Afghanistan made a positive impact in second game after first game was washed out due to rain. Now, visitors are leading five-match One-Day Internationals series 1-0 with three more games to go. Meanwhile, Ireland will be keen to level the series when both teams take field on Thursday (14 July) in third game at Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast.
Afghanistan forced to bat first put up brilliant partnership of 76 runs for first wicket between Mohammad Shahzad and Javed Ahmadi. However, wicket of Rahmat Shah and Asghar Stanikzai may have put Afghanistan in a spot of bother when scoreboard read 125 for 4 wickets, looking at the fact that they got good opening stand.
Najibullah Zadran bailed visitors out from any danger who scored responsible 59 runs off 61 balls. Later in the inning Rashid Khan scored quickly 18 runs of just 11 balls but they were folded to 250 runs with 4 balls to spare.
Kevin O’Brien and Barry McCarthy bowled exceptionally well to grab four wickets each. Kevin O’Brien gave Ireland first breakthrough when Afghanistan were heading towards big opening stand in form of Rahmat Shah while Barry McCarthy wiped out lower batting order of visitors to deny any recovery. Tim Murtagh though went wicket-less but he was economical of all who gave 28 runs of 8 overs.
Ireland would have been satisfied after restricting visitors to 250 runs but they failed to chase even when they for 71 runs of opening stand provided by skipper William Porterfield and Ed Joyce who scored 25 and 62 runs respectively. At this point, target seemed to be achievable but wicket of Ed Joyce and Stuart Poynter in 26th over brought Afghanistan back in the game.
Kevin O’Brien briefly raised hopes of an Afghanistan-style innings revival with a 23-ball 35 but his dismissal, in the 37th over, left the lower-order too much to get. The spinners led by Rashid Khan then swept through the tail to seal the victory.
Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan were top bowlers who took 3 wickets each while Mirwais Ashraf and Dawlat Zadran managed to take 2 wickets each.
Overall, it was satisfactory performance from the visitors and they will look to replicate one more time and strengthen their chances to seal the series. On other hand, Ireland would be disappointed with their performance, especially the way their middle order reacted to target.
Where to watch Afghanistan vs Ireland, 2nd ODI Match Live?
TV Channels: Afghan TV
Online Streaming: Click Here for Live streaming online.
Live Score: Cricbuzz.com and ESPNcricinfo.com
What is the full squad of Ireland and Afghanistan for 3rd ODI on 14 July?
Afghanistan Squad: Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mirwais Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Dawlat Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad(w), Noor Ali Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Asghar Stanikzai(c), Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran, Amir Hamza, Yamin Ahmadzai
Ireland Squad: William Porterfield(c), John Anderson, Ed Joyce, Mark Richard Adair, Peter Chase, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter(w), Paul Stirling, Sean Terry, Gary Wilson
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