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Ireland vs Afghanistan Ball by Ball Commentary

15 Aug, 2022 20:00 (IST)

Result

Afghanistan in Ireland, 5 T20I Series, 2022- Match

Afghanistan

132/6

11.0 overs
vs

Ireland

105/10

11.0 overs
Afghanistan beat Ireland by 27 runs

Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast

That's it then from this rain-truncated game. The series so far has lived up to its billing and it is basically a one-game shootout to decide the winner. The final game will be played on Wednesday, 17th August and the match will begin at 8 pm IST (2.30 pm GMT). The build-up for that game will begin much sooner, so do join us then. Cheers!
Mohammad Nabi, the Afghan skipper, says that he is thankful to the Almighty that they have stayed alive in the series. Feels that it's important to pick early wickets and put pressure on the batting team. Praises Najibullah Zadran for his knock and says that he has been in great form of late. On Rashid Khan, Nabi replies that he is a good batter to have at the death as he has got the power. Mentions that they are improving with every game on the field and are looking forward to the decider. Hopes to do the best and keep it simple and execute the plans.
Andy Balbirnie, the skipper of Ireland, says that the way Rashid Khan and Najibullah Zadran batted at the backend was incredible and it was very hard to bowl at them. Feels that it's never easy in an 11-over contest. He is frustrated with himself for not carrying on after getting a start. Calls it a disappointing day altogether. Andy Balbirnie adds that he is looking forward to the next game and is expecting Afghanistan to come out all guns blazing as they have the momentum.
Rashid Khan (31* off 10 balls and 2 for 21) is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his brilliant showing with both bat and ball. The leggie says that it was a pretty hard couple of games for him as he didn't play much cricket in the last one month or so. He is pleased with his knock as the team needed those runs. Shares that he and Najibullah Zadran tried to stay calm and finish well. Tells that 120-plus was the target in their mind and praises Najibullah Zadran for his knock. He is happy to pick up wickets at last and hopes to continue with his bowling form. Shows a great gesture as he dedicates his award to Fareed Ahmad.
The Presentation ceremony...
Earlier in the game, Andy Balbirnie opted to field first due to the overhead conditions but in a shortened game, the plan backfired. Ireland did keep Afghanistan's scoring rate under control for the majority of the innings but Najibullah Zadran and then Rashid Khan went into sixth gear towards the end and just smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. For Ireland, the young leg spinner Gareth Delany starred once again with the ball with his three wickets but every bowler did go for 10 runs or more per over. Ireland had a stiff target to chase down and they just couldn't build up any partnerships as they kept on losing wickets frequently which made a big difference. Afghanistan were clinical on the field and played the big moments well to go on and win the game.
Afghanistan must have been pleased at the break with their exploits with the bat and then they backed it up in the field as well to set up an easy victory. Fareed Ahmad, the man who came in as a replacement for the injured Fazalhaq Farooqi, was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up three wickets, hardly giving away runs as well. Rashid was brilliant as usual and all in all, it was a comprehensive bowling display. There were a couple of bowlers who went the distance but now Afghanistan have all the momentum on their side and will be looking to complete a memorable comeback in the final game.
Ireland were on the back foot at the interval as they had to score around 12 runs per over from the get-go. They did start briskly though with skipper Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling both firing. Once the skipper fell though, the wickets kept on tumbling and apart from the openers, none of the premier batters even put up much of a fight. It was then George Dockrell down the order who put up a fight but no one really stayed with him and in the end, Dockrell just had too much to do on his own. Ireland got bundled out on the final delivery and will now have to bounce back quickly if they are to win the series.
Well, no one saw this coming! Afghanistan have fought back brilliantly and have gone from being 2-0 down in the series to levelling it at 2-2 and they have managed to do so with a fairly convincing win here. They were brilliant from start to finish and the Irish have fallen short of the mark here.

Score after 11 overs : 105/10

Runs Scored

4 Runs

G Dockrell

41 (27)

J Little

0 (0)

Ur Rahman

2-0-13-0

10.6 W 0

OUT! Another run out, another diamond duck and that's all for Ireland. Afghanistan win by 27 runs to level the series 2-2 and have forced a decider. Quicker one, full and around middle, Dockrell hits it firmly towards mid on and sets off for a run. Meanwhile, Mohammad Nabi has released the throw and Little is slow to reach the crease and is run out at the striker's end.

10.5 0

Full again, around off, Dockrell forces it straight to covers.

10.4 0

Full and around off, Dockrell fails to sweep and is hit on the pads. A stifled appeal from the bowler but nothing doing.

10.3 0

Mujeeb keeps it flat and short, around off, Dockrell makes room to whack it through the line but only manages a bottom edge.

10.2 4

FOUR! Quicker and flatter, around middle and leg, George heaves it across the line and sends it screaming away to the deep square leg fence.

10.1 0

Flatter and quicker, around leg, Dockrell moves back and tries to slog but misses. It goes off his pads to short fine leg.

The on-field scorers are facing some technical difficulties. The issue has been resolved and we are ready to continue.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been trusted to bowl the last over.

Score after 10 overs : 101/9

Runs Scored

10 Runs

G Dockrell

37 (21)

J Little

0 (0)

A Omarzai

2-0-25-1

9.6 1

Around off, forced down to long off for a single.

9.5 6

SIX! 33 needed off 7 balls. Azmatullah Omarzai slips in a full toss, around middle and this time he doesn't get away with it. George Dockrell gives it the full whack of his bat and clubs it over long on.

9.4 0

Short and around off, pulled to deep mid-wicket. Again no run is taken.

9.3 0

Another low full toss, but Dockrell doesn't get the meat of his bat on it. Hits it to deep mid-wicket. No run taken.

Josh Little is the last man in for Ireland.
9.2 W 1

OUT! Simi Singh is run out for a diamond duck. A low full toss again, around off, Dockrell goes back and hammers it down to long on. They attempt for the second run again but the throw from the deep is accurate to the bowler who takes the bails off. Singh puts in a dive but to no avail.

9.1 2

A low full toss outside off, Dockrell drives it down to long off and a slight misfield allows the batters to return for the second run. 40 needed off 11 balls.

Simi Singh walks out to bat at number 10. Also, Azmatullah Omarzai will bowl the penultimate over.

Score after 9 overs : 91/8

Runs Scored

11 Runs

B McCarthy

1 (3)

G Dockrell

27 (15)

R Khan

3-0-21-2

8.6 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! Barry McCarthy connects this time but the connection is not good enough. Flatter through the air from Rashid, around off, Barry McCarthy stays back and sends it flying over mid off. Not enough power and it's a simple catch for Mohammad Nabi in the deep.

8.5 0

Spinning away from around off, Barry McCarthy tries his best to smash it but misses.

8.4 b 1

Loopy and outside off, George Dockrell throws his bat at it but fails to connect. It goes past the keeper and they cross for a bye.

8.3 6

SIX! Dismissed! Dockrell is keeping the fight alive for Ireland. Full and flighted, around leg, Dockrell steps back to make room and launches it over cow corner for a biggie. 43 needed off 15 balls.

8.2 4

FOUR! Thumped! Quicker and flatter around off, George Dockrell stays put and powers it back over the bowler's head for a boundary.

8.1 0

Tossed up and wide outside off, GD swings his bat at it but fails to connect.

Score after 8 overs : 80/7

Runs Scored

12 Runs

G Dockrell

17 (11)

B McCarthy

1 (1)

Naveen

2-0-25-2

7.6 lb 1

Angling down the leg side, Dockrell tries to flick but misses. It goes off his pads to short fine leg and they cross for a leg bye.

7.5 4

FOUR! Smashed! This is brilliant batting. Slower one, short and around off, Dockrell stays on the back foot and whacks it past the bowler. The long off fielder has no chance as it races away to the fence.

7.4 4

FOUR! A low full toss around off, Dockrell stays on the back foot and pumps it over covers for a boundary. He will not go down without a fight.

7.4 nb 2

Fuller and around off, driven to deep cover for one. Called a no ball.

Barry McCarthy comes out to the middle with his side in huge trouble.
7.3 W 0

OUT! TAKEN! Make it two in two for Naveen. He delivers it on a fuller length around off, Fionn Hand attempts for a reverse-batted shot but fails to middle it. Ends up hitting it off the bottom edge and it flies straight into the hands of Fareed Ahmad at short third man. Naveen-ul-Haq is on a hat-trick now. 64 needed off 21 balls and this game has slipped away fast from Ireland.

Fionn Hand is the next batter in for Ireland.
7.2 W 0

OUT! Plumb lbw! A low full toss, sharp in pace, Mark Adair gets across the stumps and tries to flick it on the leg side but misses. He is struck on the pads, they appeal and the finger goes up. That's dead in front.

7.1 1

Fuller in length, around off and angling in, Dockrell forces it down to long off for a single.

Mark Adair comes out to the middle. Also, Naveen-ul-Haq is back into the attack for Afghanistan.

Score after 7 overs : 68/5

Runs Scored

5 Runs

G Delany

3 (4)

G Dockrell

8 (7)

R Khan

2-0-11-1

6.6 W 0

OUT! LBW! Rashid Khan ends the over with a wicket and Ireland are falling apart here. Another wrong 'un from Rashid, on a length and turning in from around off. Gareth Delany walks across and exposes his stumps, trying to tuck mit fine on the legn side. Delany though misses the shot and gets pinged on the pads. Rashid appeals while tumbling over and the finger is raised. Afghanistan in complete control at the moment.

6.5 2

Is that a run out? The square leg umpire says 'No'. It is the wrong 'un and on the pads. Gareth Delany works it behind square on the leg side and the batters scamper back for two. The throw is fired in at the batter's end and the keeper whips off the bails but Delany is back in time.

6.4 0

On a length and around off, Delany keeps it out on the off side.

6.3 1

Just another single! A tad shorter and quicker, angling into middle and leg. Dockrell pulls it off the back foot and down to long on for one. Ireland need boundaries here.

6.2 1

Flatter trajectory, turning it onto the pads, Delany stays back and tucks it away through square leg for one more.

6.1 1

This is fired into middle, George Dockrell drills it down to long on and picks up a single.

Gareth Delany walks out to the middle.

Score after 6 overs : 63/4

Runs Scored

8 Runs

H Tector

13 (9)

G Dockrell

6 (5)

F Ahmad

2-0-14-3

5.6 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! Another blow to Ireland. Full in length and outside off, Harry Tector walks across the stumps for the paddle shot but mistimes it completely. It flies behind to the keeper and Rahmanullah Gurbaz grabs the catch. They appeal and the finger goes up. Harry Tector is not impressed with the decision and argues with the umpire before returning. 70 needed off 30 balls.

5.5 4

FOUR! Put away this time! A low full toss around off, this time Tector connects with his drive and thumps it through covers for a boundary.

5 Penalty runs awarded to Ireland.
5.4 0

FIVE PENALTY RUNS! A low full toss outside off, Harry Tector throws his bat at it but fails to connect. The keeper also fumbles and lets it through his legs. It goes on to hit the helmet kept on the ground behind him and Ireland get some bonus runs.

5.3 1

Back of a length, around off, George Dockrell rocks back to pull but only manages to drag it towards mid on. Just a single.

5.2 2

Back of a length, close to off and angling away, Dockrell steps back and forces it to sweeper cover for a couple.

5.1 1

Angling away from the batter, on a length and slower in pace, Tector mistimes his shot from the inner half to mid on. They cross.

Score after 5 overs : 50/3

Runs Scored

6 Runs

H Tector

8 (5)

G Dockrell

3 (3)

R Khan

1-0-6-0

4.6 1

Six singles from the over. A googly this time, full and on middle, Tector flicks it to deep mid-wicket for a run. 83 needed off 36 balls.

4.5 1

Half-tracker again, Dockrell goes back and pulls it to deep mid-wicket for one more.

4.4 1

Another short ball and another pull shot, this time from Tector. The ball travels to deep mid-wicket and they take a run.

4.3 1

Short this time, on middle, Dockrell goes back and pulls it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

4.2 1

Goes down and across to a full ball and sweeps it behind square leg for a single.

4.1 1

Excellent stop! Full and flighted, around off, it's smashed down to long off where the fielder makes a fine stop. They cross.

The dangerous, Rashid Khan is into the attack now.

Score after 4 overs : 44/3

Runs Scored

6 Runs

H Tector

5 (2)

G Dockrell

0 (0)

F Ahmad

1-0-6-2

3.6 4

FOUR! Hammered! Tector shows all his power there. Width there outside off, fuller in length, Harry gets on the front foot and drills it through covers. It keeps on racing away from the sweeper cover fielder and finds the fence in a flash.

George Dockrell comes out to the middle. Can he take his side to victory?
3.5 W 0

OUT! Tucker holes out! A poor shot selection from him, especially after losing Stirling in this over. It's on a length and outside off, Lorcan tries to heave it over the leg side but could not find the middle of his bat. It flies down to Najibullah Zadran at deep mid-wicket who takes a sitter. Ireland are on the back foot now.

3.4 1

Delivers it full and outside off, Tector inside-edges his attempted drive to deep mid-wicket for a run.

Harry Tector is the next man in for Ireland.
3.3 W 0

OUT! Well caught near the fence! Fareed Ahmad grabs the prized scalp. He bangs it in short, around middle, Stirling pulls it with all his power, connects well also but it's a flat hit. The shot lacks elevation and Rashid Khan takes a sharp catch near the fence at deep square leg. Superbly judged. 94 needed off 45 balls.

3.2 1

Mishit! This one is short and around leg, Tucker gets across the stumps and is early into his pull shot. It takes the back of his bat and drops wide of the keeper. They cross.

3.1 0

Play and a miss! Slower in pace, on a length and wide outside off, Lorcan Tucker swishes and misses.

Fareed Ahmad is brought into the attack.

Score after 3 overs : 38/1

Runs Scored

9 Runs

L Tucker

3 (5)

P Stirling

20 (8)

Ur Rahman

1-0-9-0

2.6 1

Serves it full and on off, Tucker puts on his dancing shoes and whips it to deep mid-wicket for one. 9 from the over and at the end of the Powerplay, Ireland are 38 for 1. Afghanistan also were on a similar score after the first three overs. Neck and neck! 95 needed off 48 balls.

2.5 1

Loopy and around off,  Paul again keeps his weight on the back foot and wrists it to mid-wicket for a run.

2.4 0

Shortish and on off, punched off the back foot to covers.

2.3 6

SIX! High and handsome! Flighted delivery, full and close to off, Stirling gives himself some room, frees his arms with a beautiful bat-swing and dismisses it over the bowler's head for a maximum. The ball is lost in the trees. And one of the security guards has found it. Well done!

2.2 1

Fuller and on middle, Lorcan moves back and flicks it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

2.1 0

Flighted and around off, Tucker tries to sweep but misses and it goes off his pads to short fine leg.

Some spin now as Mujeeb Ur Rahman comes into the attack.

Score after 2 overs : 29/1

Runs Scored

15 Runs

L Tucker

1 (2)

P Stirling

13 (5)

A Omarzai

1-0-15-1

1.6 1

Shortish and outside off, guided through point for one.

1.5 0

Full in length and outside off, Tucker swings his bat at it but fails to connect. Paul Stirling has a word with his partner.

Lorcan Tucker comes out to bat at number 3.
1.4 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! After spending 14 runs off his first three balls, Azmatullah Omarzai has struck and taken revenge. Fuller in length and around middle, again the pace is sharp, Andy Balbirnie steps back to make room and attempts to blaze it through covers. He though only manages to slice it towards point where Ibrahim Zadran takes a simple catch. A 5-ball 15 in the context of this chase is a good contribution from the Irish skipper.

1.3 6

SIX! Massive! Azmatullah Omarzai digs it in short, sharp pace, Andy Balbirnie picks the length in a trice, gets inside the line and pulls it enormously over long leg for a biggie.

1.2 4

FOUR! This is excellent batting. Short in length and outside off, Balbirnie camps back and slams it over backward point for a boundary. The last shot prompted the bowler to change his length.

1.1 4

FOUR! Fine shot! Serves it on a good length and close to off, Balbirnie stays leg-side of this delivery and clobbers it over wide mid off for a boundary.

Azmatullah Omarzai to share the new ball with Naveen-ul-Haq.

Score after 1 overs : 14/0

Runs Scored

14 Runs

P Stirling

13 (5)

A Balbirnie

1 (1)

Naveen

1-0-14-0

0.6 4

FOUR! 14 from the first over and Ireland are off to a flying start. A slower one, short and outside off, Paul Stirling rocks back, waits and slaps it over covers for a boundary.

0.5 4

FOUR! Aerial but safe! Again it's on a length and around off, Stirling gets on the front foot and then checks his drive at the last moment. The ball flies past the diving cover fielder for a boundary.

0.4 0

Beautiful delivery! This one lands on a good length outside off and straightens after landing, Stirling tries to hit through the line but misses.

0.3 1

Slightly short and on off, Balbirnie goes on the back foot and strokes it to extra cover. The fielder stops the ball at the edge of the circle and they cross.

0.2 1

Naveen pulls back his length and serves it outside off, Paul punches it to deep point and takes a single.

0.1 4

FOUR! That's a promising start to the chase for Ireland. Fuller in length and outside off, Stirling leans forward and crunches his drive through cover-point for a boundary. There is a sweeper in place but he stood no chance.

UPDATE 9.26 pm IST (3.56 pm GMT) - The covers are fully off and we have a start time! The play will commence at 10.00 pm IST (4.30 pm GMT). Toss will take place in a few minutes' time at 9.30 pm IST (4 pm GMT). Also, the match has been reduced to 11-overs-per-side, so expect some fireworks straightaway. Stay tuned.

We are back for the Irish chase! The umpires and the fielders are out in the middle. Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie are the usual openers for Ireland. Naveen-ul-Haq to start proceedings with the new ball for Afghanistan. Here we go...
... The Run Chase ...
The Irish bowling blew hot and cold. They appeared to be in control soon after the Powerplay but then lost the plot completely. Gareth Delany was the pick of the bowlers as his first two overs went for 12 runs and he picked 3 vital wickets too. However, his final over went for 21 runs and spoiled his figures. Now, the hosts have an enormous total in front and let's see how they plan their chase. Stay tuned...
At the start of this 11-over-per-side contest, Afghanistan hammered 17 runs in the opening over to set the tone and ended up with 38 runs in the 3-over Powerplay. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was in exceptional hitting form and looked dangerous during his stay in the middle. The introduction of Gareth Delany resulted in a couple of wickets, and that stopped Afghanistan's charge. Thereafter, Najibullah Zadran's efforts helped the Afghans to navigate through the middle phase with a healthy run rate, and then, he and Rashid Khan finished with a flourish.
Wow! What a cracking finish from Afghanistan! 53 runs from the last three overs and they have finished on an imposing 132 for 6. It was a swashbuckling knock from Najibullah Zadran and his sensational 18-ball 50 partnership with Rashid Khan cornered the Irish team. It was a mixed-bag first inning of this rain-affected game! The momentum kept shifting in both directions, but in the end, Afghanistan have put themselves in the driver's seat after posting a sizable total on the board.

Score after 11 overs : 132/6

Runs Scored

12 Runs

R Khan

31 (10)

S Ashraf

0 (0)

M Adair

2-0-23-1

10.6 4

FOUR! Rashid Khan ends off proceedings in style! Adair misses his mark and serves a low full toss outside off. Rashid stays deep and slashes it away, through the cover region for a boundary. Afghanistan finish with 132/6 on the board!

10.5 2

A slower ball, short and on middle, Rashid Khan goes for the pull but mistimes it towards deep square leg for a brace. He will be on strike for the last ball. Can he finish the innings in style?

Sharafuddin Ashraf comes out to the middle.
10.4 W 0

OUT! TAKEN! A good take in the deep from Josh Little and Najibullah Zadran departs after a sensational knock. This is bowled into the pitch by Mark Adair and angling it across the left-hander. Zadran stays deep and tries to muscle it over the mid-wicket fence but gets hurried on. The ball goes high and towards wide long on where Little settles under it to take the catch.

10.3 0

Perfect! This is full and wide, Adair gets it full enough and just inside the tramline. Left alone by Zadran but no wide is called.

George Dockrell looks in some pain in the middle. The physios are in to check on him. George Dockrell goes off the field for further treatment.
10.2 2

In the air, it is a very difficult chance and it is DROPPED! That will be FIFTY for Najibullah Zadran and what a brilliant knock this has been from the southpaw. George Dockrell though is down in some pain and it is not a pretty sight to watch. Hopefully, he is fine. Coming back to the ball, it is a sharp short ball over off, Zadran takes it on again and this time he isn't in control of it. The ball goes high and over square leg. Dockrell runs back and manages to grab the ball but loses it on upon impact with the ground and unfortunately for him, the ball ricochets off the ground to hit him on the face. Two taken.

10.1 4

FOUR! Afghanistan are putting on a monster total here! Banged in short and around off, Najibullah Zadran takes it on and pulls it away behind square on the leg side for a one-bounce boundary.

Mark Adair is ready to bowl the last over.

Score after 10 overs : 120/5

Runs Scored

21 Runs

R Khan

25 (8)

N Zadran

44 (20)

G Delany

3-0-33-3

9.6 6

SIX! Rashid Khan has completely spoiled Gareth Delany's figures! Around middle, Rashid stays deep in his crease and just has a swipe across the line. Rashid connects well and the ball flies over the cow corner fence. 21 off it!

9.5 0

Tossed up, full and outside off, Rashid looks to slog-sweep but misses and gets hit on the body.

9.5 wd 1

WIDE! Delany fires it in, full and wide outside off, a bit too wide though for the umpire's liking.

9.4 1

Quicker and flatter, going across the left-hander, this is cut away to deep cover for a run.

9.3 6

SIX! Always risky to bowl the spinner at the death and Afghanistan are making full use of it. This is the wrong 'un, full and wide, Najibullah Zadran reaches out and smokes it over the wide long off fence for a biggie.

9.2 1

This is darted into middle, Rashid drills it down to long on for just a single.

9.1 6

SIX! Oh, that is a Rashid Khan special! Quicker one, just a tad short and around the leg stump line, Rashid goes deep in his crease and whips it away hard and flat over the leaping fielder at the mid-wicket fence for a maximum. 100 up!

Score after 9 overs : 99/5

Runs Scored

20 Runs

N Zadran

37 (18)

R Khan

12 (4)

B McCarthy

2-0-25-1

8.6 6

SIX! BANG! This is short again and on middle, Najibullah Zadran gets into position quickly and heaves it over the deep mid-wicket fence for a biggie. 20 from the over, Afghanistan are finishing strongly.

8.5 3

DROPPED! This is short and on middle, Rashid Khan pulls it high in the air and towards deep mid-wicket, Harry Tector there tries to settle under it but probably loses it in the sky and makes a meal out of it. The batters run three.

8.4 6

SIX! Boom! This is a bit shorter and there's ample width on offer. Rashid Khan fetches it and slaps it over the point fence for a brilliant maximum.

8.3 2

This is very full and outside off, Rashid Khan reaches out and uses his wrists to loft it behind square on the leg side. Two fielders from inside the ring chase it and cut it off. Two taken and Zadran wants the third but is sent back by Rashid and rightly so.

8.2 lb 1

This is on a hard length and on middle, angling in, Najibullah Zadran looks to play at it but misses and the ball deflects off his body to the off side. They cross.

8.2 wd 1

WIDE! This is short and on the leg stump line, Najibullah Zadran misses his hook. It is called a wide.

8.1 1

Half-chance but dropped again. This is on a hard length and outside off, Rashid Khan cuts it uppishly wide of cover-point, the fielder there dives and gets fingers on it but cannot hold on. A single taken.

Barry McCarthy (1-0-6-1) is back on.

Score after 8 overs : 79/5

Runs Scored

6 Runs

N Zadran

31 (16)

R Khan

0 (0)

G Delany

2-0-12-3

7.6 0

Floated, full and on middle, Najibullah Zadran goes for the reverse sweep but misses.

7.5 2

This is short again and on off, Najibullah Zadran lofts it over covers for a couple of runs.

7.5 wd 1

WIDE! Darts this one way outside off. Wided.

Rashid Khan is the new man in.
7.4 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! Gareth Delany picks up his third wicket and Azmatullah Omarzai has to depart as well. Delany drags this one down over middle and leg, Omarzai goes deep in his crease and tries to force the lofted shot over the mid-wicket fence. He though gets no timing on it and ends up skying it just over the mid-wicket region. George Dockrell runs in from the deep and takes it with both hands. Another timely wicket for Ireland then.

7.3 1

A bit short and around off, Najibullah Zadran stays back and punches it towards sweeper cover for a single.

7.2 2

DROPPED! This is tossed up, landing full and outside off again, Najibullah Zadran throws his bat at it and slices it towards the right of short third man, the fielder there dives but cannot grab it. Two taken.

7.1 0

Flighted delivery and on off, turning further away, Najibullah Zadran tries to cut at it but misses.

Gareth Delany is back on. Also, the sun has made its maiden appearance today, peeping through the clouds.

Score after 7 overs : 73/4

Runs Scored

8 Runs

N Zadran

26 (11)

A Omarzai

4 (6)

J Little

2-0-25-0

6.6 1

Back to over the wicket now for the left-hander. This is on a length and around off, Zadran plays it towards the vacant cover-point region and is happy with just the single to retain strike.

6.5 1

Little switches to around the wicket now and angles it into the body, tucking Azmatullah Omarzai up. Omarzai though manages to swat it away towards deep mid-wicket and collects a single.

6.4 0

Swing and a miss! Little hits the hard length and pushes it wider. Omarzai stays inside the crease and looks to dispatch it over covers but misses.

6.3 1

Little goes full and wide, Zadran drives it firmly and through covers but just for a single.

6.2 4

FOUR! Stand and deliver and Najibullah Zadran now holds the key for Afghanistan. Short of a length but it is the slower ball and outside off. Zadran plays almost a lofted back-foot punch and gets it over extra cover for a boundary.

6.1 1

This is on a shorter length and over leg stump, Omarzai plays it close to the body and steers it down to third man for a single.

The man with the golden arm at the moment for Ireland, Josh Little comes back into the attack.

Score after 6 overs : 65/4

Runs Scored

10 Runs

N Zadran

20 (8)

A Omarzai

2 (3)

S Singh

1-0-10-0

5.6 6

SIX! Powerfully struck! Tossed up, full and around off, Najibullah Zadran backs away a bit to open up the off-side field and lofts it brilliantly over the wide long off fence for a biggie.

5.5 1

Singh drops it a bit short and around off, Azmatullah Omarzai punches it off the back foot and through cover-point for one more.

5.4 1

A hint of flight, full and around off, stroked away through covers by Najibullah Zadran for a single.

5.3 1

This is flatter and outside off, cut away towards deep cover for just a single.

5.2 0

Goes over the wicket and lands this short, outside off, Azmatullah Omarzai stays back and tries to cut it but cannot connect.

5.1 1

Floated and around off, Najibullah Zadran taps it towards short mid-wicket and scampers across for a single.

Azmatullah Omarzai comes in next.

Score after 5 overs : 55/4

Runs Scored

11 Runs

M Nabi

5 (5)

N Zadran

12 (5)

F Hand

1-0-11-1

4.6 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! The wickets keep tumbling and it is the skipper this time who has to walk back. Fionn Hand changes things up and bowls a slower ball, on a good length and angles it into the body. Mohammad Nabi backs away and tries to force it over covers but the ball goes off the higher part of the bat and over extra cover. Andy Balbirnie over there just leaps up and takes a comfortable catch. Ireland making a strong comeback here.

4.5 4

FOUR! A lucky boundary but they all count. Fionn Hand goes short this time and on middle and leg, Mohammad Nabi goes for the pull but gets a top edge towards the fine leg fence, it is wide of the fielder and goes to the fence.

4.4 0

Another slower one, full and on middle, Mohammad Nabi looks to work it to the leg side but chips it to the right of the bowler as he gets beaten by the change of pace.

4.3 1

This is short and outside off, Najibullah Zadran again reaches for it and dabs it through cover-point for one.

4.2 2

In the air...safe! This is a slower ball, full and outside off, Najibullah Zadran throws his bat at it and lofts it just past the extra cover fielder for a brace.

4.1 4

FOUR! Nicely played! Fionn Hand starts his spell with a loosener. This is a low full toss and on off, Najibullah Zadran drives it through covers for a boundary.

Score after 4 overs : 44/3

Runs Scored

6 Runs

N Zadran

5 (2)

M Nabi

1 (2)

G Delany

1-0-6-2

3.6 1

This is pushed through quicker and on off, Zadran pushes it down to mid off for a single. End of a terrific over from Delany, 6 runs and two wickets from it.

3.5 4

FOUR! Short and wide, Najibullah Zadran rocks back and cuts it late past backward point for a boundary.

Stat alert - 50 catches for George Dockrell in T20Is! He becomes the 7th player to do so after David Miller, Martin Guptill, Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Nabi, David Warner and Shoaib Malik.
3.4 1

Shorter and on the pads, this is worked away towards square leg for one.

3.3 0

No hat-trick but that was close! Quicker and flatter, very close to the off pole. Mohammad Nabi tries to have a little nibble at it but gets beaten past the outside edge.

Mohammad Nabi walks in at number 5.
3.2 W 0

OUT! TAKEN! Two in two for Gareth Delany. This is tossed up full and around off, Hazratullah Zazai goes down and slogs it hard towards the deep mid-wicket fence. Unfortunately for him, he hits it straight into the hands of Barry McCarthy. Afghanistan are losing their way a bit.

Najibullah Zadran is the new man in.
3.1 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! Straight to the man and Ibrahim Zadran will be kicking himself. A real long hop from Gareth Delany to start off his spell. It is around middle and leg, Zadran rocks back and pulls it without much timing. The ball goes straight down the throat of the man at the mid-wicket fence and George Dockrell takes an assured catch. It is Dockrell's 50th catch in T20I cricket and he becomes the 7th man to achieve this feat. Delany's golden arm continues to impress.

Time for some spin now as Gareth Delany is brought into the attack.

Score after 3 overs : 38/1

Runs Scored

10 Runs

I Zadran

1 (2)

H Zazai

6 (3)

B McCarthy

1-0-6-1

2.6 1

Full delivery and on middle, Ibrahim Zadran forces it towards mid off for a quick single and gets off the mark. Afghanistan are 38/1 at the end of the Powerplay.

2.5 0

Sharp bouncer to the new batter. Barry McCarthy bangs this short and on middle, Ibrahim Zadran goes for the pull but misses.

Ibrahim Zadran is in at number 3.
2.4 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT! Rahmanullah Gurbaz's fiery little cameo comes to an end and Ireland will be very much relieved here. Barry McCarthy goes short and angles this one into the body. The ball rises up well and Gurbaz gets completely cramped for room. Gurbaz tries to hook it away over short fine leg but the ball seems to have come off the gloves or the shoulder of the bat. It lobs towards Mark Adair at short fine leg and he makes no mistake.

2.3 lb 4

FOUR LEG BYES! This is on a length and on the leg stump line, Rahmanullah Gurbaz shuffles across and tries to scoop it towards the fine leg fence but misses and the ball deflects off his pads and goes for a boundary anyway.

2.2 1

Goes short and on middle, Hazratullah Zazai stays back and pulls it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

2.1 4

FOUR! Hazratullah Zazai welcomes Barry McCarthy with a boundary. This is a juicy full toss and on leg, Hazratullah Zazai drills it towards the deep square leg fence for four runs.

Barry McCarthy replaces Josh Little.

Score after 2 overs : 28/0

Runs Scored

11 Runs

R Gurbaz

24 (11)

H Zazai

1 (1)

M Adair

1-0-11-0

1.6 0

A dot to end the over but Afghanistan still get 11 off it. On a fullish length, around off, Gurbaz just looks to drop and run but fails to do so.

1.5 0

Good comeback delivery from Adair! This is a sharp bouncer, around middle. Gurbaz looks to take it on but gets beaten for pace.

1.4 4

FOUR! Quick hands! Just short of a length, close to the off pole. Gurbaz rocks back and cuts it behind point for yet another boundary.

1.3 6

SIX! WOW! This is the slower ball from Adair, fuller and on middle. Rahmanullah Gurbaz picks it up and launches it into orbit as the ball goes sailing over the deep mid-wicket fence for a colossal hit. Gurbaz is in a destructive mood here.

1.2 0

BEATEN! Adair bowls this one on a good length and delivers it in that channel around off. Gurbaz stays deep in his crease and has a feel for it but gets beaten past the outside edge.

1.1 1

Starts off with a fullish delivery, outside off and there's a bit of shape on it. Hazratullah Zazai gets low and drives it towards the man at wide mid off.

Mark Adair comes into the attack now.

Score after 1 overs : 17/0

Runs Scored

17 Runs

R Gurbaz

14 (6)

H Zazai

0 (0)

J Little

1-0-17-0

0.6 6

SIX! Classic Gurbaz and he ends the first over in style, 17 coming off it! This is short again and over middle and off, Gurbaz gets inside the line of the ball and pulls it all the way over the fine leg fence for a biggie. Perfect start for Afghanistan!

0.5 0

Straight to the man! Shorter and around middle, Gurbaz muscles it but straight to the man at mid-wicket.

0.4 0

A touch fuller and wider, Gurbaz has a wild swing across the line but gets beaten all ends up.

0.3 4

EDGY FOUR! Just back of a length, tighter around the off stump, Rahmanullah Gurbaz awkwardly tries to fend it away. The ball takes the shoulder of the bat and flies away over short third man for yet another boundary.

0.2 0

Half an appeal from the Irish players but that's all. Good length, on off and nipping back in off the deck. Gurbaz gets squared up and takes a blow high on the pads.

0.1 4

FOUR! First runs off the bat and it is a boundary! Short of a length, angling across the right-hander, Rahmanullah Gurbaz stays back and just steers it past short third man for a boundary.

0.1 wd 2

TWO WIDES! Josh Little is off the radar here and gives away two more free runs. This is full and well down the leg side, the keeper fails to collect the ball and the batters scamper through for a run as well.

0.1 wd 1

WIDE! Little starts off with a loosener and Afghanistan are underway! This is bowled from over the stumps and angled down the leg side, a wide is called.

We are finally ready for play! The umpires and the players make their way out to the middle. The Powerplay will be the first 3 overs and four bowlers can bowl 2 overs each with only one bowler allowed to bowl 3 overs. The Afghan opening pair of Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz take their guard. Josh Little has the new ball in hand and is raring to go.
Mohammad Nabi, the captain of Afghanistan, says that they will try to put some runs on the board and put pressure on Ireland. Tells that it was a brilliant show from their batters in the last game and they are looking forward to doing the same. Adds that it's very important to get a good start as they have power-hitters in the lower order. Informs that they also have a couple of changes.
Andy Balbirnie, the skipper of Ireland, says that they will bowl first. He says that with the overhead conditions they aren't sure what a good score is but yes, the bowlers will get help early on. Adds that they have played a few shortened games so is excited to see how it turns out. Informs that they have a couple of changes and one of them is Simi Singh coming in for Curtis Campher.
PITCH REPORT - Alan Lewis says that it's the same pitch as Friday but the overhead conditions are completely different. Says that the pitch has a tinge of green on it and the side winning the toss will look to bowl first. That's what Andy Balbirnie has done.
Afghanistan (Playing XI) - Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (C), Azmatullah Omarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf (In for Usman Ghani), Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad (In for Fazalhaq Farooqi).
Ireland (Playing XI) - Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (C), Lorcan Tucker (WK), Harry Tector, Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Simi Singh (In for Curtis Campher), Barry McCarthy (In for Graham Hume), Josh Little.
TOSS - The coin goes up and lands in favour of Ireland. They have elected to BOWL first.
UPDATE 9.26 pm IST (3.56 pm GMT) - The covers are fully off and we have a start time! The play will commence at 10.00 pm IST (4.30 pm GMT). Toss will take place in a few minutes' time at 9.30 pm IST (4 pm GMT). Also, the match has been reduced to 11-overs-per-side, so expect some fireworks straightaway. Stay tuned.

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