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Right then! Yet another series for the Afghans where they cannot lose. They have the chance to win it come Sunday where they have just one box to tick - the top order throwing it away. Their batting runs deep, which is nice but they cannot keep on leaving it to the lower order. Ireland, well, need to bat better. Period. They have got one final chance on Sunday, March 10, 2019 when the 5th ODI will be played, at 1 pm local (0730 GMT). Join us then. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Afghanistan skipper, Asghar Afghan, says that this game was very important for them. Laments the top order throwing its wickets away but praises Rashid's fightback. On players getting a chance in this game, Afghan says that more players will be given a chance come Sunday. On Rashid winning the Man Of The Match award, Asghar says that no one plays for the award, everyone plays for the team. On his injury during his dismissal, Afghan says that there were some MRI scans done and nothing came out to be serious. Adds that he just wanted to take some rest.
RASHID KHAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH, for his all-round show of 52 and 2/22. Thanks the almighty for enabling him to perform well tonight. Adds that he is always confident about his batting and is happy that he perform when his team needed him to. On playing cricket all round the world, Khan says that one needs to enjoy the game and keep oneself fit.
Ireland skipper, William Porterfield, says that the confidence was high coming into this game and feels that some individual errors with the bat cost them the match. Admits that 223 was perhaps a bit more than they conceded but he is not too concerned about that, as he is very happy with the bowling. On the batting front, the skipper says that they got a half decent start but then his side 'managed' to get into a hole. On the preparations for Sunday, William says that there is not a lot one can do in one day but he will certainly hit the nets and try and work on the mistakes committed in this game.
Now, about Afghanistan. Champion bowling. Who said they are all about Rashid or Mujeeb? Tonight was Aftab Alam's night. His 4/25 broke the spine of Ireland's batting, with wickets of Porterfield, O'Brien, Poynter and Murtagh. The others were decent too, crucially not letting the team down, maintaining excellent pressure. Please do stay tuned for the presentation...
Was it the rain which spiced things up? Perhaps. The ball was skidding onto the bat and there was some inconsistent bounce as well. Ireland simply could not adjust to the pace and bounce and kept mistiming their shots and eventually lost their wickets.
Normally, small totals are always difficult to chase. Because one gets muddled in the mind. Should I play attacking cricket? Should I be cautious? Well, Ireland seemed to start off well, racing off to 31 inside 6 overs but then suddenly lost 3 quick wickets. Then, there was a brief partnership brewing between Simi Singh and Kevin O'Brien but once the former was dismissed, the floodgates opened. Ireland slipped from 66/3 to 114 all out.
Easy-peasy then for Afghanistan. Who would have thought? After they were 81/6, scraped to 223, it always looked like another defeat was looming. But the hosts have pulled off something spectacular.
35.3MNabi to BRankin
OUT! LBW! That is the end of the game. Afghanistan have won by 109 runs. Tossed up on off, Rankin looks to defend but misses the line completely and gets hit on the pads. Nabi appeals and the umpire raises his finger. That was as plumb as it got. Afghanistan take a 2-1 series lead!
35.2MNabi to BRankin
Floated delivery on middle, Rankin flicks it to the leg side.
35.1MNabi to BRankin
Tossed up on middle, Rankin plays a slog sweep over mid-wicket. It lands in no man's land. The batsmen pick up a couple.
Mohammad Nabi into the attack now. 7-1-16-0 so far.
34.7RKhan to CameronDow
FOUR! A rare bad ball, short and around off, the googly, Dow picks the length, goes back and pulls it past short mid-wicket for a boundary!
34.6RKhan to CameronDow
Down the leg side, flicked towards short fine leg.
34.5RKhan to CameronDow
Very full, Dow misses his flick and is hit on the pads. Rashid appeals for LBW but it is turned down by the umpire. Perhaps missing leg stump.
34.4RKhan to CameronDow
Tossed up, around middle, pushed towards cover.
34.3RKhan to BRankin
Around middle, worked through mid-wicket for a single.
34.2RKhan to BRankin
ALMOST! Terrific ball. Rashid nearly cleaned him up. Yorker ball, around leg, Rankin looks to defend but is slightly late in getting his bat down. The ball takes the inside edge and just beats the leg stump!
34.1RKhan to BRankin
Leg spinner going down the leg side for a wide.
33.6AAlam to CameronDow
Length delivery on leg, Dow nudges it towards fine leg. The batsmen pick up a couple. Mujeeb at deep fine leg slides and does well to pull it back. He saves two runs for the team.
33.5AAlam to CameronDow
Full on off, Dow defends it out.
33.4AAlam to CameronDow
On off, Dow defends it off the front foot.
33.3AAlam to BRankin
Length delivery on off, Rankin plays it towards covers for a run.
33.2AAlam to BRankin
On a good length on leg, Rankin makes room and defends it off the back foot.
33.1AAlam to BRankin
Full toss and outside off, Rankin plays it to point.
32.7RKhan to CameronDow
Punched off the back foot by the batsman.
32.6RKhan to CameronDow
Full and around off, watchfully defended.
32.5RKhan to CameronDow
WIDE. Down the leg side, flick shot missed.
32.4RKhan to BRankin
Around middle, flicked through mid-wicket for a run.
32.3RKhan to BRankin
Driven through the covers by the batsman. Two runs added to the total.
32.2RKhan to BRankin
Outside off, a play and a miss.
32.1RKhan to CameronDow
Full and around middle, flicked through mid-wicket for a single.
31.6AAlam to BRankin
Bowls a yorker on middle, the batsman manages to dig it out. What an over from Aftab Alam. 2 runs and 2 wickets have come from the over.
31.5AAlam to BRankin
Length delivery on off, Rankin plays it over covers. The batsmen pick up a couple.
31.4AAlam to BRankin
NO Hat-trick for Aftab Alam! Full on off, Rankin plays it back to the bowler.
Boyd Rankin is the only man left...
31.3AAlam to TimMurtagh
OUT! Another one loses his stumps! Fifth bowled dismissal of this innings. On a length, around off, coming in, Murtagh looks to defend but the ball stays low, breaches his defense and hits the timber! 9 down, Aftab has four, what is more, he is on a hat-trick!
31.2AAlam to KO'Brien
31.2: A Alam to K O'Brien, OUT! BOWLED! The last recognized batsman goes for Ireland. On a good length on off, O'Brien looks to pull but he misses the line and gets bowled. Fourth bowled dismissal of the innings. Sadly, the only part left in the run chase was O'Brien's half century, which goes too...
Tim Murtagh is in at number 10, replacing O'Brien.
31.1AAlam to KO'Brien
31.1: A Alam to K O'Brien, On a good length on off, O'Brien looks to defend but gets an inside edge onto the pads.
James Cameron Dow walks in at number 9, replacing McBrine.
30.7RKhan to AMcBrine
OUT! Bad ball, but a stunning return catch! Afghanistan are all over Ireland here. Absolute ripper this one from Rashid Khan. Full toss outside off, McBrine drives it straight back, where Rashid sticks out his right hand and takes a single-handed beauty. 7th wicket down for Ireland.
30.6RKhan to AMcBrine
Big leg spinner this one, but going down the leg side for a wide.