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The two skippers now are handed over the trophy which they share for drawing the series 1-1. They smile and pose for the shutterbugs. This has been a short but wonderful series. Ireland will now wait for Zimbabwe to come and visit them while Afghanistan head over to England and Wales for the Cricket World Cup! It has been wonderful covering this series. Hope you enjoyed following it too. Until next time which will be during the World Cup warm-ups, goodbye, take care and cheers!
Victorious Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib thanks the almighty first for a perfect finish to the series. Feels they played a really good game today as a team. He credits Ireland for a really perfect game on Sunday but credits his team now for turning it around today and performing to the best of their abilities. Looking ahead to the World Cup, the skipper feels it is a big tournament coming up and reckons this was good practice for them before that. He signs off by praising Shahzad, Rahmat and Najibullah Zadran who played really well today.
Ireland skipper, William Porterfield says that Afghanistan did the basics well for longer periods in the game, which was the reason they won. He mentions that he expected the pitch to have a bit more for the bowlers early on but also did not think that it will be difficult for batting. He admits that the series between these two sides have been really tight since Dehra Dun and even here. Signs off by saying that it was nice to give some game time to lots of young players.
Player of the series, Paul Stirling says that it is nice to win this trophy but it would have been even nicer had they won the game. Mentions they wanted to perform better and are disappointed with today's result. Informs that they did not get any partnership going during the chase and that made it difficult for them.
Coming to the bowling performance, one man stood out. It was the captain, Gulbadin Naib. He was terrific with his line and length and ended up picking 6 for 43, his best-ever figures in ODIs and the 3rd best ever by an Afghan bowler. Dawlat Zadran, Rahmat Shah and Aftab Alam picked up one wicket each too. Thus with this commanding bowling performance, it was a stroll in the park for the Afghan side in their last official ODI before the World Cup. The presentation to follow...
With 305 on the board, Afghanistan started bowling with a big cushion. They removed the opener, James McCollum early once more and even though Paul Stirling held up one end, they kept chipping away at the wickets' column on the other end. Stirling too fell soon after getting to 50 and when the experienced duo of Kevin O'Brien and William Porterfield did not do much, the writing was always on the wall. Wilson delayed the inevitable with the tail being around him for a bit but in the end, they succumbed to a huge loss with more than 8 overs left!
These two teams were inseparable when they met in India earlier this year and here too, they have shared an ODI series. After the commanding performance from Ireland in the first ODI, Afghanistan have stormed back with a comprehensive win over them in the second. It has been a brilliant bowling performance in defense of a total that always seemed to be a bit too much for the hosts to chase. The skipper picked up 6 wickets and led from the front as they bowled out Ireland for just 179!
41.2GNaib to GWilson
OUT! That is it. Wilson refused to take the single off the previous ball but that does not matter much as he departs the very next ball. Naib gets his 6th of the game. Fuller ball on off, Wilson hits it uppishly to short mid-wicket. Rashid Khan makes no mistake and takes an easy catch. Afghanistan win the game comprehensively by 126 runs.
41.1GNaib to GWilson
Good length ball on off, Wilson pulls it to long on and refuses to take a run.
40.6RKhan to BRankin
Another appeal for LBW but turned down again by the umpire. This one was missing leg comfortably too.
40.5RKhan to BRankin
Another ball down the leg side, Rankin misses the ball and gets hit on the pads down the leg side.
40.4RKhan to BRankin
Loud appeal but the ball was pitching outside leg. A flatter one, Rankin misses the flick and gets rapped on the pads outside the line of leg stump. An appeal arises from all the fielders but the umpire turns it down.
40.3RKhan to GWilson
Flatter on middle, Wilson sweeps this to deep square leg for a single.
40.2RKhan to GWilson
Wilson misses the shot as he tries to hit the ball to the off side. So close to the outside edge as well.
40.1RKhan to GWilson
FOUR! Streaky runs but Ireland do not care. A flatter one on middle, Wilson comes inside the line and looks to paddle the ball down to the fine leg fence but it goes very close to the keeper off the side of the blade. Luckily for Wilson though, the ball finds its way to the fence.
Powerplay 3 signalled by the umpire. Now 5 fielders can be outside the 30-yard circle till the end of the match. Also, Rashid Khan is back.
39.6GNaib to GWilson
Wilson opens the face of the bat and helps it to third man. The batsmen have run through for a single.
39.5GNaib to GWilson
Short length ball on middle, Wilson pulls this to mid-wicket.
39.4GNaib to GWilson
FOUR! Shot! A half-volley outside off, Wilson times this beautifully over mid off. He clears the fielder in the circle with ease and hence picks up a boundary.
39.3GNaib to BRankin
DROPPED! Terrific attempt from Rashid Khan at mid off but he cannot hold on. A length ball outside off, Rankin goes to loft the ball over mid off but the bat turns in his hand and the ball goes just behind Rashid who runs and tries to catch it with his right hand but fails to hold on. The batsmen pick up a single.
39.2GNaib to BRankin
Pushes this one to mid-wicket does the southpaw.
39.1GNaib to GWilson
Wilson pulls this short ball to deep mid-wicket and picks up a single.
38.7DZadran to BRankin
Full on off, Rankin taps it back to the bowler. The bowler has an unnecessary shy at the keeper's end and he misses. Zadran also apologizes to Rankin for the unwanted show of aggression there. So it ends in good spirits.
38.6DZadran to BRankin
Good length ball on off, Rankin swings his bat at it but misses.
38.5DZadran to GWilson
Ouch! That must have hurt. Short on the body, Wilson looks to pull but misses. The ball hits him on the helmet and they take a leg bye.
38.4DZadran to GWilson
Outside off on a length, GW cuts it over backward point for a couple.
38.3DZadran to GWilson
WIDE! Bouncer goes over the batsman's head. It is outside off, Wilson lets it go. Wide signalled.
38.2DZadran to GWilson
Shorter on off, Wilson pulls it to the man at mid-wicket.
38.1DZadran to GWilson
Fuller length outside off, driven to cover by Wilson.
Boyd Rankin is the last man in.
37.6GNaib to TimMurtagh
OUT! Five for Naib! Stand up and applaud this performance from the Afghan skipper! A length ball outside off, Murtagh looks to hit it over mid off but as he plays the shot, one hand comes off the handle and the ball flies meekly towards mid off where Afghan moves slightly to his right and takes the simplest of catches. This game is finishing quickly...
37.5GNaib to TimMurtagh
Short outside off, the batsman pushes this ball to the left of mid off.
37.4GNaib to TimMurtagh
Bowls this one from around the wicket, Murtagh defends the ball towards mid on.
Tim Murtagh walks out to bat next.
37.3GNaib to BMcCarthy
OUT! Big appeal from the bowler and the keeper, the LBW has been given. A length ball on middle and cutting in to the batsman, McCarthy misses the ball and gets hit on the pads in front of leg stump. The finger goes up and that is the end of this partnership worth 25 runs. Afghanistan 2 away now and 200 looks really out of reach now for the hosts. Naib meanwhile picks up his fourth wicket! What a bowling spell this has been from the skipper.
37.2GNaib to GWilson
Short of a length on middle, pulled away by Wilson to deep mid-wicket for a single. There was good timing on that one.
37.1GNaib to BMcCarthy
On a length outside off, pushed towards deep cover for a single by McCarthy.
Pace from both ends now, the skipper comes back on.
36.6DZadran to BMcCarthy
On the pads, BM flicks it towards mid-wicket and keeps the strike.
36.5DZadran to BMcCarthy
FOUR! Once again the batsman rides his luck. Nothing wrong in the delivery. He bowls a good length ball outside off, McCarthy looks to drive but gets a thick outside edge through the third man region for a boundary.
36.4DZadran to BMcCarthy
Good length ball on off, BM hits it to the man at cover.
36.3DZadran to BMcCarthy
FOUR! Not fair on the bowler. He bowls a very good bouncer on off, Barry looks to pull but gets a thick outside edge. It goes over the keeper's head.
36.2DZadran to BMcCarthy
On a length on off, defended back towards the bowler on the front foot.
36.1DZadran to BMcCarthy
FOUR! The pacer is welcomed back with a boundary. Short of a length on middle, McCarthy pulls this wide of deep fine leg for a boundary. Good shot. The 150 is brought up with that shot.