The fifth One day international between Afghanistan and Ireland turned out to be a one sided affair as Ireland secured a comfortable win against the Afghan team. There was no resistance provided by Afghanistan and it seemed they lacked the will to play today. Let’s take a deep dive into the match.
Table of Contents
1st Innings: Afghanistan’s batsmen falter
Despite ruling the series so far, Afghanistan looked out of touch in today’s match. Both the openers Mohammad Shahzad and Javed Ahmadi failed to establish a great partnership and were dismissed on 6 and 24 respectively. Their sudden collapse was a huge jerk for the team and all the pressure came onto the middle order now.
Asghar Afghan then led the charge for his team and made a stunning 82 on 111 balls, his presence assured a big total for Afghanistan but Asghar got hurt during the innings and had to leave the field. What followed was a bad collapse as none of the middle order batsmen could live up to the expectations Rahmat made 17 whereas Shenwari departed for 0.
Asghar Afghan scored 82 after his team was reduced to 50/4
Third consecutive half-century for the skipper, and it's taken Afghanistan to 216/6
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) March 10, 2019
The scorecard was reflecting the poor state of the batsmen but then all-rounder Mohammad Nabi saved the sinking ship by making crucial 40 runs. It was due to his last minute heroic that Afghanistan was able to cross the 200 mark and could put up 216 on the board.
Although this was a low total but one expected that Ireland might have to struggle to reach it since Afghanistan’s bowlers were in great shape but it wasn’t their day perhaps as they could seldom get any wicket.
2nd Innings: Ireland cruised towards victory
The target of 216 was rather quite easy for the Irish batsmen to chase down. Captain Porterfield couldn’t add much to the score and just managed to make 17 runs. After his departure, experienced batsmen Paul Stirling led the attack and Balbirnie accompanied him well. Stirling made 70 runs, he got deceived by Rashid Khan’s spin and lost his wicket but his valuable contribution made the chase easy for Ireland.
Ace bowlers, Zadran and Mohammad Nabi failed to get any wickets and continued giving out runs. The Irish team came into a very commanding position eventually courtesy Balbirnie’s unbeaten innings. They won the fifth ODI and leveled the series 2-2
Ireland win the final ODI in Dehradun to draw the series 2-2!
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie guide the chase with half-centuries as Afghanistan's 216/6 is overhauled with 16 balls remaining. Ireland win by five wickets!#AFGvIRE scorecard ➡️ https://t.co/lFDBqbL6vT pic.twitter.com/KMagKIpR4R
— ICC (@ICC) March 10, 2019
Disappointment for Afghanistan
Afghanistan could have won the series with ease, however, complacency in the final match cost them the whole series. The series ended in a draw, this was a huge sigh of relief for Ireland who perhaps feared a whitewash since the Afghan team was quite strong.
The defeat in the last ODI was more to do with the poor performance of the bowlers than the batsmen, Afghan bowlers did have the capability to defend a low total but could not cash in opportunities on time resulting in a brutal loss. This time lady luck was on Ireland’s side!
The only Test between Ireland and Afghanistan will start from 15 March.
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