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Stirling century helps Ireland to 2-1 series win over Afghanistan

Paul Stirling came up with a match-winning century
Paul Stirling came up with a match-winning century

Ireland 180-5 (Stirling 101) beat
Afghanistan 177 (Dockrell 4-28) by five wickets
Third One-Day International in Sharjah

After George Dockrell and Barry McCarthy shared seven wickets between them to restrict Afghanistan to 177, a blistering century from Paul Stirling help Ireland complete the chase in 38 overs with five wickets in hand in the final One-Day International in Sharjah to wrap up the series 2-1.

Earlier, it was Afghanistan, who won the toss and decided to bat first but were handed an early blow when Boyd Rankin (1-41) castled Noor Ali Zadran (9) and immediately Javed Ahmadi (27), who had a decent start to his innings also was removed by Tim Murtagh (1-27).

Rahmat Shah (44) tried to consolidate the innings but Dockrell (4-28) ensured Afghanistan struggled throughout with three quick wickets and by the 30th over, Afghanistan were 109 for six.

Gulbadin Naib (15) and Rashid Khan (44) made a valiant contribution but Barry McCarthy (3-32) cleaned up the lower order to bowl out Afghanistan for 177 runs in 48.2 overs.

In the chase, the talented Mujeeb Zadran (1-42) managed to remove William Porterfield (4) early but Stirling (101) took the attack to the opposition and scored at over 100 strike-rate to exert pressure on the opponent.

Andrew Balbirnie (35) played a supporting role at the other end but Stirling with his 97 ball knock that had 11 boundaries and four sixes put them on the course of victory.

Late wickets from Rashid (2-17) and Mohammad Nabi (2-28) pegged Ireland back but could not prevent them complete the chase in 38 overs with five wickets in hand as they completed a 2-1 series victory. Stirling bagged the player of the match and the man of the series awards.

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