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Rain ruins second ODI between Afghanistan and Ireland

Afg v Ire, 2nd ODI, report

Afghanistan had made 250/7 in 48.3 overs before showers forced a premature conclusion to the second ODI at Dehradun v Ireland.

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The hosts had won the toss and elected to bat, allowing Hazratullah Zazai to demonstrate his explosive form from the off. He smashed his second ball, bowled by Tim Murtagh, out of the stadium for six, and continued in the same vein. Off-spinner Andy McBrine, opening the bowling in a change of tack for Ireland, was plundered for 14 runs in his third over, but the big-hitting opener saved his most severe treatment for Irish debutant James Cameron-Dow.

The left-arm spinner’s maiden international over was picked off for 18 runs, Zazai striking two sixes and a four in three deliveries, the first of which brought up his maiden ODI fifty. He soon fell for 67, hoicking a catch to Andrew Balbirnie, running back at slip, and Ireland continued their fightback when George Dockrell removed Javed Ahmadi for 22 in the next over.

Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi each added half-centuries to drive Afghanistan into a strong position, but the batsmen to follow couldn’t quite build on a platform of 179/2. Captain Asghar Afghan was dismissed for 8, Mohammad Nabi for 24, and Gulbadin Naib for 3 as Ireland’s bowlers put the breaks on Afghanistan’s charge.

Only four boundaries were possible from the fall of the fourth wicket onwards, the last of which was the very last action of the day, Rashid Khan hitting the third ball of the 49th over for six. It suggested some late fireworks might be on the cards. Instead, all that was on offer was a damp squib, as the players were forced by rain from the field straight after, never to return as the showers persisted.

Afghanistan lead the five-match series 1-0, with three games left to play.

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