Afghanistan and Ireland in India, 5 ODI Series, 2019
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Date & Time: 28 February 2019
RR: 3.94 | Afghanistan beat Ireland by 5 wickets
That's all from this match. Victory for Afghanistan was never in doubt but they took the longer route to reach the target. The second ODI is on Saturday at 1300 local (0730 GMT). Do join us for all the action. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
Afghanistan's skipper, Asghar Afghan is really happy with the performance and reckons that the first game of the series is really important. Adds that chasing is not an issue and they were just being careful. Praises Mohammad Shahzad for his knock. On Nabi's injury, Asghar informs that he's fine.
Man of the Match, Gulbadin Naib says that it's not easy to play in this kind of team and he is delighted to perform and contribute to this success. On his bowling, he replies that he just tried to maintain a tight line.
Ireland's skipper, William Porterfield says that picking early wickets would have given them a chance but it didn't come. Feels the wicket was a tough one and it was not easy to play strokes fluently. Reckons that 220-230 would have been a good chase. Admits that their batting let them down. Mentions that it's more mental for them as the pitch is going to remain more or so similar throughout this series.
Earlier, it was an abysmal batting show by Ireland. They were completely at sea against the spin of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and at one stage were tottering on 69/6. The 76-run stand between Paul Stirling and George Dockrell took them past the 150-run mark but it was never going to be enough. Afghanistan adopted a cautious approach in their run chase. The first two partnerships nearly sealed the deal and after a bit of hard work the 49-run stand between Gulbadin Naib and Asghar Afghan brought them close to 161. Towards the end, two lusty blows from Najibullah Zadran finished things off for the Afghans.
A victory in the 42nd over while chasing a target of 162 runs. Afghanistan really had to sweat hard to go 1-0 up in the 5-match series. Not even for once, the Afghans looked in trouble but the going was extremely slow from them. Whether Ireland bowled superbly or Afghanistan were too cautious, we leave that up to you to find out. The surface was on the slower side but not so tough to rotate the strike. 172 dot balls bowled by the Irish bowlers but they were defending such a small target that it didn't build enough pressure on the opposition.
Najibullah Zadran walks in next.
26 more needed as we enter into Powerplay 3. Five fielders allowed outside the ring now. Don't think Ireland will opt for that...
Boyd Rankin is back on.
George Dockrell is back into the attack.
Ha! Ha! What was that? Simi Singh gets into his delivery stride without having the ball in his hand. Returns to his mark with a big smile on his face. He is into his last over now...
Barry McCarthy is back on.
Drinks break. Afghanistan continue to be on top. Although Ireland are doing well to make them sweat hard for every run. A few quick wickets from hereon and this match can become very interesting.
Asghar Afghan is in next.
Appeal for a run out! Referred upstairs... No real excitement shown by Ireland.
Paul Stirling to bowl the next over.
Simi Singh is back into the attack.
Hashmatullah Shahidi is the new man in.
Boyd Rankin to bowl his 5th over.
Drinks break. Slow but steady going from Afghanistan. 97 needed more for a win. Looks like a cakewalk unless Ireland pick up wickets in clumps. The surface is on the slower side and stroke-making ain't easy by the look of things.
George Dockrell is introduced into the attack. A slip in place.
Tim Murtagh to bowl.
Rahmat Shah is in next.
OUT! But the umpire just wants to confirm if the catch is taken cleanly. Looks out and you never know.
Change of ends for Barry McCarthy.
Boyd Rankin is back.
Powerplay 2 time! Ireland can now have a maximum of 4 fielders outside the circle.
Barry McCarthy to bowl now.
Simi Singh comes on to bowl.
Mid-wicket drops back for Zazai. Third man is up to compensate for that move.
Boyd Rankin to bowl with the second new ball.
Back for the run chase. Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai to open the batting for Afghanistan. Tim Murtagh to kick off proceedings with the first new ball. Here we go...