Ireland won the last and fifth match of the 5-match-ODI series, beating Afghanistan by five wickets and levelled the series 2-2 in Dehradun on Sunday. Earlier, Afghanistan won the first and fourth ODI beating Ireland respectively by 5 wickets and by 109 runs while Ireland won the third game by 4 wickets. The second match was washed out due to rain.
However, Afghanistan, who whitewashed Ireland in the 3-match-T20, scored 216 for 6 in 50 overs. In reply, Ireland managed to score 219 for 5 in 47.2 overs. Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan knocked 82 for his side while Paul Stirling hit the highest among the Iris 70
Iris skipper William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bowl first. Afghanistan got the early blow and were restricted to 50/4 in 14.4 overs before all-rounder Mohammad Nabi came at the crease and joined the in-form Asghar Afghan. The pair added a 76-run partnership for the 5th wicket stand before Nabi’s departure for the second highest of the Afghans 40 runs.
Earlier, Afghan top order stumbled as the opener Mohammad Shahzad was dismissed for 6, followed by another opener Javed Ahmadi for 24, Rahmat Shah for 17, and Samiullah Shenwari for the naught. Afghanistan lost one more wicket of Najibullah Zadran for 7 who dismissed before Rashid Khan’s unbeaten quick 35 off 28 balls. George Dockrell took 2 for 46 while Andrew McBrine picked up 1 for 31.
In reply, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling gave a solid start for Iris. The duo added 57-run in the opening stand before Porterfield’s dismissal for 17. But Stirling along with Andy Balbirinie added 81 runs in the second-wicket stand. Stirling smashed 70 before being removed by Rashid Khan, followed by Simi Singh for 13. But Andy Balbirinie continued and hit 68 that led his side to the victory. Kevin O Brien and Stuart Poynter were unbeaten for 33 and 4 runs respectively while George Dockrell bowled out for the naught. Debutant Zahir Khan was expensive in his 10-over spell but got two important wickets of Paul Stirling and Simi Singh for Afghanistan.
Afghan skipper Asghar Afghan was declared the Man of the Match for his 82-run innings and Andy Balbirnie was the Player of the Series for scoring 215 runs in the series including a match-winning knock of 145* in the third match of the series.