Afghanistan Edge Out Ireland To Level T20I Series


Led by captain Rashid Khan, Afghanistan proved too strong for Ireland with the ball as they won the second T20 International of their three-match series by 10 runs in Sharjah on Friday. Afghanistan's win levels the series 1-1 as Ireland's multi-format tour against Afghanistan draws to a close. Gareth Delany's courageous innings of 39 off 18 balls went in vain as Ireland failed to score the 18 runs required to win in the last over. A six was not enough as the final ball was bowled without any runs and the last one was caught by Delaney at the boundary off Fazalhaq Farooqui.

Chasing the target of 153 runs, the visiting team made a strong start and the opening pair of Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling made a partnership of 49 runs before Stirling was out in the sixth over.

After the Irish captain Lorcan Tucker made 10 and the first bowler to Harry Tector, both courtesy of star spinner Khan, and Ireland's run chase came to a halt.

When Balbirnie was out LBW to Nangeyalia Kharotte for 45 with only 5.1 overs remaining, Ireland had a lot of work to do, despite Delaney's late heroics.

Khan took four wickets for just 14 runs and his double wicket in the 16th over effectively won the match for the hosts when he dismissed George Dockrell and Mark Adair.

Afghanistan won the toss and batted first and scored 152-9 in 20 overs.

For the hosts, Mohammad Nabi scored 59 runs from 38 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes, before he was caught by Stirling off the bowling of Ben White.

Adair was the pick of the Irish bowlers and finished with figures of 3-27 as Afghanistan's top order struggled, with Mohammad Ishaq and Azmatullah Omarzai both collecting golden ducks at number four and five.

Opener Sediqullah Atal was the only out-and-out batsman to offer serious resistance, but was run out for 35, leaving Afghanistan at 93–5 with 6.5 overs remaining.

However, Khan kept the ship afloat at number nine by playing a brilliant innings of 25 runs in 12 balls to take Afghanistan past 150.

Josh Little also performed well with the ball after taking three wickets in the first T20 match on Friday and bowling out opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the second over.

The final match of the tour takes place in Sharjah on Monday with everything to play for as Ireland look to add to their Test win in the T20I series after Afghanistan won the ODI series in early March.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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