Afghanistan and Ireland in India, 5 ODI Series, 2019
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Date & Time: 10 March 2019
RR: 4.62 | Ireland beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets
That is it from us then! The limited-over contests are done and dusted. Over now to the longest format where both sides are relatively new. Who will have the final say? Join us on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 10 am local (0430 GMT) when the only Test is played out. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
William Porterfield credits the team for a quick turnaround. First praises the bowlers for restricting Afghanistan and then the batsmen for chasing the total down, putting a cover on Friday's disappointment. On playing Afghanistan, Porterfield says that they are not alien to Afghanistan, having played them a lot in Dubai and even here. Is looking to put his feet up for a couple of days now and then get ready for the Test match.
ANDY BALBIRNIE HAS BEEN ADJUDGED THE PLAYER OF THE SERIES. 215 runs at an average of 71. Balbirnie says that all the batters were aware of how good the opposition spinners are and if the batters did have a bad day, they used to go back to the nets and work harder. Adds that after the previous game, the Irish watched live video footage of the Afghan bowlers and prepared accordingly. Is looking forward to some rest and then gear up for the exciting Test match on Friday.
Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan, says that it was a very good series. Does not want to look too much into this loss as there were plenty of changes to the playing XI. Admits that the top order not firing is a cause of concern but is sure that will be sorted soon. AFGHAN IS ALSO THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS UNBEATEN 82.
Coming to Afghanistan, they tried hard but probably they tried too hard. This was exactly what Hamid Hassan opined on air too. They were simply rushing through their overs and while it does not give batsmen the time to settle, sometimes it does not allow the bowler himself to relax. The speeds were too quick and there were less changes of pace. Small things but could have made a big difference. The plan to keep Rashid and Mujeeb wicketless or not giving too many wickets worked for Ireland and the hosts struggled for an inspiration. Did Asghar Afghan's absence hamper the home side? You never know. He has more experience of shepherding in close matches. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
There was a brief chance when Simi Singh was dismissed and Ireland needed 56 runs. But the 46-run stand for the 4th wicket between Balbirnie and Kevin O'Brien thwarted all fears. This batting performance is even better than the one in the third ODI. Because it did not rest on just one batsman.
This is what happens when the top order does well. When the original required rate is just a shade over 4, all the team needs is a couple of decent partnerships. The openers added 57 and then Stirling and Balbirnie added 61 for the second wicket which meant that Rashid and Mujeeb were rendered wicketless for a long time.
Given what was witnessed a couple of days ago, everyone must have felt that 217 is a very steep target. That too, on a pitch turning square. But a couple of decent knocks at the top ensured that the run chase was easy.
Stuart Poynter walks in for the finishing rites.
Mohammad Nabi to bowl what could be the final over of the series.
Is that a run out now? Shahzad has made a lazy attempt to run Kevin O'Brien out. Referred upstairs...
George Dockrell is in the middle.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman comes back. 9-2-22-0 so far.
Last throw of the dice for Afghanistan. Rashid Khan returns. 8-0-28-1 so far.
DRINKS BREAK. A look at the scorecard and one would say, Ireland are running away with this. But in reality, that is not the case. Batting is certainly not easy out there but Afghanistan are not pitching it in the right areas consistently. The gap between the runs required and the ball remaining is constantly decreasing and if another couple of good overs pass by, we could see a couple of big shots being played, which could open up the game. Change of pace. SHAPOOR ZADRAN returns. 6-0-34-0 so far.
POWERPLAY 3 time. 5 fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle till the end. Zahir Khan is back on as well. 8-0-40-2 so far.
Rashid Khan returns. 7-0-27-1 so far.
Mohammad Nabi is back on. 7-0-37-0 so far.
Kevin O'Brien walks in at number 5, replacing Simi Singh.
Balbirnie on 49...
Zahir Khan returns. 6-0-27-1 so far.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back on. 6-2-16-0 so far.
Simi Singh walks in at number 4, replacing Stirling.
Mohammad Nabi returns. 5-0-25-0 so far.
DRINKS BREAK. Mind-blowing. 25 overs have been bowled in around 90 minutes. Excellent batting from Ireland. They have score more than half the runs needed and have lost just a solitary wicket. The pitch does seem to have some turn but is nowhere close to what we saw under the sun. Afghanistan have thrown 20 overs of spin so far - for 84 runs and just one wicket. Another 30 wicketless minutes and this game might be over in the mind.
Rashid Khan is back on. 2-0-13-0 so far.
Meanwhile, Stirling is on 49...
Shapoor Zadran is back on. 3-0-21-0 so far.
Rashid Khan is on now.
Andy Balbirnie walks in at number 3, replacing his skipper.
Big moment. Debutant Zahir Khan to bowl.
POWERPLAY 2 time. 4 fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle till the 40th over.
Mohammad Nabi is on early.
Shapoor Zadran to to bowl with the second new ball.
Welcome back. Mujeeb Ur Rahman to start off proceedings.