|210/10 (48.5 ov) - R/R 4.30||138/10 (35.4 ov) - R/R 3.86|
|Aftab Alam||not out||5||7||1||0|
|Current Partnership||Last Wicket 138/10 (35.4)|
0 (0) R/R: 0
Aftab Alam 0(0)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman 0(2)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman 0(2) S.R (0)
c & b Mark Adair
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.