Stirling's all-round brilliance were not enough as Afghanistan claim 2-0 lead
Afghanistan 338 (Stanikzai 101) beat
Ireland 304 (Stirling 95) by 34 runs
Second One-Day International in Greater Noida
Asghar Stanikzai led from the front with a century as Afghanistan managed to defend a total of 339 by 34 runs overcoming a blistering 95 and a six-wicket haul from Paul Stirling in the second One-Day International against Ireland in Greater Noida to secure a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat first. Mohammad Shahzad (63) scored 10 boundaries in the powerplay and raced to a 33-ball fifty. With three more boundaries in the 11th over by Shahzad, Afghanistan reached 80 for naught.
The 90-run opening stand between Noor Ali Zadran (25) and Shahzad ended when George Dockrell (2-45) trapped the latter LBW in the 15th over. In the next over, Ireland had Noor Ali also run out leaving Afghanistan at 95 for two.
Rahmat Shah (68) looked positive from outset while Stanikzai (101) was solid at the other end. At the halfway mark, Afghanistan were 140 for two.
Shah brought his fifty off 59 deliveries and in a bid to up the ante further, he holed out in the deep to give Dockrell his second wicket. In a productive 39th over, Stanikzai hit two sixes and a four to bring his fifty and Afghanistan were set for a huge total with score reading 236 for three in the 40 overs.
In the 41st over, Stanikzai smashed three consecutive six and a four to take his score in the 80s and completed his maiden ODI century in 88 deliveries. A 22-ball cameo from Shafiqullah (35) helped Afghanistan post 338 runs before they were bowled out in the final delivery of the innings. Stirling (6-55) was the pick of the Ireland bowlers.
In the second over of the chase, Stirling (95) was caught behind but Dawlat Zadran (3-52) had overstepped. Stirling and Ed Joyce (55) scored six boundaries and two sixes in the powerplay to take the total to 59 for naught.
The boundaries continued to flow as the duo brought their 100-run opening stand off just 94 deliveries and both the batsmen brought their respective half-centuries off successive deliveries in the 17th over.
Gulbadin Naib (1-52) provided some respite to Afghanistan by castling Joyce and at the halfway mark, Ireland reached 151 for one.
Stirling further upped the run rate with two sixes and a four in a span of four deliveries to get into the 90s but was trapped LBW by Rashid Khan (6-43) in the 27th over.
In the final 20 overs, Ireland needed 153 runs with seven wickets in hand but Rashid's six-wicket haul completely dented their hopes and were bowled out for 304 runs in 47.3 overs. Stirling was awarded the man of the match for his knock of 95 and six-wicket haul.
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