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Ireland Win 5th ODI against Afghanistan by 12 Runs to End Series 2-2

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Ireland Win 5th ODI against Afghanistan by 12 Runs to End Series 2-2

July 20
16:57 2016

ireNew Delhi, Wednesday, July 20 – Ireland won the fifth ODI against Afghanistan by 12 Runs to end 5-match ODI series 2-2. Team Ireland included William Porterfield – the captain, Sean Terry, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Peter Chase and Stuart Poynter – the wicket-keeper.

Those who watched the entire happenings of the contest while sitting on the bench were John Anderson, Mark Richard Adair, Tyrone Kane and George Dockrell. At the same time, the players who were selected to play in the last game, which was decisive for the travellers, from Afghanistan side were Javed Ahmadi, Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Yamin Ahmadzai, Rashid Khan, Mirwais Ashraf and Dawlat Zadran. Asghar Stanikzai captained the team and hunted for victory in the end.

Those in extras were Samiullah Shenwari, Hamid Hassan, Amir Hamza, Shapoor Zadran and Noor Ali Zadran. Afghanistan’s tour of Ireland to contest in five match One Day Internationals came to an end a day ago when they faced defeat at the hands of Ireland despite picking the pace to chase the target set by Ireland. Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat second. The invitation to bat first was well accepted by the host, who scored 265 runs for the loss of five wickets in fifty overs. Both cricket playing countries were aware where the outcome of the contest will lead.

The final match turned important in numerous contexts after Afghanistan won the 4th ODI by 79 runs, restricting the opponents at 150 runs and defending target of 229 runs, which was attained for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs. The tournament did not start in a way it was expected in view of the fact that the opening ODI held on July 10 was abandoned. The second ODI played on June 12 was won by Afghanistan by 39 runs. Ireland bounced back in the third match to add to the interest in the contest winning it by six wickets. The tourists, however, got the lead in the 4th ODI and were eying to capitalise on opportunities to clinch series by winning the last game but that did not happen. All matches were organised at Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast.

If truth be told then both sides, which were full of talented players, looked forward to gain experience. Only a team win in the end but getting a wonderful start in the game and maintain it till the end can help a group stay a step ahead of the other contesting party. As a matter of fact, when the opener William Porterfield was dismissed by Mirwais when batting at a score of 8 off 20 balls, which comprised a fours as well, pressure was felt by the home side. Losing the skipper on such score wasn’t expected and this perhaps made Sean Terry to play a wrong shot who threw his wicket to Y Ahmadzai at 4 runs. Sean Terry, who did not perform well in the previous match after being lbw by Rahmat at a score of nine runs, did not get back in form as well when it was needed for the team.

But Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson were in a different mood. The two players held the fort to let Ireland reach at a strong spot from where it turns impossible for the rivals to think of a bounce back. Wilson played up this time and the change in batting order lent a hand to Ireland. He was dismissed at 58 runs by Dawlat Zadran but he tried to do his bit confidently. His innings was studded by five boundaries and a six. Joyce continued to stand strong. But Kevin O’Brien had to go back to the pavilion post missing the chance to read a delivery by Nabi. He could only score a single. Paul Stirling lost his wicket to Dawlat Zadran after adding a couple of runs in the team’s total score.  Stuart Poynter – the Ireland wicket –keeper was not out at a score of 12 off 15 balls.

Ed Joyce – the opening batsman – was not out at 160 runs that were attained after facing 148 deliveries. He felt the ease in hitting shots while Afghanistan bowlers were trying to send him back to the dressing room. Joyce was the highest scorer from both sides. Bowling changes even did not do any trick and the Ireland opener struck 19 boundaries and three sixes. Afghanistan bowling lineup seemed missing the edge as 20 extras were given by them. When it came to chasing the target of 266 runs, Afghanistan fumbled. The opener Mohammad Shahzad was dismissed at a score of 7, which included a four too, by Barry McCarthy. Javed Ahmadi threw his wicket to Murtagh when playing at a score of 3. 10 deliveries were faced by him to get this total. This shows that Afghanistan were facing trouble while playing against Ireland.

Gulbadin Naib  was out by Chase at 2 runs. Rahmat Shah to a certain extent tried to shrug off pressure by hitting two boundaries. Nonetheless, in an attempt to increase the pace of scoring runs, he lost his wicket to Kevin O’Brien. 30 runs were pocketed by him in 56 balls. Asghar Stanikzai played a knock of 32 runs scored in 64 balls, which included a boundary also. Barry McCarthy ended his stint. Mohammad Nabi made an effort to save his team but when Chase got his wicket, the middle-order batsman had to leave the crease. He played an innings of 25 runs (4 x 1 and 6 x 1)  Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan kept the hope up and heightened the chance that they might save the match. Thanks to introduction of stylish play, Afghanistan looked getting back on track. But that stability did not last for long since Rashid Khan was out at the moment Stirling experimented with different line and length and dismissed him at 40 runs off 32 balls (4 x 4 and 6 x 1).

Mirwais Ashraf succumbed to Kevin O’Brien on a naught. Game was almost over for the visiting team when Zadran turned another prey of Kevin O’Brien post scoring 54 runs of 66 balls, together with four 4s and a six. Dawlat Zadran played a wonderful knock of 31 runs facing only 15 balls. He struck three 4s and a couple of sixes. Before Afghanistan would have reached near to the total score by Ireland, the overs were finished. He was unbeaten along with Yamin Ahmadzai, who was not out at 3 runs. Afghanistan was stunned to some extent as it was a match that could have been won had more than a few balls were played properly. The entire team was out at a total of 253 runs for the loss of nine wickets.

Afghanistan fell 12 runs short to get a win that could have made them seal series. Despite the fact that the total put by the host wasn’t humongous, they managed to save it and ended series by levelling it. The triumph was enjoyed by the home side since the series ended with 2 wins each in the pocket of Afghanistan and Ireland. It was a bit difficult for the Ireland players to bounce back but self-belief encouraged them to do well in the contest. Though they missed the opportunity to win series but were happy in the last part as equalizing it was a challenge too. Fans backed cricketers of Ireland whenever shot was struck and wickets were taken. Player of the Series award went to Ed Joyce for his splendid play. The key to success is performance. Afghanistan wished to finish the tournament with a victory and go back home with winner’s trophy. However, for this, they will have to wait for another series if they wish to turn their dream come true.

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