|Tim Murtagh||not out||3||5||0||0|
So that is all from here at Stormont! An emphatic victory for the Irish. They will now look to win the 2nd game and seal the series on Tuesday, 21st of May. That game will begin at 1045 local (0945 GMT). Join us for the coverage of the same to find out whether Afghanistan can come back harder in the second game and level in the series or not. Till then it is goodbye from us. Take care and cheers!
Victorious Ireland skipper, William Porterfield says that they have played good cricket in patches over the past month but admits that this was a pleasing performance, especially winning by 70-80 runs. Tells that he has built a good relationship with Stirling over the years and it is always good to bat with him. Mentions that they felt that the score was a bit under par and during the start of the defense, they were not bowling well but came back into the game and won it comprehensively in the end.
Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib says that the bowlers did their job but their batting was not good. Credits the way Ireland bowled and never let them get away. Also praises Stirling and Porterfield for their stand which took Ireland to that total.
Well, not much cannot be said about the batting of Afghanistan as a highest score of 29 will never be good enough. All the batsmen struggled against the right line and lengths bowled by the Irish bowlers. When you get bowled out and five batsmen get single-digit scores, you are always going to be in trouble. That is exactly what happened and Afghanistan slid to a horrific defeat here in Belfast. The captains' thoughts to follow...
The bowling performance was started off brilliantly by Tim Murtagh and Andy McBrine who bowled economically as well as picked two wickets in their opening spell. There on, the pressure was unrelenting and Mark Adair added the gloss on the performance picking up 4 wickets of his own. Boyd Rankin had a tough opening spell but his captain kept him on and he proved the worth with 3 wickets in the middle stages which put Ireland on the top in this game.
This has been an incredible bowling performance from the hosts but on the other hand, a very poor batting show from the away side, Afghanistan. They never got going in the chase of a total that looked under par on that wicket. They were too cautious in the beginning and lost wickets too while playing extremely slowly. They could never recover from that and eventually the pressure got to them and they kept losing wickets, crumbling to a defeat. Ireland though must be credited for the right lines and lengths that they bowled, never letting the visitors get any sort of advantage in the chase.
OUT! Caught and bowled! It is all over here! IRELAND WIN BY 72 RUNS!!! A remarkable catch to bring the game to an end. A fuller ball on middle, Mujeeb hits the ball back to the bowler who gets his arm up in front of his face and holds onto the sharp return catch. Mujeeb cannot believe this. Meanwhile, Adair picks up his 4th wicket! We cannot believe this, Afghanistan have blown up a chase of 210 and fallen to a demoralizing loss.
Fuller one on middle first up to Mujeeb, he hits it firmly to mid on who makes a good tumbling stop. He even throws the ball back in anger at the non-striker's end.
OUT! That could be the final nail in the Afghanistan coffin. Naib holes out at long on trying to smash his way to a win. A length ball on off, Gulbadin wants to hit a maximum over the bowler's head but fails to get enough power on that ball as it goes off the inside. It goes high and the substitute fielder, Kane there settles under the ball and takes a very good, calm catch! Just one away now from the win are Ireland!
Defended off the back foot by Naib to this ball on a length outside off.
FOUR! Shot! Aftab Alam had no half-measures there. A short of a length ball on middle, Alam pulls this through mid-wicket. The ball raced away to the fence. Brilliant shot, just swung through the line. 138/8
Back of a length outside off, Aftab pushes the ball towards backward point after getting out of the way.
Aftab Alam defends the ball with a straight bat.
Gulbadin pushes the ball through point for a single.
Poor ball! On the pads, Naib has nudged the ball fine down the leg side. The ball races to the boundary. Four runs have been signalled by The Umpire.
Back of a length outside off, Naib gets it off the outside half to the left of point. Two runs taken.
Outside off on a length, Aftab looks to hit the ball outside off but is beaten. 127/8
Pulled away to deep mid-wicket by Naib for a run.
This ball is hit towards mid on uppishly by Alam and the ball lands just short. That could have been out had the fielder reacted a bit more quickly there. A single is taken as the batsmen run through.
A misfield slight one by Dockrell at cover means the batsmen can pick up a single.
Defended towards the offside by GN.
FOUR! Good effort but in vain! A short length ball on middle, Naib pulls this away through mid-wicket. The fielder chases it, dives to keep it in but the effort goes in vain as the body was in contact with the rope at the same time as the ball.
Mark Adair comes back on now.
Outside off, Aftab wanted to play that ball but lets it alone in the end. 120/8
Defended off the front foot by the new batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
Aftab Alam walks in at number 10.
OUT! Third wicket for Rankin! The wheels are coming off really hard here for the visitors. A short length ball on middle, Zadran looks to pull this but gets a top edge. The ball lobs towards the keeper, Gary Wilson who takes the simplest of catches. This has been one big turnaround from the hosts!
On a length on middle, pushed defensively back to the bowler.
Back of a length on off, Zadran defends the ball towards cover. Looks for a quick single but it would have been suicidal.
Drinks break. Ireland are cruising at the moment. With 91 needed off 107 balls. This is surely Ireland's game to lose now. They are just 3 wickets away from sealing this game here. Dawlat Zadran will walk out to bat after the break.
OUT! The seventh one goes down! Afghanistan are now in a huge spot of bother. Rashid Khan departs now. A short ball outside off, Rashid looks to hit it over mid off but fails to time it. It goes straight to William Porterfield at mid off who makes no mistake. Ireland will now feel really in the driver's seat! Gulbadin Naib would be the only one who can really take the game away from them now onward.
Rashid will keep the strike. He strokes the last ball to long on and gets a run. 120/6
SIX! Second six in the over and Rashid is playing the way he knows to play. As they say attack is the best form of defence. Rashid gets another full ball on off, this time he smashes it over the long off fence for a six.
On the stumps, Rashid blocks it with a straight bat.
Good length ball on off, Rashid hits it straight to cover.
Back of a length ball on off, Rashid pulls it wide of the fielder at deep mid-wicket for a couple.
SIX! That's out of here! Full length ball on off, it is in Rashid's zone. He whacks it over the mid-wicket fence for a biggie.
Another length ball on middle, Rashid blocks it off his front foot and takes a single as the ball goes towards cover. 105/6
Back of a length ball on off, Khan defends it with straight bat.
Another incoming delivery on middle and leg, Rashid cannot do much but just block it.
Length ball on the body, Rashid cannot do much but just block it.
Rashid Khan walks out to bat.
OUT! Boyd Rankin strikes. Ireland have got the wicket they were looking for. Good length ball pitching on off. It comes in after hitting the deck. Afghan looks to defend but gets beaten by the inward movement. The ball hits him on his knee roll. The Irish players all go up in appeal and the umpire slowly raises his finger.
A length delivery on middle and leg, Gulbadin Naib flicks it to fine leg for a run.
Single to end the over. On the pads, Naib flicks it down the leg side for a run. 103/5
On off, Naib blocks it.
Back of a length ball on off, Afghan defends it with soft hands and takes a quick single as the ball goes towards cover. George Dockrell gets to the ball and has a shy at the keeper's end. He hits the target and Wilson was confident they had got their man. But the square leg umpire says that Naib was in and rules his decision in the batsman's favour.
On the pads once again and Naib flicks it to the on side for one.
On the pads, Afghan looks to flick but it goes off his thigh pad towards fine leg and they take a leg bye.
Length ball on off, Naib plays it towards cover and gets a run.
Defended off the back foot by the batsman. 98/5
Pulled away for a single to deep square leg.
Short of a length this time, Naib goes for the pull but fails to connect.
The batsman defends it from within the crease.
Angled fine on the off side for a couple of runs this time by Naib.
A length ball outside off, Afghan looks to cut this through point The ball goes to third man for a single.
Gulbadin Naib walks out to bat next.
OUT! No luck this time and Kevin this time finds the outside edge of Nabi's bat. Good length ball outside off. Nabi goes chasing after it. He plays a lazy drive and after the previous ball missing the outside edge, this time they get it. The 54-run stand is broken and Afghanistan have half their side back in the hut. 94/5
Just misses. Length ball outside off, Nabi looks to drive but misses. It was not too far away from the outside edge.
On the pads, Asghar flicks it to square leg for a run.
Length ball on the stumps, Asghar defends it with straight bat.
Length ball on off, Afghan blocks it off his front foot.
WIDE! Kevin misses his line and bowls it down the leg side. Afghan looks to flick it but misses. Wide signalled.
Fuller on off, Afghan blocks it off the front foot.
Kevin O'Brien into the attack now.
Good length ball outside off, Nabi lets it go the keeper. 92/4
On the pads, Afghan flicks it to fine leg for a run.
Length ball outside off, Afghan slaps it over point and wide of sweeper cover for a couple.
In the air...but safe. Back of a length ball on off, Nabi pulls it over mid-wicket but does not time it well. The ball falls short of the fielder in the deep and they take a run.
Good length ball outside off, Nabi looks to drive but misses.
Mohammad Nabi needing some attention now after copping a blow on the finger of his right hand.
A short delivery on off, Nabi looks to defend it on the back foot but the ball hits him on his glove.
Fuller length around off, Afghan tries looks to defend but misses the ball, the ball hits the pads. A huge appeal by the bowler denied by the umpire. 88/4
Full on off, Nabi drives it to mid off for a run.
SIX! A short delivery this time, Nabi rocks back and pulls it above the mid-wicket region for another maximum.
SIX! Just what Afghanistan wanted. A flighted delivery on middle and leg, Nabi dances down the track and lofts it over the mid-wicket fence for a huge six.
Full on leg, Nabi plays it back to the bowler.
Back of a length on off, Asghar looks to defend it but gets beaten, miss by the keeper results in a run. Bye signalled.
Another flick for a single by AA. 10 runs off this over, just what the doctor ordered for Afghanistan. 74/4
Nabi flicks it away with a wristy shot. They pick up a single.
Wide! This one is down the leg side and has been penalised by the umpire. Rankin is all over the place today.
Afghan pulls this short ball away on the leg side. Single taken easily.
Bouncer! The batsman ducks under the bouncer at the last moment.
FOUR! Rankin is proving to be just the blessing in disguise that Afghanistan needed. The ball is full on the pads, flicked away through backward square leg and all the way to the fence for a boundary.
Straying down the leg side again, Afghan looks to flick that ball away but misses. It takes the shirt on its way through. The bowler mistakes it for an edge and hence appeals but the umpire is unfazed.
Wide! Bowled way, way down the offside. It is outside the tramline and hence has been wided by the umpire.
Wide! This one is down the leg side and has been wided by the umpire.
Flights it on off, Afghan strokes it towards cover and gets a run. 64/4
FOUR! Swept and swept fine. Floated on middle and leg, Afghan plays the sweep wide of short fine leg towards the square leg region for a boundary.
On the stumps, Afghan calmly blocks it.
On the pads, Afghan flicks it to the man at square leg.
Shorter on off, Nabi slaps it to sweeper cover for a run.
Floated on off, Nabi blokc sit off his front foot.
Bowled on the hips, Nabi misses the flick. The ball goes off the side of the batsman and a leg bye is stolen. 58/4
FOUR! Another freebie from Rankin. A length ball on the pads, Nabi runs the ball fine on the leg side with ease. Another boundary, the second of the over. This comes as a welcome change of pace for Afghanistan.
Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
Wide! Down the leg side and it is wided.
FOUR! Welcome runs for Afghanistan! A length ball on the pads, Nabi runs it really fine on the leg side. These are easy pickings for a batsman of his caliber.
Defended solidly by MN onto the surface on the front foot.
A length ball outside off, Nabi looks to cut this ball away but fails to put bat on ball as it just moves away at the last moment.
Boyd Rankin comes on to bowl now.
Floated on middle, Afghan tucks it to mid-wicket. 48/4
FOUR! Excellent use of the feet. Tossed up on middle and leg, Afghan comes down the track and lofts it over mid-wicket for a boundary.
Short on the body, Nabi milks it down to long on and rotates the strike.
Short outside off, Afghn looks to cut but gets a thick outside edge towards third man for a single..
Shorter off spinner on off, Nabi strokes it to covers and gets a run.
Starts with a flatter delivery on off, Nabi looks to defend but does so off the inner portion of his bat.
George Dockrell replaces Andy McBrine.
Dot to finish the over. 7 runs off the last 3. The last ball is on off, Asghar defends it to see off the over. 41/4
Length ball on off, it moves away after pitching. Afghan has a poke at it but misses.
On middle and leg, Afghan flicks it to mid-wicket.
Good length ball on off, Nabi taps it to point and gets a run.
On the stumps, Nabi defends it with straight bat.
Length ball on off, Nabi gets on his front foot and blocks it.
Stand up and applaud this guy! 4 maidens in an ODI! A flatter one on middle to end, pushed back to the bowler by the former skipper. McBrine finishes his quota of overs. He has incredible figures of 10-4-17-0!!! 40/4
Fired in on the pads, flicked again to the same fielder.
Flatter on middle, flicked by AA to mid-wicket.
Another flatter one on off, cut away by Afghan towards the point fielder.
Asghar looks to turn this ball towards mid-wicket but cannot time the ball well.
Flatter on middle, kept out towards the offside by the batsman.
Mohammad Nabi walks out to bat.
OUT! Adair gets another one. He once again hits the length hard and bowls it outside off, Shahidi looks play it on the off side but gets a thick outside edge which goes straight to Gary Wilson behind the stumps. He takes a simple catch. Shahidi starts walking and the players are excited. 40/4
Play and a miss. Length ball outside off, Shahidi has a poke at it but misses.
On the pads, Asghar flicks it to square leg and gets a run.
Outside off on a length, Shahidi taps it down to third man for a run.
Full on off, Shahidi hits it straight to mid off.
FOUR! What a shot! Full outside off, It is in Shahidi's slot. He cream his drive through covers for a boundary.
Drinks break! Ireland have choked Afghanistan's chase here and are right on top. Another wicket or two will mean that the visitors will be in extreme trouble. They need a partnership and some boundaries to get them going. The good thing working in their favour is that the total is not a very big one. A very entertaining passage of play lies ahead, who will come on top?
On the pads, Afghan flicks it but finds square leg. 34/3
On the stumps, Asghar blocks it off his front foot.
Floated on off, Shahidi milks it to long on and gets a run.
On the pads, Shahidi lofts it to mid-wicket but does not time it well so gets only one.
Tossed up on off, Shahidi pushes it to cover.
Floated on off, Shahidi blocks it off his front foot.
On off, Shahidi strokes it wide of mid off and gets a run. 31/3
On a length on off, Shahidi strokes it to the man at cover.
Good length ball on off, Shahidi strokes it to cover.
Length ball on off, Shahidi pushes it to point.
Full again outside off, Afghan taps it to point and gets a run.
Full length ball on off, Shahidi drives it to covers and takes a quick run as the fielder there fumbles.
Flatter on middle and leg, turned towards mid-wicket by Shahidi for a run. McBrine's figures read 8-3-14-0 now!!! 28/3
Fired in on off, the batsman defends the ball back to the bowler once more.
Flatter on middle, defended back down the ground to the bowler by the southpaw.
Turned away through mid-wicket for a single by AA.
Shorter this time outside off, Asghar chops the ball past extra cover to his right. Long off comes around and cuts the ball. 2 runs taken in the time.
Flatter on middle, pushed towards mid-wicket by Afghan.
Patted towards point by the batsman. Just 1 run off this over. 24/3
Back of a length on middle, HS defends back down the ground.
Another ball outside off that is left alone by Shahidi.
Outside off, left alone by the southpaw at the last moment.
Quick single! This is what you need to do when the runs have dried up. Asghar pats this ball towards the off side and calls his partner for a quick single.
Length ball outside off, Afghan looks to hit this ball on the off side but fails to put bat on ball once more.
Maiden over. He has been very good in this game so far. He bowls a flatter one on the stumps, Shahidi comes down and taps it back to the bowler. 23/3
5 dots in a row now. This is floated on off, strokes it to the man at cover.
Quicker through the air on middle, Shahidi defends it off his inner half of his bat.
Tosses it up on off, Shahidi comes down the track and defends it.
Flighted on middle and leg, Shahidi taps it back to the bowler.
The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
Length ball outside off, Shahidi taps it down to third man and gets off the mark. Brilliant over from Adair. Tremendous start. Just a single and a wicket off his first. 23/3
On off, Shahidi does not take any risk and just blocks it.
On the stump now, Shahidi defends it with straight bat.
Outside off, Shahidi leaves it alone.
Hashmatullah Shahidi walks out to bat.
OUT! Bowled 'em. Big wicket for Ireland. They know how dangerous Zazai can be having seen it in the T20I earlier in the year. Adair has got the breakthrough in his very first over. Length ball pitching on middle and off, Zazai looks to pull, but the ball is not short and it goes onto disturb the off stump. The Irish players are happy and why won't they be?
Starts right on the money. Length ball going away with the angle. It is on the body of Zazai blocks it.
Mark Adair is introduced into the attack.
Floated on off and middle, Afghan keeps it out. 22/2
On middle and leg, Zazai glances it to mid-wicket for a run.
Tossed up on off, Zazai defends it off his front foot.
Appeal for lbw turned down. Floated on middle and leg, Zazai looks to sweep but gets hit on the pad. Andy was excited but the umpire was not. The keeper also was not too keen.
Floated on the stumps, Zazai looks to defend but does so off the inner half of his bat.
Tossed up on off, Zazai strokes it to the man at cover.
Another maiden from Murtagh! A length ball wide outside off, left alone by the batsman. This is unbelievable stuff from Tim! 21/2
Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
Back of a length on middle, Afghan looks to whip this ball away but misses and gets hit high on the thigh pad. An appeal comes, it is very optimistic though.
Asghar looks to poke at this ball outside the off stump but fails to put bat on ball as it holds its line instead of coming inward like the first two balls.
Coming in again, turned off the pads by Afghan towards mid-wicket.
Back of a length and coming into him from outside off, defended from the crease
Another defensive stroke from HZ. What a brilliant start this has been from the Irish! Afghanistan are 21/2 at the 10 over mark. 21/2
Zazai comes ahead and keeps this ball out.
Hazratullah looks to work this drifting ball on middle and leg away but fails to put bat on ball. He gets hit on the pad but nothing too worrisome.
Zazai defends this ball onto the surface once more.
The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery.
Flatter on off, kept out by Zazai coming ahead.
On the pads, Zazai flicks it to fine leg and gets a single. End of an excellent over. Just 2 runs and a wicket. 21/2
Murtagh bowls it on off, Asghar looks to cut but gets a thick outside edge down to third man for one.
Asghar Afghan is the new man in.
OUT! Caught! Three dots on the trot and Rahmat got under pressure. Murtagh smartly bangs one in short. Rahmat looks to pull it but gets a top edge which goes aerially to mid-wicket. Paul Stirling there takes a dolly. He is not going to drop those and Afghanistan lose their second wicket.
Fuller on off, Shah drives it straight to mid off.
Once again Tim bowls it on a length around off, Shah solidly blocks it.
Good length ball on off. The ball comes in after pitching. Rahmat looks to defend but it goes to mid-wicket off the inner half of his bat.
HZ goes for the wild swing this time but once again, completely loses the radar of the ball and misses it. This is excellent bowling so far from Ireland, the visitors are not even scoring at 2.5 runs per over. 19/1
Length ball on middle and leg, Zazai tucks this towards the fielder at square leg.
FOUR! What a shot! Right off the middle of the bat. A flatter one on middle, Zazai hits this one through mid off. No stopping that one.
Fuller on middle, driven to long on for a run by Rahmat.
This time the batsman goes back in the crease and keeps the ball out from the crease.
Flatter on off, Rahmat has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
Hazratullah has failed to put bat on ball this time again outside off stump. The ball is moving a bit here! 14/1
Zazai looks to smash this one through the offside but the ball moves away at the last moment to go past the outside edge.
FOUR! Terrific shot! A fluent drive from Zazai this time and the ball finds the gap through the covers. Some pressure relieved!
Only a single as Zazai falls while trying to turn around and come for the second run. A length ball on the pads, flicked away through mid-wicket. Two runs were easy there but unfortunately the batsman slipped at the non-striker's end.
Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat.
On a length on off, Rahmat keeps this ball out back onto the surface.
Shorter and quicker on middle, defended from the crease by the opening batsman. 9/1
Flighted outside off, this time Zazai drives the ball to cover.
Flatter on off, chopped towards cover.
Fired in quicker and full on off, the southpaw comes ahead and defends the ball into the surface.
Flatter outside off, patted towards point by the left-hander.
Flatter on the pads, turned away through mid-wicket by Shah for a run.
Hazratullah this time looks to smash this one over the bowler's head but fails to put bat on ball. Another excellent over for Ireland, 1 run off it and a wicket as well. 8/1
Length ball outside off, punched hard but straight to mid off by the southpaw.
Back of a length outside off, Zazai punches this ball towards cover.
Fuller one on middle, Rahmat is off the mark with a flick shot through mid-wicket. Single taken.
Rahmat Shah walks out at number 3.
OUT! Struck in front and the finger goes up! On a length on middle, Shahzad looks to flick this away but the ball is missed by him. He gets hit in front of the wickets. The appeal is not even completed and the finger went up! This is the early wicket that Ireland so desperately needed. This could be a really tricky chase if Afghanistan lose early wickets.
Back of a length outside off, Shahzad pushes this ball towards point.
Zazai pushes this ball towards cover. 2nd maiden on the trot! 7/0
The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
Flatter one on the pads, Zazai looks to flick this ball but it goes away slightly aerially towards square leg.
Another flatter one on off, kept out by Hazratullah coming ahead.
Watchfully defended by the southpaw once more.
Flatter outside off, Zazai defends the ball on the front foot.
Another back foot defense this time from Mohammad. Maiden from Murtagh! 7/0
On a length on middle, kept out from the crease towards mid-wicket by MS. They want a single but fail to get one.
On a length on middle, kept out again by Mohammad.
The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
This keeps slightly low on middle but MS adjusts and keeps this ball out with a good defensive shot.
On a length outside off, Shahzad comes ahead and defends the ball back down the ground.
Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 7/0
Flatter outside off, Zazai chops this ball really late past the slip fielder. 2 runs are taken.
Shahzad mistimes a lofted shot over mid on. A single is taken. The batsman looked to go against the turn there, could have been really risky.
MS prods ahead and defends this ball back down the ground.
Shahzad flicks this ball towards the leg side to the square leg fielder.
Flatter one outside off first up from the offie, Shahzad defends from the crease.
Dot to finish the over. Four runs off the first over. It is outside off, Zazai taps it to the man at point. 4/0
Zazai is off the mark too. He also does so with a flick wide of fine leg for a couple.
Outside off on a length, Zazai taps it to short third man.
Good length ball outside off, Zazai looks to defend but gets beaten.
Shahzad is off the mark. On the pads, he flicks it to fine leg for a run.
Now corrects his line and bowl it on off, Shahzad looks to defend but gets an inside edge onto his pads.
WIDE! The chase is off the mark, albeit with a wide. Not the start Ireland would have wanted. Murtagh bowls it down the leg side, Shahzad looks to flick it but misses.
We are back for the chase. The Irish players are out on the field and take their fielding positions. Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai are the openers for Afghanistan. Tim Murtagh has one new ball in hand and will bowl the first over.