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Preview: Having lost the first T20I, Ireland will hope to bounce back on Sunday and keep the series alive when they face Afghanistan in the second T20I at Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground.
In the opening match of the series, Ireland batted first and posted 172/6 in 20 overs. Paul Sterling, the opening batsman, top scored for his team, smashing 60 off just 41 balls, which included eight fours and two sixes.
Afghan bowlers disappointed, but Rashid Khan stood tall with a superb spell. In his four overs, he picked three important wickets and gave away just 22 runs.
In the chase, Afghanistan openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz shared a 50-run stand but soon were down by two wickets. At one stage, Afghanistan were reduced to 70 for 4, but then Samiullah Shinwari and Najibullah Zadran put on 63-run partnership to keep Afghanistan in the match.
Afghanistan needed 40 runs from 30 balls when rain stopped the play. The play couldn't be resumed and Afghanistan won the match by 11 run via D/L method.
Virat Kohli on Thursday said his teammates have become "acceptive" of living in the IPL bio-bubble and there is no "desperation" for a change of environment as they approach the tournament proper from 19 September.
Khan enjoys the best bowling economy of 6.55 at an average of 21.69 in the IPL. The batsmen have now started playing out his overs to avoid the risk of losing their wickets.