Najibullah Zadran, scored a feisty 83, taking Afghanistan to a defendable 246 © Getty Images
Najibullah Zadran, scored a feisty 83, taking Afghanistan to a defendable 246 © Getty Images

Jan 17, 2015

Afghanistan reached a score of 246 for eight after a nightmarish start to their innings against Ireland in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) of the Dubai tri-series. Early on it looked like Afghainstan were headed for another dubious collapse, like the one against Scotland in the previous match. Openers, Javed Ahmadi and Usman Ghani failed to put too many runs on the board leaving Afghanistan at 38/2.

Craig Young, was responsible for their wickets. He bowled a probing line and length, not letting the batsmen get away. The surmounting pressure eventually proved too much for his victims. But fears of a catastrophic collapse were quelled when Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari steadied the innings with a sedate and cautious 61-run partnership.

Stanikzai finally fell for 44 off 82 balls. Skipper Mohammad Nabi’s poor run with the bat clung on to him as he got out for just nine runs. Shenwari got out on 50 off 96 deliveries in the 41st over, failing to shift gears. At that stage Afghanistan were at 166 for five and Ireland would have wanted to fold them up for less than 200.

But Najibullah Zadran had other plans, he smashed the bowlers all over the park. He score a quickfire 83 off just 50 balls propelling Afghanistan to 233 in the 48th over. With him gone, Ireland were able to barricade the run flow and AFghanistan’s innings culminated at 246 for eight in their full-quota of 50 overs. Afghanistan have a strong bowling attack and Ireland will find the total quite challenging.

Young and all-rounder Kevin ‘O Brien were the most effective Irish bowlers, picking three wickets apiece in their ten overs.

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Brief Scores

Afghanistan 246 for 8 (Najibullah Zadran 83, Samiullah Shenwari 50; Craig Young 45/3) vs Ireland