Ireland displayed a good bowling performance and had Afghanistan pinned down at 81-6 at one point. The openers Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran were not able to get the team off to a good start. Playing at one drop, Rahmat Shah also got out cheaply. Skipper Asghar Afghan then notched up a half-century but was unfortunately run out.
It was then the half-centuries from Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan that took Afghanistan to 223 which was a fighting total given the strength of the bowling lineup. Rashid is known primarily for his bowling but he has shown time and again that he is no mug with the bat. Not only he has the ability to stick around but can also play some attacking shots.
In reply, there was no stanout batting performance for Ireland. The entire team was bundled out for just 114 from 35 overs. Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan were good as always and picked up two wickets each but it was the right-arm-pacer Aftab Alam who made a real mark with a four-wicket haul.
Leading the five-match series 2-1, Afghanistan can not lose the series from here on. They would now try to make it 3-1 in the last ODI.
Afghanistan- Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Ireland- William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh, Kevin O Brien, George Dockrell, Stuart Poynter, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, James Cameron-Dow, Boyd Rankin
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions*
Who will win? – Afghanistan
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –William Porterfield (Ireland), Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Boyd Rankin (Ireland), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Most Sixes – Paul Stirling (Ireland), Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan)
Team Scores Batting First – Ireland 240+, Afghanistan 270 +
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
© Cricket World