17 January 2015
Zadran blitz hands Afghanistan convincing win
Left-hand batsman stars with 50-ball 83 to take side to 71-run win against Ireland in tri-series in UAE
Najibullah Zadran scored 83 off 50 balls as Afghanistan beat Ireland by 71 runs.
Afghanistan, asked to bat after Ireland won the toss, made a respectable 246 for 8 in 50 overs, courtesy a stellar effort from Najibullah Zadran (83 off 50 balls, 7x4, 6x6).
Ireland, in reply, was bowled out for 175 in 43.3 overs to hand Afghanistan its second win in the series.
Ireland found runs through Paul Stirling (36) and Niall O’Brien (33), but there was a lack of partnerships after the 40-run opening stand between William Porterfield and Stirling.
Hamid Hassan returned with three wickets while Aftab Alam and Mirwais Ashraf bagged two each.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan was in a spot of bother after it lost its openers to Craig Young with only 38 runs on the board. Asghar Stanikzai steadied the ship with a patient 44, but the right-hand batsman fell to John Mooney just as his partnership with Samiullah Shenwari was taking shape.
Shenwari, however, remained unperturbed following the quick wickets of Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi (9) as he brought up his half-century before departing in the 42nd over.
Zadran then provided the final flourish as he smashed six sixes and seven fours en route to his 50-ball 83.
Zadran's innings came to an end when he mistimed a pull off a short delivery from Kevin O’Brien that carried to Stirling at short mid-wicket but by then, he had given Afghanistan the much-needed boost.
Young finished with three wickets from his spell and Kevin too returned with three scalps. Mooney and George Dockrell finished with one wicket apiece.
The final match of the series is between Ireland and Scotland on January 19.
To see the full scorecard of the match between Afghanistan and Ireland at Dubai, please click here.
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