Afghanistan defeat Ireland by 7 wickets, take unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Inspite of Paul Stirling’s century, Ireland posted a below par score. The total was chased down without breaking much sweat by the Afghan batsmen. Rahmat Shah made his 4th ODI century. He was ably helped by Hashmatullah Shahidi, who scored a crucial half-century.
Afghanistan grabbed 10 points and move up the table in the World Cup Super League.
Ireland 259-9(50 overs). P Stirling 128(132), C Campher 47(52), N ul-Haq 4/42, Mujeeb 3/46 .
Afghanistan 260-3(45.2 overs). Rahmat Shah 103(109), H Shahidi 82(100), C Campher 1/28, S Singh 1/44.
Result : Afghanistan chased down the target with 7 wickets in hand and 28 balls left
The venue for the match was Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi in UAE. Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie won the toss and elected to bat first. Even Afghan captain Asghar Afghan said it was a good toss to lose as he wanted to bowl first. He said so because defending a total has been tough over the years on this ground.
Paul Stirling scored his 10th ODI hundred
Ireland lost a few early wickets. Mujeeb ur Rehman reduced Ireland to 20-2. But their experienced batsman Paul Stirling did a brilliant job in playing out the spinners. He played a fine knock of 128 off just 132 balls. But he was not getting enough support from the other batsmen .
Curtis Campher though played a decent innings of 47 runs off 52 balls. For Afghanistan, Naveen-ul-Haq was the pick of the bowlers. He dismissed 4 batsmen and gave away just 42 runs off his 10 overs. Mujeeb ur Rehman also took 3 wickets .
Rahmat Shah smashed his 4th ODI hundred
So Afghanistan needed 260 to win which was a fighting total. But they were in a spot of bother when they were reduced to 48-2. Then, 2 experienced Afghan batsmen Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi stitched a wonderful match defining partnership. They put on 184 runs for the 3rd wicket. By the time Shahidi was out on a personal score of 82, the match was already in Afghanistan’s pocket.
With this, Afghanistan grab crucial 10 points in the World Cup Super League. Both captains stressed on the fact that the third match is not anything like a dead rubber. This is because World Cup 2023 qualification is on the line. The World Cup Super League is in progress and thus no match can be taken lightly.
Read Also : Afghanistan Defeat Ireland by 16 Runs at Abu Dhabi.