Afghanistan Bounce Back To Beat Ireland
Afghanistan 246-8 (Najibullah Zadran 83) beat
Ireland 175 (Hamid Hassan 3-24) by 71 runs
Associates ODI tri-series, Dubai
Afghanistan bounced back from their crushing defeat at the hands of Scotland to beat Ireland by 71 runs in game five of the Associates One-Day International tri-series in Dubai.
Craig Young and Kevin O'Brien both took three wickets but Ireland fell well short of their target in reply.
Opener Paul Stirling top scored with 36 as they were bowled out for 175 in 43.3 overs.
Hamid Hassan took three wickets for Afghanistan with both Aftab Alam and Mirwais Ashraf taking two each.
The result means that the final game of the series, between Ireland and Scotland, on Monday 19th January, will decide the winner of the tournament.
Najibullah struck seven fours and six sixes in his innings while Shenwari, batting earlier on after Afghanistan had been reduced to 38 for two, was more circumspect, hitting one four and one six.
Asghar Stanikzai added 44 and Afsar Zazai a quickfire 18 in 17 balls to steer them to a competitive score.
Young removed top-order batsmen Javed Ahmadi for 13, Usman Ghani for six and Mohammad Nabi for nine while O'Brien dismissed Najibullah, Zazai and Dawlat Zadran (2) towards the end of the innings.
Ireland's innings never flourished as Afghanistan took wickets to stop them building substantial partnerships.
William Porterfield (8) and Stirling added 40 for the first wicket but from 158 for five they collapsed, losing their last five wickets for 17 runs.
Hassan dismissed Porterfield, Stirling and Young (5) to cap a fine all-round performance from the Afghans just three days after they themselves had collapsed with the bat to be all out for 63 against Scotland.
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