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Ireland vs Afghanistan - Super Sixes Match 9

Series: WC Qualifiers, 2018
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Date & Time: 23 March 2018

Afghanistan 213/5 (49.1 Ovs) RR: 4.33 | Afghanistan won by 5 wkts

FULL SCORECARD

Batsman R B 4s 6s
Mohammad Shahzad c Rankin & b Simi Singhc Rankin & b Simi Singh545062
Gulbadin Naib c Andy McBrine & b Rankinc Andy McBrine & b Rankin459130
Rahmat Shah c Wilson & b Simi Singhc Wilson & b Simi Singh122310
Samiullah Shenwari c Wilson & b Barry McCarthyc Wilson & b Barry McCarthy276320
Mohammad Nabi c Andy McBrine & b Simi Singhc Andy McBrine & b Simi Singh122400
Asghar Stanikzai Not OutNot Out392941
Najibullah Zadran Not OutNot Out171501
Rashid Khan dnbdnb0000
Sharafuddin Ashraf dnbdnb0000
Dawlat Zadran dnbdnb0000
Mujeeb Ur Rahman dnbdnb0000
Extras 7 (b 0, lb 1, w 6, nb 0)
Total 213 (5 Wkts, 49.1 Ov)
Fall of Wickets
86-1 (Mohammad Shahzad,16.3), 113-2 (Rahmat Shah,25.4), 117-3 (Gulbadin Naib,28.6), 145-4 (Mohammad Nabi,37.3), 181-5 (Samiullah Shenwari,44.5),
BowlingO M R WEcon
Barry McCarthy9.1 0 57 1 6.26
Tim Murtagh10 0 46 0 4.60
Boyd Rankin10 0 41 1 4.10
Andy McBrine10 1 38 0 3.80
Simi Singh10 2 30 3 3.00
William Porterfield0 0 0 0 0
Paul Stirling0 0 0 0 0
Andrew Balbirnie0 0 0 0 0
Niall O Brien0 0 0 0 0
Kevin O Brien0 0 0 0 0
Gary Wilson0 0 0 0 0

commentary

Afghanistan after first three games - L L L. They needed a miracle just to enter the Super Sixes and Nepal gave them that by beating Hong Kong. Their journey began from there as they defeated Windies, who were unbeaten till then in the first game. UAE provided little fight against the Afghanistan spinners. Even after two wins in the Super Sixes they were not safe. Another miracle needed to happen and it was another Asian team - UAE defeating hosts Zimbabwe to give them the lifeline. That result made sure Afghanistan had their fate in their own hands and boy haven't they made the most of it. From being dead and buried in the initial part of the tournament to finding themselves among the 10 best teams, Afghanistan's journey has come a full circle. On that note, this is Akshay Maanay signing off on behalf of my co-commentators Pratyush Sinha and Varun Dixit. Goodbye!

Stanikzai: We qualify for the 2019 WC. There is pain but playing for country is important. It is a dream. Afghanistan is famous for coming back; after losing three games at the start we came back. Of course (the whole country will be celebrating).

Porterfield: First of all congratulations to Afghanistan. We were 20-25 runs short with the bat. The boys did a great job of defending that target. We have several weeks off before we get back. It (playing Tests) gives us something to look forward. Everything is pretty raw at the minute. If you lose three games, you are not going to qualify. We had a few key moments in the game and we could have played them better.

The Afghanistan players are still celebrating. This is not going to stop anytime soon. Some of players have the Afghanistan flag wrapped around them. And Stanikzai has been picked up on the shoulders. He certainly gave meaning to a captain's knock today. Under tremendous pain and with heavy strapping the Afghanistan captain battled his physical demons to win the game for his country. However, there needs to be a pause in the celebrations as Stanikzai is summoned for the presentations..

Mohammad Shahzad - Player of the Match: We lost matches before coming to super six but here we played good cricket. The plan was simple - to wait for the loose delivery. I don't care if it's a spinner or a fast bowler. I believe in myself. My coaching staff and senior players motivate me. Thanks to them, my form is back in a crucial game. West Indies, we are coming (talking about the final).

Earlier in the day, the four Afghanistan spinners restricted Ireland to 209. They never allowed the Irish batsmen to get on top of them and if not for the two O Brien brothers, the target would have been much less. Rashid was the pick of the lot with figures of 3/40 and was well backed up by the remaining bowlers. Ireland would rue the fact that they didn't show more intent in their innings and a matter of 10-15 might have made a huge difference.

16:45 Local Time, 14:45 GMT, 20:15 IST: What a game! It kept tilting and turning until that mighty six from Najibullah in the 48th over. However, it was the calmness of skipper Asghar Stanikzai that was the difference between Ireland and Afghanistan. Mohammad Shahzad, out of sorts for the most of the tournament, decided to turn up today. The wicket-keeper got the Asian side off to a flier with a 50-ball 54. But his wicket brought Ireland back in the game and some disciplined bowling saw them take the required rate past six. Then comes a half fit Stanikzai, who mixed caution with aggression to take his side into the 2019 WC.

49.1
4
Barry McCarthy to Stanikzai, FOUR, Afghanistan join Windies for the 2019 WC. Look at Stanikzai. Where did the pain disappear? He is yelling and pumping his fists. Not even bothering to run. Coach Phil Simmons gets up from his chair and hugs Rashid Khan. The remaining Afghanistan players run out to congratulate their players. Coming to the ball: Yorker length delivery, Stanikzai backs away and gets the bat down in time to squeeze it away to the fine leg fence

Barry McCarthy [9.0-0-53-1] is back into the attack

One run separates Afghanistan and a WC spot. McCarthy to bowl the final over. Here we go..

48.6
1
Rankin to Stanikzai, 1 run, scores are level. Short delivery at the body, Stanikzai is hurried on the pull shot and he miscues it over the square leg umpire, is content with a single as deep square leg cleans up
48.5
0
Rankin to Stanikzai, no run, short of length close to off, Stanikzai drops it into the off-side and sets off, Najibullah sends him back
48.4
2
Rankin to Stanikzai, 2 runs, Afghanistan inch closer. Good length ball just outside off, Stanikzai opens the bat face and the intended steer takes the outside edge to run away fine, hobbles his way back for the second
48.3
0
Rankin to Stanikzai, no run, Niall O Brien appeals for a caught behind. Nothing from Rankin or the umpire. He was the only one yelling for the catch. Short and outside off, Stanikzai cuts and misses. Not sure there was any noise
48.2
1
Rankin to Najibullah, 1 run, short and outside off, Najibullah makes room and upper cuts it over point. The sweeper cover collects it on the bounce
48.1
2
Rankin to Najibullah, 2 runs, wrong line from Rankin. On leg-stump, Najibullah gets inside the line and tickles it fine. Balbirnie gets across and slides to haul it in, just managed to do so. Two saved

7 off 12. Ireland need a special effort to pull this off now. Afghanistan have this in the pocket. But cricket finds a way to surprise. Is there a twist left in the game? Here's Rankin with the penultimate over..

47.6
1
Murtagh to Najibullah, 1 run, short of length on off, Najibullah pulls and the inside edge deflects off the thigh pad to backward square. 9 off the over and Afghanistan are two hits away from sealing this
47.5
6
Murtagh to Najibullah, SIX, "he's nailed it," yells Ian Bishop on air. That shot has got the Afghanistan players on their feet. Is that one of the nails in the coffin? Length delivery right in the slot, Najibullah clears his front leg and murders it over cow corner. Went a long way back into the stands
47.4
0
Murtagh to Najibullah, no run, and the mid-wicket fielder is in action again.. Najibullah hops and tucks the back of a length delivery to him. 14 off 14 now
47.3
2
Murtagh to Najibullah, 2 runs, yes. Najibullah winds up for a big heave-ho to the on-side, the bat turns on impact and the length delivery is dragged off the inner half backward of square leg, two more
47.2
0
Murtagh to Najibullah, no run, slanted across off, Najibullah works it to mid-wicket, can't get it past that fielder. Big shot round the corner?

Third man is inside the ring. Point, cover and mid-wicket the other three..

47.1
0
Murtagh to Najibullah, no run, good length ball on the pads, Najibullah gently taps it to mid-wicket

The physio is out there again attending to Stanikzai. He has heavy strapping near his stomach. Seems to be in a lot of pain. But he knows he has to continue for his country's sake. Stanikzai is grimacing in pain. Meanwhile, Porterfield has a word with Murtagh. Ready to resume..

46.6
1
Rankin to Najibullah, 1 run, short of length and Najibullah rides the bounce to glide a single to third man
46.5
0
Rankin to Najibullah, no run, angled across the left-hander and Najibullah steers it behind point, Simi Singh dives to his right and saves a run for his team, superb effort from the all-rounder
46.4
2
Rankin to Najibullah, 2 runs, excellent running. Najibullah nurdles the back of a length delivery backward of square leg and called for the second, Stanikzai was struggling but he makes it in. He is holding up his rib
46.3
0
Rankin to Najibullah, no run, back of a length on off, Najibullah bunts it in front of cover
46.2
0
Rankin to Najibullah, no run, the extra lift that Rankin produces causes Najibullah to get into a tangle, rises from a back of a length and hits the splice of the bat, drops safely in front of backward point
46.1
1
Rankin to Stanikzai, 1 run, short of length outside off, Stanikzai cuts it square and rotates the strike with a single

Boyd Rankin [8.0-0-31-1] is back into the attack

Just the 20 required off four overs. Two big overs have put Afghanistan ahead. 23 have come off the last two.. Remember Stanikzai is not a 100 percent. The physio is out there strapping him near the tummy region. He's ready to continue..

45.6
1
Murtagh to Stanikzai, 1 run, full and angled in, flicked to deep square leg, just a single and Stanikzai keeps strike
45.5
2
Murtagh to Stanikzai, 2 runs, off-cutter decking in, Stanikzai waited back in the crease and deflected it off the inside edge to fine leg, called for two and the fresh legs of Najibullah were up for it
45.4
0
Murtagh to Stanikzai, no run, back of a length around off, Stanikzai is right behind the line to defend
45.3
4
Murtagh to Stanikzai, FOUR, deft! Boyd Rankin should have done a better job chasing that. Stanikzai arched his back and patted the short delivery fine, Rankin from short third man gave up the chase pretty soon
45.2
0
Murtagh to Stanikzai, no run, short delivery outside off, Stanikzai allows it to pass. Umpire Wilson signals one for the over. The Afghanistan skipper is not happy with the decision, he thought it was over his head

Four men in the deep on the leg-side for Stanikzai.. Nope. Deep square leg comes in and goes to mid-wicket. Third man in

45.1
1
Murtagh to Najibullah, 1 run, back of a length just outside off, Najibullah stands tall and punches it to sweeper cover

Tim Murtagh [8.0-0-29-0] is back into the attack

Last five overs and the equation reads 28 needed with 5 wickets in hand. Who's your money on? Can Afghanistan mess it up from here? Or Ireland throw away all the hard work done in the middle overs? Buckle up folks we are in for a tight finish..

44.6
1
Barry McCarthy to Najibullah, 1 run, short and angled outside off, Najibullah slaps it to sweeper cover

Najibullah Zadran, left handed bat, comes to the crease

44.5
0
Barry McCarthy to Shenwari, out Caught by Wilson!! He's got his man. And he is pumped. It took him 14 runs to buy a wicket. However, it might be a blessing in disguise for Afghanistan. Shenwari was going nowhere with his innings. Having played more than 60 balls, he had scored only 27 and was finding it difficult to rotate strike, let alone the big hits. Full delivery outside off, Shenwari crouches low and slices the drive to backward point, where Wilson was really close-in. Good low grab from him. Shenwari c Wilson b Barry McCarthy 27(63) [4s-2]

Barry McCarthy to Shenwari, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!

44.5
1
Barry McCarthy to Shenwari, wide, poor! Ireland just needed McCarthy to bowl stump-to-stump. Instead he's been all over the place. Sprays it down leg and Shenwari can't meet with the glance
44.4
1
Barry McCarthy to Stanikzai, 1 run, back of a length on the stumps, Stanikzai shuffles and squirts an inside edge to square leg
44.3
2
Barry McCarthy to Stanikzai, 2 runs, full delivery coupled with width, Stanikzai slices the drive over the infield, called for two immediately and Shenwari was racing back to the other end. 12 off three now
44.2
6
Barry McCarthy to Stanikzai, SIX, just over! Dockrell on as a substitute almost pulled off a stunner. Length delivery and Stanikzai winds up for a big mow, gets plenty of height and just manages to clear a leaping Dockrell at long-on. 10 off two balls

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