Afghanistan's With The Stick In The Centre Of Ireland Eye Series Win > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Afghanistan's batting in focus as Ireland eye series win

Ireland put up a fine show in the first ODI to clinch the game by 72 runs

Ireland may not have made the cut for the World Cup 2019, but they have every reason to rejoice after beating Afghanistan by 72 runs. After not entering the final of the home tri series, involving West Indies and Bangladesh, they put up a solid performance in the the first of two One-Day Internationals in Belfast, in a series where all eyes were on the visitors.

Afghanistan, who stopped over in Ireland before heading to the global tournament for a series that could help them acclimatise to the conditions similar to what they will be facing later, were handed a jolt in their first game under new captain Gulbadin Naib. With the ball seaming around, Mark Adair and Boyd Rankin claimed seven wickets between them, to bowl Afghanistan out for 138 inside 36 overs, in pursuit of a modest 211. Their fragile batting line-up was tested after Ireland dried out the runs early on with successive maidens. Andy McBrine played his part in keeping them quiet, finishing with outstanding figures of 0 for 17 in ten overs, including as many as four maidens.

Succumbing to the pressure of dot-balls early on complemented by some good bowling reduced Afghanistan to 40 for 4. Mohammad Nabi and Asghar Afghan joined hands for a 54-run partnership, but the frailty showed up with the lower order throwing their wickets away as Ireland cruised to a win. Mark Adair finished with 4 for 19 in 6.4 overs, while Rankin had 3-40 after starting poorly conceding runs in the middle as the game began tilting in the visitors' favour for a brief period.

For Ireland, if not for William Porterfield (53) and Paul Stirling (71), who added 99 for the third wicket, it would've been a sorry tale too. Kevin O'Brien added a handy 32, but Afghanistan's bowlers did well to restrict the hosts to a modest total. Aftab Alam and Dawlat Zadran returned three wickets apiece, while Rashid Khan had two.

Afghanistan still have one more ODI to put their line-up to test before their warm-ups against Pakistan and England in a few days' time. Even if they're not looking so far ahead, they will want to level the series, with confidence, leaving the Irish shores behind.

When: Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 10:45 AM local

Where: Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast

What to expect: Scattered showers are forecast, which could cause hindrance through the game. Temperatures will be below 20 degrees.

Team News

Afghanistan

The visitors will hope to give those benched a go before the World Cup warm-ups for some game-time. Hamid Hassan, Noor Ali Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran were benched for the first ODI. If not all, a couple might get a go in the second.

Ireland

Ireland may be tempted to hand a debut to Tyrone Kane, the 24-year-old all rounder.

Squads

Ireland: William Porterfield (C), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Tyrone Kane, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson.

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, CRashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

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