Afghanistan and Ireland in India, 5 ODI Series, 2019

Afghanistan vs Ireland - 5th ODI

Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun

Date & Time: 10 March 2019

Ireland 219/5

RR: 4.62 | Ireland beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets

commentary

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.

47.2
4
M Nabi to S Poynter, FOUR! Just one ball needed for Poynter. A full toss, on middle, Stuart gets down and laps it past short fine leg! IRELAND WIN BY 5 WICKETS AND LEVEL THE SERIES 2-2!

Stuart Poynter walks in for the finishing rites.

47.1
0
M Nabi to G Dockrell, OUT! BOWLED! Nabi gets a wicket too. Full and outside off, Dockrell initially looks to sweep but then decides to change his shot on seeing the length. Attempts the late guide through third man but misses it totally. The ball spins in and hits the stumps.

Mohammad Nabi to bowl what could be the final over of the series.

46.6
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, watchfully defended.
46.5
2
R Khan to K O'Brien, SAFE AS A HOUSE. Full and outside off, KOB punched it through point and called for a single initially. Then he saw that the fielder was taking it too lightly and took the second on the throw. The return was a weak one from the fielder and Shahzad had to stretch and then dislodge the bails, which he did very slowly. The run out appeal was referred upstairs but replays confirmed in one go.

Is that a run out now? Shahzad has made a lazy attempt to run Kevin O'Brien out. Referred upstairs...

46.4
4
R Khan to K O'Brien, EDGED, FOUR. Just a hit away from the win now. Full and outside off, O'Brien reaches out to push but gets a thick outside edge past first slip to the third man fence.
46.3
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
46.2
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, a play and a miss.
46.1
2
R Khan to K O'Brien, Short and outside off, punched behind point for a couple.

George Dockrell is in the middle.

45.6
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, OUT! BOWLED! Right through the gap. Landed outside off, Balbirnie stays back to defend but the ball lands on that rough patch outside off, spins back in, goes right through the gap between bat and pad and hits the timber! Andy is disappointed with himself that he could not finish it off. But just 10 more needed now. Mujeeb finishes with figures of 10-2-26-1, a decent effort again.
45.5
1
Ur Rahman to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched through the covers for one more.
45.4
1
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a run.
45.3
1
Ur Rahman to K O'Brien, Action replay of the previous delivery.
45.2
1
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, pushed down to long on for a single.
45.1
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, EDGED, DROPPED! Tough chance but Shahzad is not the swiftest of keepers. Full and outside off, Balbirnie looks to drive but gets an outside edge which is clanged by the keeper. He got down but could not quite get up quickly.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman comes back. 9-2-22-0 so far.

44.6
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, eased down to long on for a run.
44.5
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, punched back to the bowler.
44.4
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, chipped down to long off for another single.
44.3
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Short and outside off, crunched through the covers for one more. The stand moves to 40 from 49 balls.
44.2
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball through mid on. One run added to the total. 200 UP FOR IRELAND. Just 17 more needed now, from 34 balls.
44.1
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, played through point for a single.

Last throw of the dice for Afghanistan. Rashid Khan returns. 8-0-28-1 so far.

43.6
0
S Zadran to K O'Brien, A length ball, outside off, Kevin looks to pull but misses and is hit high on the thigh. An LBW appeal more in hope than confidence is put up but umpire Ravi calmly denies.
43.5
4
S Zadran to K O'Brien, FOUR! TAKE THAT! That is just a hit-me ball. A long hop, around off, happy days for O'Brien as he swivels and pulls it all along the ground behind square leg. The ball races to the fence while Shapoor scratches his head. 19 more needed from 37 balls now. KOB moves to 21 from 31, with his third boundary. The writing is now on the wall.
43.4
1
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, A full toss outside off, AB throws his bat at that and gets a healthy outside edge which flies through third man. Zahir Khan covers good ground to his left from there, dives, fumbles but stops the boundary and ensures that it is just a single. Shapoor though, is not happy and gives the debutant a scaring stare.
43.3
2
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, A short ball, around off, Andy mistimes his pull but gets it through mid-wicket for a brace.
43.2
0
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Outside off, played straight to point.
43.1
2
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Outside off, punched through the covers for a well-run couple. There should never have been two but a weak throw ensured that the single was doubled. Balbirnie moves to 60 from 80 balls. The stand is worth 30 from 41 deliveries.
42.6
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The batsman has played it towards mid-wicket. They pick up a single.
42.5
1
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, chipped down to long on for a run. 29 more needed from 43 balls now.
42.4
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, Kevin wants to finish this off quickly. Has a mighty swing but gets an inside edge past the leg stump towards short fine leg.
42.3
4
Z Khan to K O'Brien, FOUR! SPANKED! Full and outside off, O'Brien smashes it straight back at Balbirnie who ducks in time. There is a long off in place but he comes only second in the race as the ball whizzes past.
42.3
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, ANOTHER WIDE. Second in this over. Fourth from Zahir overall. This is pitched outside leg and spinning a long way down the leg side. Left alone.
42.2
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, driven straight to mid off.
42.2
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, WIDE. Down the leg side, flick shot missed.
42.1
4
Z Khan to K O'Brien, FOUR! Lucky escape for O'Brien. A short ball, around leg stump, KOB rocks back to pull but the ball stays extremely low and his bottom hand comes off the bat. He is not in control of his swipe and miscues it aerially towards deep mid-wicket but it is wide of the man running to his left from deep square leg. 36 more needed from 47 balls.
41.6
1
S Zadran to K O'Brien, Down the leg side, flicked towards short fine leg for one more.
41.5
1
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Outside off, now Balbirnie taps it towards point and takes a quick run.
41.4
1
S Zadran to K O'Brien, DIRECT HIT WOULD HAVE HAD O'BRIEN! Shapoor has his hands on his head. Outside off, KOB punches this towards mid off and takes Rashid Khan on. The stand-in Afghan skipper takes his time and then unleashes a throw at the bowler's end but misses. Kevin was a goner.
41.3
0
S Zadran to K O'Brien, On a good length outside off, KOB misses his tuck and is hit on the pads, via an inside edge.
41.2
0
S Zadran to K O'Brien, A short ball outside off, O'Brien unleashes the mighty heave but misses.
41.1
0
S Zadran to K O'Brien, Full and around off, defended from the crease.

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.

40.6
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and down the leg side, O'Brien misses his flick and the ball goes off his pads towards short fine leg. A leg bye taken.
40.5
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Shorter in length, around middle, punched back to the bowler.
40.4
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for one.
40.3
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and in line of the stumps, watchfully defended.
40.2
1
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full on middle, pushed back to the bowler who makes a mess of a simple stop and the ball goes through to long on. Easy run conceded.
40.1
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, Balbirnie looks to sweep but gets a top edge which does not carry to deep backward square leg. A single taken.

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.

39.6
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Full and around off, pushed towards mid on.
39.5
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Full and around off, driven straight to mid off.
39.4
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Played to the point region by the batsman again.
39.3
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Around off, pushed towards point.
39.2
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, flicked through mid-wicket for a run.
39.1
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Around middle, flicked through mid-wicket for a single.
38.6
1
R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, pushed wide of cover for a run.
38.5
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended, just past Rashid, towards cover.
38.4
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Huge shout for a catch down the leg side! Turned down. The umpire indicates that it hit the pad. The googly, pitched outside leg, O'Brien missed his flick and the keeper was straightaway up in an appeal after collecting that. Need to see more replays. Age is catching up with me...
38.3
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, driven straight to cover.
38.2
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
38.1
0
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, O'Brien lunges to defend but the ball spins away past the outside edge.

Rashid Khan returns. 7-0-27-1 so far.

37.6
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Pushes this through mid on and gets a run.
37.5
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, NEARLY CHOPPED ON! Things are happening... Outside off, O'Brien goes back to cut but gets a thick inside edge, which hits him on his pads and then bounces just past the stumps!
37.4
0
M Nabi to K O'Brien, Around off, defended from the crease.
37.3
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Outside off, chopped down towards point for one.
37.2
1
M Nabi to K O'Brien, That stays low. O'Brien goes back and punches it to long on for a run.
37.1
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, Balbirnie gets down to sweep it through square leg for a single.

Mohammad Nabi is back on. 7-0-37-0 so far.

36.6
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, pushed through point for a single.
36.5
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Goes back in his crease and defends.
36.4
1
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, pretty wide, O'Brien winds up for a slog but the ball spins in a long way, takes the inner half of the bat and rolls towards long on. Just a run.
36.3
0
Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended.

Kevin O'Brien walks in at number 5, replacing Simi Singh.

36.2
0
Z Khan to S Singh, OUT! Plumb LBW! The change of angle does the trick for Zahir. He had been bowling over the wicket all this while and the first ball he switches the angle, pays him rich dividends. The googly, spinning in slightly, but skidding on mostly, Simi goes back in his crease to work it to the leg side but misses. He is squared up, as he expects the ball to turn away and is hit on the pads. Looks plumb when he is hit on the pads and the umpire agrees. 56 more needed. 7 wickets in hand. 82 balls remaining...
36.1
4
Z Khan to S Singh, FOUR! Nicely driven. Tossed up, outside off, Simi leans into the drive and gets it through the covers. Javed Ahmadi gives it a good chase from sweeper and dives to his right, but in vain.
35.6
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Around middle, flicked straight to short mid-wicket.
35.5
1
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Around middle, flicked through mid-wicket for a run.
35.4
1
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, HALF CENTURY FOR BALBIRNIE! His 8th in ODIs, 4th vs Afghanistan. He needs to be there till the end at least for Ireland to go through. A composed knock, like Stirling, taking 68 balls, with 4 boundaries.
35.3
1
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Full and down the leg side, flicked through square leg for a single.

Balbirnie on 49...

35.2
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Around middle this time, watchfully blocked out once more.
35.1
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
34.6
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
34.5
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The batsman defends it from within the crease.
34.4
1
Z Khan to S Singh, Full and outside off, SS winds up for a big drive but mistimes it towards mid off, who is resting on his heels. A quick single pinched.
34.4
0
Z Khan to S Singh, WIDE. Spinning down the leg side, Singh misses his flick.
34.3
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, A full toss outside off, Andy misses out, mistiming his drive through the covers for a single.
34.2
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, this one comes back in slightly, but is too wide outside off to be played. Left alone.
34.1
4
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Streaky but Ireland will not mind. Full and outside off, Balbirnie looks to drive but the ball spins away, takes the outside edge and just beats a diving short third man. 150 UP FOR IRELAND. 66 more needed from 95 balls.

Zahir Khan returns. 6-0-27-1 so far.

33.6
1
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Pushes this through mid on for a run.
33.5
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
33.4
1
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Outside off, eased through the covers for a single.
33.3
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Tossed up nicely outside off, Singh looks to open his arms but can only drive it back to the bowler.
33.2
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Around off and outside off, Simi dead-bats this one.
33.1
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
32.6
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, Balbirnie looks to punch but gets a thick inside edge onto his pads.
32.5
3
R Khan to S Singh, The leg spinner, pitched on a shorter length, turning away a mile, Simi does not pick it at all and plays it late from the crease. Somehow manages to get it past short third man. Rahmat Shah gives it a good chase from that position, gets to the ball before it touches the boundary and drags it back in. Three runs taken.
32.4
0
R Khan to S Singh, Outside off, the leg spinner this time, SS lunges to defend but misses.
32.3
0
R Khan to S Singh, Outside off, the googly, Singh does not pick it and shoulders arms. The ball spins back in and hits him on the pads, prompting an LBW appeal but the umpire stays put.
32.2
0
R Khan to S Singh, Full and around middle, flicked straight to short mid-wicket.
32.1
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, The googly, around off, turns in massively, Balbirnie watches it closely till the end and flicks it through square leg for a single.
31.6
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Gets right behind this one to block.
31.5
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Full and outside off, Simi lunges to defend but is beaten.
31.4
0
Ur Rahman to S Singh, Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
31.3
1
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Gets down on a knee and sweeps it through square leg for a single.
31.2
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, The carrom ball, outside off, Balbirnie looks to defend but is beaten as the ball rips away past the outside edge.
31.1
0
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Around off, defended from the crease.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back on. 6-2-16-0 so far.

30.6
2
R Khan to S Singh, Full and outside off, Singh pokes at it and gets a thick outside edge past slip towards third man for a couple.
30.5
0
R Khan to S Singh, Full and outside off, spinning away, Simi lunges to defend but misses.

Simi Singh walks in at number 4, replacing Stirling.

30.4
0
R Khan to P Stirling, OUT! LBW! Oh dear... Stirling does not look happy at all. He has been adjudged LBW. We say adjudged because we think he might have been hard done by. Tossed up around off, Paul made the big mistake of playing this from the crease. Got squared up by the away turn and missed the ball, getting hit on the pads. To the naked eye itself, that looks high but the umpire raises his finger, giving in to the vociferous LBW appeals. Replays confirm that the impact itself was outside off and with the ball turning away... Well, well, well. Do Afghanistan have that door open? Ireland still need 79 from 116 balls. The 81-run stand has been broken.
30.3
0
R Khan to P Stirling, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
30.3
0
R Khan to P Stirling, WIDE. The googly, down the leg side, Paul misses his flick.
30.2
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Better from Balbirnie as he comes on the front foot to this one and pushes it to long on for a single.
30.1
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, that skids through, Balbirnie plays that from the crease and just about manages to keep it out. Risky ploy.
29.6
6
M Nabi to P Stirling, SIX! SMOKED! Nice way to end the over. Full and around off, Stirling gets down and slog sweeps it massively over mid-wicket! Moves to 70 from 86 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes.
29.5
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Outside off, chopped down to short third man.
29.4
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Fetches this from outside off and sweeps it through square leg for one.
29.3
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, pushed through mid on for a run.
29.2
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
29.1
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Around off, pushed towards long on for a single. 89 more needed from 125 balls.
28.6
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, Balbirnie looks to drive but misses. Shahzad misses to collect as well and the ball lobs off his thighs over first slip. The batsmen run a bye to third man.
28.5
1
R Khan to P Stirling, Outside off, pushed towards cover for a run.
28.4
0
R Khan to P Stirling, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
28.3
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Another play and a miss. Full and outside off, Paul lunges to defend but is beaten by the away turn again.
28.2
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
28.1
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Huge shout for caught behind! Not out, says the umpire. Shahzad is flummoxed and wants a review! No UDRS in this series...Here is what the replays show. Full and around off, Stirling stayed back to defend but the ball spun away quickly, in all likelihood missing the outside edge. That is what it seems like to the naked eye. There is a sound heard when the ball passes the bat, perhaps it was hitting the thigh.
27.6
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Outside off again, this time Paul waits for the ball to come to him and plays this late behind point for one.
27.5
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Outside off, punched straight to short extra cover.
27.4
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Around off, watchfully defended with a lunge.
27.3
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Around middle, Balbirnie uses his long reach, gets to the pitch of the ball with a long stride and sweeps it through square leg for a run.
27.2
0
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, watchfully defended towards cover.
27.1
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Landed outside off, Stirling gets well across and punches this down to long on for a single.

Mohammad Nabi returns. 5-0-25-0 so far.

26.6
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven straight to cover.
26.5
1
R Khan to P Stirling, Full and outside off, driven past the man at short extra cover, wide of long off for a run.
26.4
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Full and around off, this time Paul gets across and defends.
26.3
0
R Khan to P Stirling, The leg spinner, outside off, Stirling lunges to defend but is beaten comprehensively by the away turn. Mohammad Shahzad behind demolishes the stumps but the batsman never left his crease.
26.2
0
R Khan to P Stirling, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
26.1
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, pushed through mid on for a single.
25.6
1
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, A short ball, around middle, Balbirnie pulls it towards fine leg for a run.
25.5
0
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven towards mid off.
25.4
1
S Zadran to P Stirling, Outside off, tapped towards point for a run.
25.3
4
S Zadran to P Stirling, FOUR! Great shot but poor effort in the field. Fractionally short of a length outside off, Stirling waits for the ball to come to him and then punches it behind point. The ball races away and so does Zahir Khan from third man, to his right. However, he does not put in a dive, trying to kick the ball away but misses it completely.
25.2
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
25.1
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully defended.

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.

24.6
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Around off, defended from the crease.
24.5
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
24.4
1
R Khan to P Stirling, Full and outside off, Stirling looks to defend but the ball spins away, takes the outside edge and just escapes slip. A run taken.
24.3
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a run.
24.2
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Around off, punched off the back foot towards cover.
24.1
1
R Khan to P Stirling, Full and outside off, a big googly, spins in, Stirling looks to drive but the ball goes off the inner half of the bat towards square leg. A single taken.

Rashid Khan is back on. 2-0-13-0 so far.

23.6
2
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Misfield. Afghanistan slowly running ragged now. Outside off, Balbirnie guides it towards backward point where Zahir Khan gets across to his right from third man and should have cut it off but he takes his eyes off the ball and fumbles. The second is completed with ease.
23.5
0
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, On a good length outside off, coming in with the angle, Balbirnie defends it watchfully. Shapoor dives to his left but parries it to mid off.
23.4
1
S Zadran to P Stirling, Full and wide outside off, blasted all along the ground but there is a sweeper in place at cover. Just a run.
23.3
1
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Fraction short in length, too wide outside off, guided down to third man for a single. 109 more needed from 159 balls.
23.2
0
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Outside off, left alone.
23.1
0
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, On a good length around off, solidly defended.
22.6
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, Outside off, another googly, this time Paul pushes and misses.
22.5
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Goes back in his crease and works it through mid-wicket for a run. 50-RUN STAND IS UP. So these are two decent stands for Ireland here. Need to just ensure that they do not have a collapse.
22.4
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The wrong 'un outside off, Balbirnie pushes to defend but misses.
22.3
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Played through mid-wicket by the batsman but straight to the fielder.
22.2
2
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, pushed through point for a couple.
22.1
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, On middle and leg, flicked through mid-wicket for a single.
22.1
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, FIVE WIDES! A bonus for Ireland. The attempted leg spinner but pitched outside leg. Stirling looks to flick but misses and poor Shahzad behind is blinded. The ball merrily runs down to the fine leg fence. 100 UP FOR IRELAND. 114 more needed from 168 balls.
21.6
1
S Zadran to P Stirling, 18TH ODI FIFTY FOR STIRLING, 8th vs Afghanistan. Can tonight's innings come in a winning cause? A calm knock, taking 60 balls, with 6 fours and a maximum. Ireland need another 119 runs and though those might seem easy, given the way the batting has capitulated in this series, Stirling needs to stay till the end. Gets to his half century with a gentle tuck off his hips through square leg for a single.
21.5
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully blocked out.

Meanwhile, Stirling is on 49...

21.4
1
S Zadran to A Balbirnie, Outside off, on a fuller length, driven towards point where Najibullah Zadran gets a bad bounce. The ball hits him on the right arm and deflects towards sweeper cover. A run taken.
21.3
1
S Zadran to P Stirling, Fractional fuller, worked through square leg for a single. Moves to 49.
21.2
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, On a good length around off, coming in with the angle, Paul hops and defends it towards cover.
21.1
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, A short ball outside off, Stirling is early into his pull and misses. The ball goes past the bat, hits the arm and then lobs towards point.

Shapoor Zadran is back on. 3-0-21-0 so far.

20.6
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Looks to flick but misses and is hit on the pads.
20.5
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Another wrong 'un, this is pitched around off, pushed towards point.
20.4
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The googly around middle, turning away, defended from the crease.
20.3
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Balbirnie comes forward and dead-bats it.
20.2
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, driven back to the bowler.
20.1
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, Full and around middle, pushed towards long on for a single.
19.6
1
R Khan to P Stirling, The batsman has played it towards mid-wicket. They pick up a single.
19.5
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, Andy looks to work it to the leg side but gets a leading edge wide of the bowler towards mid off. A run stolen.
19.4
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, left alone.
19.3
4
R Khan to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Short and outside off, Balbirnie goes back and cuts it through point for a boundary again!
19.2
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, The googly, around off, defended from the crease.
19.1
4
R Khan to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Outside off, fuller in length, Balbirnie punches it through the covers and gets a boundary!
18.6
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, The batsman has been struck on the pads as he looked to play that off the front foot.
18.5
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The batsman plays a sweep shot. The batsmen have run through for a single.
18.4
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, Full and around middle, swept through square leg for one.
18.3
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a run.
18.2
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, Brings the sweep shot out and hits it through square leg for a run. The fielder does well to stop it with a slide.
18.1
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, A little too full outside off, AB leans into the stroke and hits it through covers for a run.
17.6
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Gets away with that one does Rashid. Bowls it short and outside off, Stirling cuts but finds the man at point. A little to the right or the left, it would have surely been two at least.
17.5
0
R Khan to P Stirling, Gives it a little more air does Rashid and lands it on off, Stirling strokes it nicely but finds cover.
17.4
1
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Again goes back and nudges it on the leg side for a single.
17.3
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, On the stumps, Balbirnie goes back and blocks it out. AB seems happy to play Rashid off the back foot.
17.2
2
R Khan to A Balbirnie, On the shorter side and outside off, Andy goes back and guides it through point for a couple.
17.1
0
R Khan to A Balbirnie, Flatter and on middle, AB goes back and punches it towards mid on. Short mid-wicket gets to his left quickly and saves a run.

Rashid Khan is on now.

16.6
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, The googly but it is shorter in length, Balbirnie has enough time to pick it. He goes back and works it around the corner for an easy run. 5 singles from the over.
16.5
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, Flatter and this one skids through, Stirling just about gets his bat down in time and works it through the leg side for a run.
16.4
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, The leg spinner, Stirling picks it and then works it around the corner for a single.
16.3
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Brings the sweep shot and plays it nicely through square leg for another single.
16.2
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, This is tossed up on off, Stirling strokes it down to long off and a run is taken.
16.1
1
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Played through mid-wicket by the batsman. The batsmen have run through for a single.
15.6
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Down the leg side flicked through square leg for another run.
15.5
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full on middle, worked through mid-wicket for one.
15.4
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully blocked out.
15.3
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Around middle, watchfully defended.
15.2
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, worked through mid on for a run.
15.1
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Pushes this through mid on for a single. 149 more needed from 209 balls.
14.6
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Tossed up outside off, driven straight to cover.
14.5
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Another LBW shout. Turned down. This is the conventional leg spinner but it is going down the leg side as Andy stays back in his crease to flick and is hit on the pads.
14.4
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Pitched outside leg, Balbirnie stays back to defend but misses and is hit on the pads. An LBW appeal ensues but nothing in it.
14.3
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, It's been driven superbly through the covers.
14.2
0
Z Khan to A Balbirnie, Outside off, driven straight to cover.
14.1
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, Full and around middle, pushed through mid on for a single.
13.6
4
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, FOUR! Full on middle and leg, Balbirnie gets down and sweeps it through square leg for a boundary!
13.5
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Around off, worked through mid-wicket for one.
13.4
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Outside off, Stirling looks to push but misses.
13.3
1
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around off, pushed towards long on for a run.
13.2
2
M Nabi to A Balbirnie, Full and around middle, worked through mid-wicket for a couple.
13.1
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Around off, punched towards long on for a single.

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

12.6
0
Z Khan to W Porterfield, OUT! BOWLED! MAIDEN INTERNATIONAL WICKET FOR ZAHIR! This is some ball to begin your international career. The wrong 'un, outside off, SORRY. Well outside off. Porterfield comes half forward to defend but the ball spins back in a long way, beats the inside edge and knocks the off stump back! Porterfield has no idea where that came from. The umpires check upstairs for the no ball but replays deem the debutant fine. The 57-run opening stand is broken and Ireland need another 160 to win from 222 balls.
12.5
1
Z Khan to P Stirling, The googly again, outside off, PS goes back and across to work it through mid-wicket for a single.
12.4
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, Full and outside leg, gently nudged towards short fine leg. Initially the batsmen want a single but then change their mind.
12.4
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, WIDE. Down the leg side, flick shot missed.
12.3
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, The wrong 'un, around leg stump, Paul gets back and defends.
12.2
0
Z Khan to P Stirling, Around middle and leg, worked through square leg but straight to the fielder.
12.1
4
Z Khan to P Stirling, FOUR! Welcome to international cricket, mate! Too full outside off, Stirling gets a big stride and punches it through the covers for a boundary!

Big moment. Debutant Zahir Khan to bowl.

11.6
0
M Nabi to W Porterfield, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
11.5
0
M Nabi to W Porterfield, Short and outside off, cut through cover where a good fielding stop prevents runs.
11.4
0
M Nabi to W Porterfield, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
11.3
0
M Nabi to W Porterfield, Tossed up outside off, William lunges and blocks.
11.2
0
M Nabi to W Porterfield, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
11.1
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around middle, pushed towards long on for a single.
10.6
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
10.5
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full around middle, Porterfield looks to flick but gets a leading edge which does not carry to point.
10.4
2
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Short and outside off, punched through the covers for a couple. 50-RUN STAND UP. Great start by Ireland.
10.3
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around off, watchfully blocked out.
10.2
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
10.1
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Outside off, punched straight to cover.

POWERPLAY 2 time. 4 fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle till the 40th over.

9.6
6
M Nabi to P Stirling, SIX! Fine way to end Powerplay 1! Tossed up outside off, Stirling comes down the track and sends this sailing over mid-wicket! 48/0 after Powerplay 1, well ahead of Afghanistan's 34/1 at this stage.
9.5
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Played to the mid-wicket region by the batsman.
9.4
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
9.3
2
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, very full, Stirling swings hard and somehow gets bat to it. The ball goes past the leg stump and debutant Zahir Khan does well to run and slide to pull the ball back in. Two runs taken.
9.2
1
M Nabi to W Porterfield, Full and around middle, worked through mid-wicket for a single.
9.1
1
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, Stirling comes down the track and heaves it over mid-wicket for a single.
8.6
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
8.5
4
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, FOUR! SMASH! A rare bad ball from Mujeeb and it is dispatched. Short and outside off, asking to be hit, Porterfield rocks back and pulls it with disdain over mid-wicket! 179 more needed from 247 balls now.
8.4
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball. Guess where? Cover.
8.3
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Shorter in length, outside off, punched towards cover again.
8.2
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Outside off, punched towards cover.
8.1
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Outside off, Porterfield looks to punch but gets it off the inner half of the bat towards mid on.
7.6
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Outside off, driven straight to cover.
7.5
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, A huge shout for LBW, turned down! Risky shot from Stirling. He looks to sweep this but telegraphs his intentions well in advance. Nabi fires it in and keeps the length very full. Paul misses and is hit on the pads, prompting an LBW appeal. Impact was outside off.
7.4
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Shorter in length, punched towards Nabi again.
7.3
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Full and around off, watchfully punched towards Nabi.
7.2
0
M Nabi to P Stirling, Around middle, pushed towards the bowler.
7.1
1
M Nabi to W Porterfield, Full and outside off, driven towards long off for a single.

Mohammad Nabi is on early.

6.6
4
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, FOUR! Off the edge. Fired in on the pads, Stirling looks to work it to the leg side but plays a touch early. The ball takes the edge and flies past slip to the third man fence.
6.5
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
6.4
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Full and around middle, pushed towards short mid-wicket.
6.3
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Attempted wrong 'un, but does not turn. Goes on with the arm, Stirling looks to defend but the ball goes off the inside edge towards square leg.
6.2
1
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Works it through mid-wicket for a run.
6.1
1
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Carrom ball, fired around middle, defended to the leg side for a single.
5.6
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, That ball has struck the batsman on the thigh pad. The batsmen have run through for a single. The umpire signals a leg bye.
5.5
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Around middle, blocked from the crease.
5.4
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball.
5.3
4
S Zadran to P Stirling, FOUR! Fine shot! Full and outside off, Stirling leans into this one and drives it through the covers.
5.2
4
S Zadran to P Stirling, FOUR! Down the leg side, Stirling tucks it to the fine leg fence.
5.1
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Around off, coming in with the angle, pushed towards point.
4.6
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around middle, well blocked out.
4.5
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Short and outside off, punched straight to cover.
4.4
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around middle, watchfully defended to the leg side.
4.3
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
4.2
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Around middle, watchfully defended.
4.1
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around middle, pushed back to the bowler.
3.6
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, The batsman has punched that ball through the off side.
3.5
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, A short ball, outside off, Porterfield swivels to pull but is a tad early into the shot. Misses and gets hit on the body. The ball rolls towards point and a leg bye is taken.
3.4
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, Around middle, worked to the leg side.
3.3
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
3.2
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, Full and around off, pushed straight to mid off.
3.1
4
S Zadran to W Porterfield, FOUR! That is a bad ball. Short and in line of the stumps, Porterfield swivels and pulls it behind square leg for a boundary!
2.6
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Quicker one outside off, Paul looks to drive but misses.
2.5
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Around off, watchfully defended.
2.4
4
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, FOUR! Stand and deliver. No footwork. But who cares? Full and outside off, plenty of width, Stirling waits and just hammers this flat-flooted through the covers!
2.3
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Fired in on middle and leg, pushed towards short mid-wicket.
2.2
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Around middle, thrust back to the bowler
2.1
0
Ur Rahman to P Stirling, Full and outside off, watchfully defended.
1.6
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, Full and just outside off, watchfully pushed towards point.
1.5
4
S Zadran to W Porterfield, FOUR! Wonderfully played. Around middle and leg, Porterfield just helps it through square leg and the ball races away! 208 more needed from 289 balls.
1.4
0
S Zadran to W Porterfield, Around middle and leg, keeps a bit low, pushed towards short mid-wicket.
1.3
1
S Zadran to P Stirling, Around middle, helped through fine leg for a single.
1.2
4
S Zadran to P Stirling, FOUR! PRISTINE! Stirling gets the Irish innings underway. Full and outside off, a touch wide, Paul reaches out and drives it through the covers for a boundary!
1.1
0
S Zadran to P Stirling, Full and around middle, watchfully defended.

Shapoor Zadran to to bowl with the second new ball.

0.6
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and straight, kept out watchfully to begin the chase with a MAIDEN!
0.5
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Around off, pushed back to the bowler.
0.4
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
0.3
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Outside off, left alone.
0.2
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
0.1
0
Ur Rahman to W Porterfield, Full and outside off, watchfully defended.

Welcome back. Mujeeb Ur Rahman to start off proceedings.