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That is it from this game. Ireland have levelled the 5-match ODI series 1-1. The 4th ODI will be played on Friday, 8th March at the same venue. That game will begin at 1300 local (0730 GMT). Join us for that one. Till then, cheers!
Andy Balbirnie is the obvious choice for the Man of the Match award. He admits that there was some pressure and also adds that his form was not good. Talks about the pressure while playing against some world-class players. Says that the team will enjoy this win and carry the confidence forward in the series. Adds that they know that it was not a perfect performance and they will work on a few things.
Ireland skipper, William Porterfield says he is happy to win the game. Admits that they did not start well but Balbirnie played really well. States it is great to see an innings like Balbirnie's. Mentions that their series against Afghanistan is always closely contested and they will try to take the lead in the next match. Adds that it's great to see such superb performance from his team. Signs off by saying that this win will give them a lot of confidence.
Afghanistan skipper, Asghar Afghan says it is always disappointing to lose the game. Admits some batsmen played poor shots and that cost them. Regrets the dropped catches and credits Balbirnie for his excellent knock. Hopes to come back strongly in the next game.
Afghanistan will be disappointed here. They had the conditions conducive for their style of bowling but still failed to create enough pressure in the middle overs. The start though was a good one with Mujeeb removing the Irish skipper early and then Dawlat Zadran striking twice in the 8th over. But, from there, Ireland clawed their way back. Even when Dockrell got dismissed, the Afghans had 41 runs to play with but the presence of Balbirnie never allowed their spinners to settle down. The fielding from Afghanistan was also very sloppy as they dropped Balbirnie twice, once when he was on 51 and then towards the end with 7 needed off 11 balls.
Outstanding victory for Ireland to level the series 1-1! We witnessed a fabulous knock from Andy Balbirnie in a run chase and considering the sluggish nature of the deck, this knock has to be one of the very best from an Irish batsman. They were in the doldrums after losing four wickets for only 73 but the 143-run stand between Balbirnie and Dockrell revived their innings. The pair batted smartly against the Afghan spinners and always kept the required rate under check.
48.6DZadran to ABalbirnie
FOUR! IRELAND WIN BY 4 WICKETS! Zadran dishes out a full length ball outside off, Balbirnie throws his bat at it and slices it over backward point for a boundary. He roars in delight, what a win for the Irish team!
48.5DZadran to ABalbirnie
Too full in length on off, a cracking square drive by Andy but he finds the point fielder.
48.4DZadran to ABalbirnie
FOUR! A low full toss on middle, Balbirnie moves back to make some room and drills his drive through covers for a boundary. Scores are levelled.
48.3DZadran to AMcBrine
Good length delivery outside off, McBrine looks to defend but gets an inside edge. It rolls near the surface and they steal a run.
48.2DZadran to ABalbirnie
Dropped. This game would have become very interesting here had he taken the catch. Slower bouncer on leg, Balbirnie goes for the pull but he mishits it and it goes towards the short fine leg fielder. Rahmat Shah there drops a dolly and they take a single.
48.1DZadran to AMcBrine
Length delivery on middle and off, McBrine flicks it towards mid-wicket and gives the strike to Andy Balbirnie.
47.6RKhan to AMcBrine
Goes down on one knee and sweeps it wide of short fine leg for a run. 8 needed more.
47.5RKhan to AMcBrine
That ball has taken the inside edge of the batsman and thudded into his pads.
47.4RKhan to ABalbirnie
Smartly gets a single after hitting a biggie. Knocks it down to wide long on for a run.
47.3RKhan to ABalbirnie
SIX! Slog sweeps have been a special feature of this Balbirnie knock. Tossed up ball around middle, Andy is down on one knee in a flash and spanks it over mid-wicket.
47.2RKhan to AMcBrine
DROPPED! Another googly, McBrine fails to pick and has a tame push inside the line from the back foot. Edges it behind but Shahzad fails to catch it and they cross.
47.1RKhan to AMcBrine
A googly around off, a stunning delivery, McBrine leans to defend but it spins away to beat the outside edge.
46.6DZadran to AMcBrine
Full length delivery on off, McBrine hits it straight to the fielder at mid off.
46.5DZadran to ABalbirnie
Length delivery outside off, Balbirnie hits it towards point and takes a single.
46.4DZadran to ABalbirnie
Slower bouncer on middle and leg, Balbirnie makes room but leaves it thinking it was too high. The umpires though have no problem with it.
46.3DZadran to ABalbirnie
SIX! Six the moment it left the bat. Shorter in length, Balbirnie picks it early and whacks it over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum.
46.2DZadran to ABalbirnie
Good length delivery on middle, Balbirnie hits it uppishly towards cover fielder.
46.1DZadran to ABalbirnie
Shot! Dawlat runs in and angles in a length ball on middle and leg, Balbirnie hops back and smacks it over the bowler's head for a couple of runs.
Dawlat Zadran is back into the attack.
45.6RKhan to AMcBrine
Excellent delivery. Flighted just outside off. It pitches and goes straight. McBrine looks to defend but gets beaten and it goes past the outside edge.
45.5RKhan to ABalbirnie
Leg spinner on middle and leg, Balbirnie tucks it towards mid-wicket and gets to the other end.
45.4RKhan to AMcBrine
On the pads, McBrine flicks it towards backward square leg and rotates the strike.
45.3RKhan to ABalbirnie
On middle and leg, Balbirnie nudges it towards mid-wicket and gets to the other end.
45.2RKhan to AMcBrine
Good running. Fuller delivery outside off, McBrine pushes it to point and takes a very quick single.
45.1RKhan to AMcBrine
Shorter delivery on off, McBrine taps it back to the bowler.
44.6UrRahman to AMcBrine
Goes on the back foot and pushes it down through mid on for a run.
44.5UrRahman to AMcBrine
Flighted and outside off, McBrine defends it off his front foot.
44.4UrRahman to ABalbirnie
Goes quicker through the air and fires in a full ball on the pads, Andy flicks it in front of square leg for a run.
44.3UrRahman to ABalbirnie
FOUR! Poor delivery and punished! Short and wide outside off, Balbirnie camps back and crunches his square cut to the deep point fence.
44.2UrRahman to AMcBrine
Strides forward and eases it down through mid on for a run.
44.1UrRahman to AMcBrine
Starts the over from 'round the wicket and darts in a full ball on off, McBrine defends it off his front foot.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman to bowl out.
43.6RKhan to ABalbirnie
Shorter in length outside off, Balbirnie cuts it to the fielder at point.
43.5RKhan to ABalbirnie
On middle and leg, Balbirnie flicks it towards mid-wicket for a couple.
Andy McBrine is in next.
43.4RKhan to SPoynter
OUT! Caught. Poynter holes out. Tossed up delivery on middle and off, Stuart goes for the slog sweep. It looked like it would clear the fielder for a moment but Hazratullah Zazai jumps and takes a good catch at deep mid-wicket. A very unnecessary shot from Poynter, he should have rotated the strike rather than going after Rashid. Balbirnie needs someone to stay there and support him now.
43.3RKhan to SPoynter
Stumping opportunity missed. Leg spinner on off, Poynter stretches out to defend but misses. Shahzad behind the stump does not collect it and misses a clear stumping opportunity.
43.2RKhan to SPoynter
In the air...but safe. Flighted delivery on middle, Poynter looks to flick it but gets a leading edge. The ball falls short of the cover fielder.
43.1RKhan to ABalbirnie
On middle and leg, Andy nudges it towards mid-wicket and gets to the other end.