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That is it from us then! The limited-over contests are done and dusted. Over now to the longest format where both sides are relatively new. Who will have the final say? Join us on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 10 am local (0430 GMT) when the only Test is played out. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
William Porterfield credits the team for a quick turnaround. First praises the bowlers for restricting Afghanistan and then the batsmen for chasing the total down, putting a cover on Friday's disappointment. On playing Afghanistan, Porterfield says that they are not alien to Afghanistan, having played them a lot in Dubai and even here. Is looking to put his feet up for a couple of days now and then get ready for the Test match.
ANDY BALBIRNIE HAS BEEN ADJUDGED THE PLAYER OF THE SERIES. 215 runs at an average of 71. Balbirnie says that all the batters were aware of how good the opposition spinners are and if the batters did have a bad day, they used to go back to the nets and work harder. Adds that after the previous game, the Irish watched live video footage of the Afghan bowlers and prepared accordingly. Is looking forward to some rest and then gear up for the exciting Test match on Friday.
Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan, says that it was a very good series. Does not want to look too much into this loss as there were plenty of changes to the playing XI. Admits that the top order not firing is a cause of concern but is sure that will be sorted soon. AFGHAN IS ALSO THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS UNBEATEN 82.
they tried hard but probably they tried too hard. This was exactly what Hamid Hassan opined on air too. They were simply rushing through their overs and while it does not give batsmen the time to settle, sometimes it does not allow the bowler himself to relax. The speeds were too quick and there were less changes of pace. Small things but could have made a big difference. The plan to keep Rashid and Mujeeb wicketless or not giving too many wickets worked for Ireland and the hosts struggled for an inspiration. Did Asghar Afghan's absence hamper the home side? You never know. He has more experience of shepherding in close matches. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
There was a brief chance when Simi Singh was dismissed and Ireland needed 56 runs. But the 46-run stand for the 4th wicket between Balbirnie and Kevin O'Brien thwarted all fears. This batting performance is even better than the one in the third ODI. Because it did not rest on just one batsman.
This is what happens when the top order does well. When the original required rate is just a shade over 4, all the team needs is a couple of decent partnerships. The openers added 57 and then Stirling and Balbirnie added 61 for the second wicket which meant that Rashid and Mujeeb were rendered wicketless for a long time.
Given what was witnessed a couple of days ago, everyone must have felt that 217 is a very steep target. That too, on a pitch turning square. But a couple of decent knocks at the top ensured that the run chase was easy.
47.2MNabi to SPoynter
FOUR! Just one ball needed for Poynter. A full toss, on middle, Stuart gets down and laps it past short fine leg! IRELAND WIN BY 5 WICKETS AND LEVEL THE SERIES 2-2!
Stuart Poynter walks in for the finishing rites.
47.1MNabi to GDockrell
OUT! BOWLED! Nabi gets a wicket too. Full and outside off, Dockrell initially looks to sweep but then decides to change his shot on seeing the length. Attempts the late guide through third man but misses it totally. The ball spins in and hits the stumps.
Mohammad Nabi to bowl what could be the final over of the series.
46.6RKhan to KO'Brien
46.6: R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, watchfully defended.
46.5RKhan to KO'Brien
46.5: R Khan to K O'Brien, SAFE AS A HOUSE. Full and outside off, KOB punched it through point and called for a single initially. Then he saw that the fielder was taking it too lightly and took the second on the throw. The return was a weak one from the fielder and Shahzad had to stretch and then dislodge the bails, which he did very slowly. The run out appeal was referred upstairs but replays confirmed in one go.
Is that a run out now? Shahzad has made a lazy attempt to run Kevin O'Brien out. Referred upstairs...
46.4RKhan to KO'Brien
46.4: R Khan to K O'Brien, EDGED, FOUR. Just a hit away from the win now. Full and outside off, O'Brien reaches out to push but gets a thick outside edge past first slip to the third man fence.
46.3RKhan to KO'Brien
46.3: R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
46.2RKhan to KO'Brien
46.2: R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, a play and a miss.
46.1RKhan to KO'Brien
46.1: R Khan to K O'Brien, Short and outside off, punched behind point for a couple.
George Dockrell is in the middle.
45.6UrRahman to ABalbirnie
OUT! BOWLED! Right through the gap. Landed outside off, Balbirnie stays back to defend but the ball lands on that rough patch outside off, spins back in, goes right through the gap between bat and pad and hits the timber! Andy is disappointed with himself that he could not finish it off. But just 10 more needed now. Mujeeb finishes with figures of 10-2-26-1, a decent effort again.
45.5UrRahman to KO'Brien
45.5: Ur Rahman to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched through the covers for one more.
45.4UrRahman to ABalbirnie
Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a run.
45.3UrRahman to KO'Brien
45.3: Ur Rahman to K O'Brien, Action replay of the previous delivery.
45.2UrRahman to AndyBalbirnie
Full and around off, pushed down to long on for a single.
45.1UrRahman to ABalbirnie
EDGED, DROPPED! Tough chance but Shahzad is not the swiftest of keepers. Full and outside off, Balbirnie looks to drive but gets an outside edge which is clanged by the keeper. He got down but could not quite get up quickly.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman comes back. 9-2-22-0 so far.
44.6RKhan to ABalbirnie
Outside off, eased down to long on for a run.
44.5RKhan to ABalbirnie
Full and around off, punched back to the bowler.
44.4RKhan to KO'Brien
44.4: R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, chipped down to long off for another single.
44.3RKhan to ABalbirnie
Short and outside off, crunched through the covers for one more. The stand moves to 40 from 49 balls.
44.2RKhan to KO'Brien
44.2: R Khan to K O'Brien, The batsman rocks onto the back foot and punches the ball through mid on. One run added to the total. 200 UP FOR IRELAND. Just 17 more needed now, from 34 balls.
44.1RKhan to ABalbirnie
Outside off, played through point for a single.
Last throw of the dice for Afghanistan. Rashid Khan returns. 8-0-28-1 so far.
43.6SZadran to KO'Brien
43.6: S Zadran to K O'Brien, A length ball, outside off, Kevin looks to pull but misses and is hit high on the thigh. An LBW appeal more in hope than confidence is put up but umpire Ravi calmly denies.
43.5SZadran to KO'Brien
43.5: S Zadran to K O'Brien, FOUR! TAKE THAT! That is just a hit-me ball. A long hop, around off, happy days for O'Brien as he swivels and pulls it all along the ground behind square leg. The ball races to the fence while Shapoor scratches his head. 19 more needed from 37 balls now. KOB moves to 21 from 31, with his third boundary. The writing is now on the wall.
43.4SZadran to ABalbirnie
A full toss outside off, AB throws his bat at that and gets a healthy outside edge which flies through third man. Zahir Khan covers good ground to his left from there, dives, fumbles but stops the boundary and ensures that it is just a single. Shapoor though, is not happy and gives the debutant a scaring stare.
43.3SZadran to ABalbirnie
A short ball, around off, Andy mistimes his pull but gets it through mid-wicket for a brace.
43.2SZadran to ABalbirnie
Outside off, played straight to point.
43.1SZadran to ABalbirnie
Outside off, punched through the covers for a well-run couple. There should never have been two but a weak throw ensured that the single was doubled. Balbirnie moves to 60 from 80 balls. The stand is worth 30 from 41 deliveries.
42.8ZKhan to ABalbirnie
The batsman has played it towards mid-wicket. They pick up a single.
42.7ZKhan to KO'Brien
42.5: Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, chipped down to long on for a run. 29 more needed from 43 balls now.
42.6ZKhan to KO'Brien
42.4: Z Khan to K O'Brien, Full and outside off, Kevin wants to finish this off quickly. Has a mighty swing but gets an inside edge past the leg stump towards short fine leg.
42.5ZKhan to KO'Brien
42.3: Z Khan to K O'Brien, FOUR! SPANKED! Full and outside off, O'Brien smashes it straight back at Balbirnie who ducks in time. There is a long off in place but he comes only second in the race as the ball whizzes past.
42.4ZKhan to KO'Brien
42.3: Z Khan to K O'Brien, ANOTHER WIDE. Second in this over. Fourth from Zahir overall. This is pitched outside leg and spinning a long way down the leg side. Left alone.