). Join us then. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Afghanistan skipper, Asghar Afghan, says that this game was very important for them. Laments the top order throwing its wickets away but praises Rashid's fightback. On players getting a chance in this game, Afghan says that more players will be given a chance come Sunday. On Rashid winning the Man Of The Match award, Asghar says that no one plays for the award, everyone plays for the team. On his injury during his dismissal, Afghan says that there were some MRI scans done and nothing came out to be serious. Adds that he just wanted to take some rest.
RASHID KHAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH, for his all-round show of 52 and 2/22. Thanks the almighty for enabling him to perform well tonight. Adds that he is always confident about his batting and is happy that he perform when his team needed him to. On playing cricket all round the world, Khan says that one needs to enjoy the game and keep oneself fit.
Ireland skipper, William Porterfield, says that the confidence was high coming into this game and feels that some individual errors with the bat cost them the match. Admits that 223 was perhaps a bit more than they conceded but he is not too concerned about that, as he is very happy with the bowling. On the batting front, the skipper says that they got a half decent start but then his side 'managed' to get into a hole. On the preparations for Sunday, William says that there is not a lot one can do in one day but he will certainly hit the nets and try and work on the mistakes committed in this game.
Now, about Afghanistan. Champion bowling. Who said they are all about Rashid or Mujeeb? Tonight was Aftab Alam's night. His 4/25 broke the spine of Ireland's batting, with wickets of Porterfield, O'Brien, Poynter and Murtagh. The others were decent too, crucially not letting the team down, maintaining excellent pressure. Please do stay tuned for the presentation...
Was it the rain which spiced things up? Perhaps. The ball was skidding onto the bat and there was some inconsistent bounce as well. Ireland simply could not adjust to the pace and bounce and kept mistiming their shots and eventually lost their wickets.
Normally, small totals are always difficult to chase. Because one gets muddled in the mind. Should I play attacking cricket? Should I be cautious? Well, Ireland seemed to start off well, racing off to 31 inside 6 overs but then suddenly lost 3 quick wickets. Then, there was a brief partnership brewing between Simi Singh and Kevin O'Brien but once the former was dismissed, the floodgates opened. Ireland slipped from 66/3 to 114 all out.
Easy-peasy then for Afghanistan. Who would have thought? After they were 81/6, scraped to 223, it always looked like another defeat was looming. But the hosts have pulled off something spectacular.
Mohammad Nabi into the attack now. 7-1-16-0 so far.
Boyd Rankin is the only man left...
Tim Murtagh is in at number 10, replacing O'Brien.
James Cameron Dow walks in at number 9, replacing McBrine.
Rashid Khan is back on. 3-0-7-1 so far.
Andy McBrine walks in at number 8, replacing Poynter.
Aftab Alam returns. 5-2-18-1 so far.
Stuart Poynter walks in at number 7, replacing Dockrell.
Gulbadin Naib into the attack now.
George Dockrell comes in now, at number 6, replacing Simi.
It has started to drizzle here! Not that heavy though, the umpires are happy to continue.
Rashid Khan is into the attack.
Mohammad Nabi is on now.
Powerplay 2 has been signaled! Now a maximum of 4 fielders can be placed outside the ring.
Kevin O'Brien is the next man in.
Simi Singh walks in at number 4, replacing Balbirnie.
Andy Balbirnie is the new batsman in.
Aftab Alam will bowl with the second new ball.
Welcome back for the chase. The players and umpires are out in the middle. William Porterfield and Paul Stirling will open the batting for Ireland. Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman will start the proceedings for Afghanistan.