Monday, May 27, 2024

Afghanistan fall short as Ireland win first T20I | Cricket News – Times of India

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Ireland secured a victory in the first T20I of their three-match series against Afghanistan, clinching victory by a margin of 38 runs in Sharjah on Friday.
Ben White and Josh Little showcased their bowling prowess for the visiting team, while Harry Tector delivered an unbeaten half-century, propelling Ireland to a 1-0 series advantage over the Afghans.
“Really happy. It was a fantastic team performance,” said Ireland captain Paul Stirling, according to Cricinfo.
“We have a big two months ahead. So we’ve got to put this behind. We have to perform at our best to win games,” he added, looking ahead to the T20 World Cup starting in June.
Afghanistan, requiring 150 for victory, had a disastrous beginning when Mark Adair dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz with the very first delivery of the innings.
Sediqullah Atal, Gurbaz’s opening partner, swiftly followed him back to the pavilion after being caught off Harry Tector’s bowling for just one run.
In the second over, Tector bowled Azmatullah Omarzai, setting up a potential hat-trick opportunity.
Ben White then took charge of the bowling attack, claiming the wickets of Mohammad Ishaq, Mohammad Nabi, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai and Nangeyalia Kharote, finishing with impressive figures of 4-20.
Despite a brief resistance from Naveen-ul-Haq, who scored 13 runs off 15 balls, Afghanistan were eventually bowled out for 111 in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Afghanistan’s skipper Rashid Khan won the toss and elected to field first.
Tector’s unbeaten knock of 56 runs off 34 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, guided Ireland to a total of 149-6.
Openers Stirling and Andy Balbirnie provided a solid start with a partnership of 38 runs before Balbirnie fell to Azmatullah Omarzai after scoring 22.
Making a comeback from injury, Rashid was the standout bowler for Afghanistan, claiming figures of 3-19, including the crucial wicket of Ireland’s opener Stirling for 25 runs in the 11th over.
Khan also dismissed Curtis Campher for a golden duck and later broke the partnership between Gareth Delany and Tector in the 17th over.
Despite Tector’s valiant effort, Ireland struggled to form substantial partnerships until the arrival of Delany and Adair to the crease.
Tector managed to build stands of 35 with Delany and an undefeated 42 with Adair, setting Afghanistan a target of 150 runs, which they failed to chase down.
(With AFP inputs)

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