Afganistan beat Ireland by 16 runs in the opening match of the three-match ODI series at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi to take 1-0 lead. It was a close encounter as both teams tried their best to start the series on a high note but in the end, Afghanistan had an edge over the Ireland team.

Chasing a formidable target of 288, Ireland were left 16 runs short of the target as Afghanistan restrict them for 271-9. Wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker played a fighting knock of unbeaten 83 runs but it was not enough to take his team to the victory line. Naveen-ul-Haq picked three wickets for Afghanistan, while spin duo Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman claimed two-wicket each. Earlier opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz slammed a century to put Afghanistan in a comfortable position.

Highlights of the Afghanistan vs Ireland first ODI match

1. Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first on Thursday as their opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz slammed a majestic century to set the tone for his team’s victory. Gurbaz didn’t receive much assistant from the top and middle-order but he kept going and scored 127 runs in as many balls.

2. Ireland’s Andy McBrine ran riot with the ball and claimed a five-wicket haul by dismissing Afghanistan no. 2 to 6 batsman. He ended up the match with the figures of 5/29.

3. While, Rashid Khan produced a splendid performance with a quickfire fifty, in the end, to take Afghanistan to a moderate total of 287-9. Rashid slammed 55 runs off just 30 balls.

4. Ireland lose experienced Kevin o Brien early in the chase as the all-rounder managed to score just 1 run. After him, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector failed to capitalize on the good starts.

5. Wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker tried his best to turn things into Ireland’s favour and took the game closer but it was too late for them. He remained not out on 83 runs.