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Bowlers deliver convincing win for Afghanistan

Mohammad Nabi picked up three wickets for Afghanistan.
Mohammad Nabi picked up three wickets for Afghanistan.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Afghanistan 250 (Shahzad 66) beat
Ireland 211 (Joyce 62) by 39 runs
Second One-Day International, Belfast

A disciplined effort from Afghanistan bowlers bowled Ireland out for 211 runs in 48.2 overs and successfully defended a total of 250, taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match series with a 39-run win in the first One-Day International in Belfast.

Ireland won the toss and opted to bowl first. The Afghanistan openers Mohammad Shahzad (66) and Javed Ahmadi (29) started steadily, taking the team to 51 for naught after 10 overs.

The pair went on to add 76 runs for the opening wicket before Ahmadi was castled by Kevin O’Brien (4-45).

Soon after completing his fifty and bringing up Afghanistan’s hundred, Shahzad was dismissed in the 23rd over. By the halfway mark, Afghanistan reached 123 for two.

Rahmat Shah (14) and Ashgar Stanikzai (0) fell in successive overs but a 70-run stand for the fifth wicket between Najibullah Zadran (59) and Samiullah Shenwari (24) prevented a collapse.

However, with the fall of Shenwari, Ireland were able to take regular wickets. Najibullah completed a fifty but Afghanistan were eventually bowledout for 250 runs in 49.2 overs.

Like Afghanistan, Ireland also began their innings on a strong note with a 71-run opening stand between William Porterfield (25) and Ed Joyce (62).

Porterfield fell in the 15th over, by the end of which Afghanistan needed 178 more runs to win.
Joyce went on to share a 43-run stand with John Anderson (26) and also completed his fifty. At the halfway mark, Afghanistan scored 101 for one.

In the 27th over, Mirwais Ashraf (2-40) removed both Joyce and Stuart Poynter (0). After a brief partnership, both Anderson and O’Brien (35) fell in the space of 13 balls.

From there on, Afghanistan bowled tight lines and Ireland failed to keep up with the asking rate.

Ireland lost their last five wickets for 42 runs and were bowled out for 211 runs in 48.2 overs, giving Afghanistan a 39-run win and a 1-0 lead in the series.

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