Afghanistan 136 for 5 (Nabi 49*, Najubullah Zadran 40*, Rankin 2-39) beat Eire 132 for six (Dockrell 34*, Poynter 31*, Nabi 2-16, Rashid 2-21) by 5 wickets
Historical past ought to have little bearing on T20 encounters however Afghanistan maintain debunking that truism each time they meet Eire, this time edging them by 5 wickets and 4 balls to spare, to increase their unbeaten run in opposition to them courting again to 2013.
Even so, it almost wasn’t, because the Afghanistan batted like staunch believers in Sigmund Freud’s idea about society’s deeply repressed dying want. Asghar Afghan, having promoted himself to open, chased a large one to cowl, earlier than his accomplice, Hazratullah Zazai hammered a pull flat and laborious down deep sq. leg’s throat solely a ball after Stuart Thompson was moved there. The slide had simply begun as Karim Janat miscued a pull excessive as much as a ball that wasn’t quick sufficient and Samiullah Shinwari holed out to long-on handy Eire the powerplay on a platter. When Sharafuddin Ashraf turned the fifth wicket to fall with the rating on 50, the remaining 83 appeared a distant climb.
Fortunes switched mysteriously, as Thompson walked off the sector clutching his hamstring within the 11th over, after which within the 15th, Mohammad Nabi, batting on 18, survived an lbw attraction so loud and convincing, the worldwide court docket of justice could not have disapproved. However the umpire did and there was no DRS. As luck would have it, the subsequent over produced 15, courtesy two fours and a six. By now, Afghanistan had additionally discovered an ally in dew, which meant that not solely had been the Eire bowler’s fighting a moist ball however each time it was hit into the outfield, it will race throughout the turf, giving the fielders little probability.
To their credit score, earlier than the slice of luck, Nabi and Najibullah Zadran had rotated the strike intelligently to maintain Afghanistan within the hunt, and when boundaries began flowing, there was no stopping them, as they romped dwelling with Nabi the star unbeaten on 49 and Najibullah unbeaten on 40.
Earlier, Eire had Stuart Poynter and George Dockrell to thank for a dramatic restoration of their very own. The pair added an unbeaten 67 off 50 balls to elevate the guests to 132, which gave them a semblance of hope. However earlier than that the three Afghanistan spinners, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan wrecked havoc, claiming 5 wickets for simply 57 of their 12 overs. Mohammad Nabi was the choose of the bowlers with two for 16, guaranteeing that Mujeeb’s good work within the powerplay that had asphyxiated the scoring and accounted for Kevin O’Brien wasn’t in useless. Rashid was launched solely within the 12th over however he did not have to attend lengthy to strike, taking two within the area of three balls in his very first over. Although he obtained no additional reward, he was miserly as ever, and in the long run, regardless of Poynter and Dockrell’s valiant battle, 132 proved simply wanting a successful whole.