AFP
Shafiqullah scored 50 off 28 AFP

There was finally some much-needed respite for Ireland in the first innings of the third ODI against Afghanistan. Opting to bat, Afghanistan collapsed for the first time on the tour. Peter Chase and Tim Murtagh s early strikes followed by some late setbacks which restricted Afghanistan to 264 for 8. Nonetheless, from the Asian side s perspective, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan s and Shafiqullah Shafiq s fifties guided their side to a respectable total. Ireland will have to win the contest and keep the series alive at Greater NOIDA Sports Complex. They lost the previous tie by 34 runs in pursuit of 339. LIVE Cricket Scorecard, Afghanistan vs Ireland, 3rd ODI at Greater NOIDA

Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran added only 11 on board as the latter went for 1 off Chase. Shahzad also had a lapse of concentration as he went for 11 off 15 balls to give Chase his second scalp. George Dockrell, Murtagh, Andy McBrine and Stuart Thompson came into the party as Afghanistan s middle order departed soon. The batsmen paid the price for some careless shots and better bowling performance from the Irish camp.

However, the tables swiftly turned after 20 overs. Rashid Khan, who has wreaked havoc of the Irish batting line-up, added a valuable 96-run stand with Naib for the seventh wicket. The duo understood the need of hour and built their innings accordingly. William Porterfield rotated his bowlers, but found no luck. The pitch eased as the innings progressed and the Irish bowlers started bowling off the length. Live cricket updates: Rashid Khan shines again

With twin fifties from Rashid and Naib, Shafiq s late onslaught took Afghanistan to a competitive score. Ireland will like to fancy their chances as their batsmen have done fairly well. Paul Stirling, Porterfield, Ed Joyce and Niall O Brien will be expected to lay the platform in the chase and earn their first victory of the tour.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan 264 for 8 in 50 overs (Gulbadin Naib 51, Rashid Khan 56, Shafiqullah Shafiq 50*; Peter Chase 2 for 55, Tim Murtagh 2 for 49) vs Ireland.