Who would have predicted that: Paul Stirling's sensational effort for Ireland against Afghanistan
In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.
The rivalry between Ireland and Afghanistan has turned out to be quite a fierce one. When the two teams began to lock horns, Ireland were the better side but as Afghanistan have played more and more, they have now become the favourites. However, in ODIs the tally still stands at 13 victories each for the two teams in encounters against each other.
Afghanistan 338 (50 overs) - Asghar Afghan 101 (90), Rahmat Shah 68 (70); Paul Stirling 6/55 (10), George Dockrell 2/45 (10)
Ireland 304( 47.3 overs) - Paul Stirling 95 (80), Ed Joyce 55 (59); Rashid Khan 6/43( 9.3), Dawlat Zadran 3/52 (9)
Result - Afghanistan won by 34 runs
Afghanistan's flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad got the team off to a rollicking start with 63 off just 43 deliveries at a strike rate of almost 150.
It was very late in the game when Paul Stirling struck for the first time - in the the 42nd over. But once he did, there was no stopping the off-spinner. Stirling accounted for 6 wickets and ensured that Afghanistan did not get the flurry of boundaries towards the end which they were looking for.
Despite that, Afghanistan were successful in posting their highest ODI total at that time of 338.
Fall of wickets: 1-90 (Mohammad Shahzad, 14.1 ov), 2-94 (Noor Ali Zadran, 15.5 ov), 3-190 (Rahmat Shah, 33.6 ov), 4-261 (Samiullah Shinwari, 41.4 ov), 5-292 (Mohammad Nabi, 45.3 ov), 6-299 (Asghar Afghan, 46.4 ov), 7-303 (Gulbadin Naib, 47.1 ov), 8-329 (Rashid Khan, 49.1 ov), 9-336 (Shafiqullah, 49.4 ov), 10-338 (Dawlat Zadran, 49.6 ov)
Chasing the target, Paul Stirling was at it again with opening partner Ed Joyce as the two added 113. Stirling was at 95 off 80 deliveries with 9 fours and 5 sixes and was looking good to take the team across the line in his partnership with William Porterfield.
However, he was erroneously adjudged lbw by the umpire and had to depart. Not only did he miss out on a well-deserved century by 5 runs but Ireland also suffered a collapse after his dismissal and were bowled out for 304 in the 48th over, losing the match by 34 runs.
Despite Ireland's defeat, it was almost impossible to look beyond Paul Stirling for the Player of the Match. He received the award for his 6-wicket haul and 95 runs in the match.
Fall of wickets: 1-113 (Ed Joyce, 18.2 ov), 2-173 (Paul Stirling, 26.4 ov), 3-179 (Niall O'Brien, 28.3 ov), 4-217 (William Porterfield, 33.5 ov), 5-228 (Andy Balbirnie, 36.4 ov), 6-278 (Gary Wilson, 42.5 ov), 7-282 (Stuart Thompson, 44.3 ov), 8-287 (Andy McBrine, 45.2 ov), 9-301 (Tim Murtagh, 46.4 ov), 10-304 (Peter Chase, 47.3 ov)
Afghanistan - Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (c), Shafiqullah Shafiq, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Dawlat Zadran, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza
Ireland - Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling, William Porterfield (c), Niall O Brien (wk), Gary Wilson, Andrew Balbirnie, Stuart Thompson, Andy McBrine, George Dockrell, Tim Murtagh, Peter Chase
Match: 2nd ODI, Afghanistan v Ireland in India, 2017
Date: Friday, March 17, 2017
Toss: Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground, Greater Noida
Umpires: Ahmed Shah Durrani, Anil Chaudhary
Third Umpire: Nitin Menon
Match Referee: Graeme Labrooy
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