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Shenwari, Shahzad power Afghanistan to comfortable victory

Samiullah Shenwari scored 56 runs off 36 deliveries
Samiullah Shenwari scored 56 runs off 36 deliveries

Afghanistan 171-4 (Shenwari 56) beat
Ireland 165-5 (Thompson 56) by six wickets
First Twenty20 International in Greater Noida

Samiullah Shenwari scored a blistering fifty while Mohammad Shahzad contributed with 47 runs as Afghanistan completed a chase of 166 runs in 18 overs with six wickets in hand to go 1-0 up in the series.

Ireland won the toss and decided to bat first. Paul Stirling (0) was castled in the fourth ball of the innings by Amir Hamza (2-23).

Stuart Thompson (56) and William Porterfield (39) scored seven boundaries and a six between them to take the total to 48 for one in the powerplay. The 50-run stand between the duo came off just 33 deliveries.

With a six in the ninth over, Thompson completed a 31-ball fifty but was dismissed in the 10th over to give Hamza his second wicket while two overs later Porterfield was run out as well.

With wickets tumbling around, an unbeaten 27-ball cameo from Gary Wilson (41 not out) helped Ireland post 165 for five in the 20 overs. Hamza was the pick of the Afghanistan bowlers with two wickets to his name.

In the chase, Shahzad (47) and Najeeb Tarakai (27) gave a brisk start for Afghanistan scoring 51 runs off just 30 deliveries following which the latter was caught behind off Kevin O'Brien (1-52) in the fifth over.

Shahzad added another 73 run stand for the second wicket with Samiullah Shenwari (56) to help Afghanistan in course of victory.

Even though, Shahzad was run out, Shenwari completed a 29-ball fifty and was dismissed when Afghanistan needed four runs off 20 deliveries. Asghar Stanikzai (20 not out) ensured they completed the chase in 18 overs with six wickets in hand.

Afghanistan have taken a 1-0 lead in the three match series as Shenwari was picked the player of the match.

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