Kevin O'Brien (left) will be the X factor for Ireland with his all-round abilities © Getty Images
Kevin O’Brien (left) will be the X factor for Ireland with his all-round abilities © Getty Images

Jan 10, 2015

Andy Balbirnie and Alex Cusack have shown great match awareness and composure to take the Irish home by three wickets and 40 balls to spare. The duo registered a partnership of 52 for the eighth wicket to take the Irish to victory from a position where all seemed lost.

Javed Ahmadi is running through the Ireland middle order quickly to tilt the balance of the match in Afghanistan’s favour. Ireland have lost their last three wickets for a mere 27 runs. Ahmadi has been in the thick of the action adding two more wickets to his kitty. He now has four wickets to his credit and Ireland are tottering at 132 for seven.

Ed Joyce and Niall o’Brien have steadied the stuttering Irish innings taking the score to 65 for three in 18 overs. The duo have stitched together a useful partnership of 36 in just over eight overs. The pair have managed to keep the Afghan slow bowlers at bay. Ed Joyce is well set on his come back after a brief period away from the game.

Ireland are in trouble at 13 for two in six overs in pursuit of 181 set by Afghanistan. The Irish lost opener Paul Stirling off the third ball of their innings before losing Captain William Porterfield for a measly seven to his counterpart Mohammad Nabi on the stroke of the innings break. Ed Joyce is unbeaten on five.

Afghanistan have been cleaned out for just 180 after starting off well against Ireland in the second One-Day International (ODI) of the Dubai Triangular Series. Javed Ahmadi scored a tremendous 89-ball 81, but only Najibullah Zadran with 45 offered him some help. George Dockrell ran through the Afghans with figures of four for 35 in 8.2 overs.

Ireland have beaten Afghanistan by three wickets and 40 balls to spare courtesy a brilliant 52-run stand for the eighth wicket.

 

The match is tantalisingly poised with the Irish requiring another 33 runs to win with three wickets in hand. They have 78 balls in which to do so at two and a half runs an over.

 

Javed Ahmadi’s on fire. His four wickets have given Afghanistan control of the match. The last man to go was John Mooney for a duck.
OUT! John Mooney 0 (2) LBW Javed Ahmadi

 

Javed Ahmadi is having a fantastic match. He has got rid of Niall o’Brien against the run of play and ended what was building up to be a threatening fourth wicket stand.Kevin o’Brien has joined Ed Joyce in the middle with 98 runs needed.

 

Ed Joyce and Niall o’Brien are well set, their partnership is flourishing and it is a much needed fourth wicket stand for the Irish if they are to challenge Afghanistan in this match.

 

Ireland continue to lose untimely wickets. Gary Wilson’s the latest casualty to be out before he got his eye in. Mohammad Nabi is on a role. He accounted for Wilson’s wicket. Ireland are 33 for three scoring at three runs per over.
OUT! Gary Wilson 9 (18) C Najibullah Zadran B Mohammad Nabi

 

Ireland go into the innings break in tatters at c13 for two. The began poorly losing Paul Stirling in the very first over and then they lost their captain William Porterfield to his counterpart Mohammad Nabi on the stroke of the break.
OUT! William Porterfield 7 (16) B Mohammad Nabi

 

Najibullah Zadran bringing out the big hits with consummate ease. He smashes Kevin O’Brien for a six and a four off back to back deliveries. John Mooney back now, and he is greeted with four as well! Here’s Alex Cusack. GONE! He gets his man! Dawlat Zadran is the new man in. Here’s Young now. AND ANOTHER MAN DOWN! George Dockrell to bowl the 45th over. BOWLED HIM! Ninth man out. Aftab Alam is the last man in now. AND AFGHANISTAN ARE BOWLED OUT for 180!
OUT! N Zadran c P Stirling b A Cusack 45(63), M Ashraf c G Wilson b C Young 12(32), H Hassan b G Dockrell 0(1), A Alam LBW b Dockrell 0(1)

 

Ahmadi is batting like a dream here. George Dockrell gets hit for two big sixes in the 26th over. Kevin O’Brien comes in now. AND HE STRIKES! He gets the big wicket of Javed Ahmadi who was really batting quite beautifully. Mirwais Ashraf is the new batsman in the middle. Afghanistan kept really quiet now that they have lost the big wicket of Ahmadi.
OUT! J Ahmadi b K O’Brien 81(89)

 

10 runs came off the previous over. It included a gigantic six from the bat of Javed Ahmadi who has done the bulk of the scoring for Afghanistan who are staring down the barrel at 105 for five. Ahmadi’s batting on 70 from 80 balls.

 

 

Cusack again. And FOUR runs to Ahmadi. He is really batting well today. Here’s George Dockrell. Just three runs off that one. Paul Stirling into the attack now. Just two off that over. Dockrell to Jamal. AND HE’S GOT HIM! Asghar Stanikzai walks in.
OUT! N Jamal c N O’Brien b G Dockrell 8(19)

 

Mooney to Zazai. Four runs off that over. Young again. Just two off that over. Mooney again. AND HE’S TAKEN! Zazai is out LBW to Mooney! Here’s Alex Cusak now. FOUR to Ahmadi. And FOUR more! Another good over. Mooney again. And FOUR more to Ahmadi, he is batting really well!
OUT! A Zazai LBW b Mooney 0(5)

 

Craig Young and John Mooney start proceedings. Usman Ghani and Javed Ahmadi take strike for Afghanistan. This ought to be an interesting match. Both teams have a lot to prove ahead of the World Cup. Young to Ahmadi. Five off the over, as Ahmadi hits a boundary. Mooney to Ahmadi. And he hits him for SIX! Expensive over, 12 off it. Young again. Four runs off that over. Here’s Mooney. AND HE STRIKES! Usman Ghani out LBW!
OUT! U Ghani LBW b J Mooney 1(2)

 

TOSS: Ireland elected to field

Teams:

Ireland: William Porterfield(c), Gary Wilson(wk), Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, George Dockrell, Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, Alex Cusack, Craig Young, Andrew Balbirnie

Afghanistan: Javed Ahmadi, Usman Ghani, Afsar Zazai(wk), Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi(c), Dawlat Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam, Najibullah Zadran, Hamid Hassan

Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the second ODI of the Dubai Triangular Series between Ireland and Afghanistan. I am Ankur Dhawan, and I will bring you updates from the match.

The strongest countries in the associate world — Ireland and Afghanistan will face each other in the second match of the Dubai Triangular series, also involving Scotland. The first match was played between Afghanistan and Scotland, which saw the Asian team maul their European counterparts by 8 wickets with seven overs to spare. The match was downsized to 45 overs per side as heavy fog resulted in a delayed start.

The Scots batted first and got themselves to a respectable score of 237. The innings was held together by Number 3 batsman, Hamish Gardiner, who played a responsible knock of 96. The other batsmen could not really stand up to the decent Afghani bowling attack even though some of them got starts. But the moment Afghanistan came in to bat, Scotland’s total seemed inadequate. Opener Javed Ahmadi scored a 74 off 81 balls, exercising some amount of caution but fellow-opener Usman Ghani took the attack to the bowling smashing 48 off 39. He’s wicket saw Afsar Zazai come in and with the wicket off Ahmedi, Nasir Jamal walked in.

Both wickets fell to some good bowling by Richie Berrington. But apart from him, all bowlers were failures. They barely posed a challenge to the rampant Afghanistan batting. Zazai was unbeaten on 48 and Jamal got to a 52, seeing their team across the line without any more casualties.

Ireland, however are likely to pose a much tougher challenge to the Afghanistan. The Irish squad is studded by players like Kevin O’ Brien, William Poterfield and George Dockrell, who have proved their worth even against full-members.

Both teams will go into the ICC World Cup 2015 with the hope of upsetting a few big teams. And tasting success in this tournament will boost their confidence for the same.

Squads:

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi(c), Afsar Zazai(wk), Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani

Ireland: William Porterfield(c), Andrew Balbirnie, PKD Chase, Alex Cusack, GH Dockrell, Ed Joyce, AR McBrine, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, SR Thompson, Gary Wilson(wk), Craig Young, George Dockrell