Posting a mammoth 233 for 8 in 20 overs, Afghanistan were always on top but the Irishmen did not back down. William Porterfield’s side did go down with a fight but will have to regroup soon before the five-match ODI series, slated to begin from March 15 at Greater Noida.
Opting to field, Ireland’s bowling continued to remain erratic. Mohammad Shahzad came out all guns blazing from the very first over of the game.
Though, he lost his partner Najeeb Tarakai early but he continued to tear apart Ireland’s pacers, Barry McCarthy and Kevin O’Brien. Usman Ghani got his first chance in the series, and stitched a brief stand with Shahzad.
O’Brien brought his side back by sending Ghani and Tarakai to the pavilion but George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, McCarthy and Stuart Thompson continued to leak runs.
Irish bowlers learnt nothing from the past games as they kept bowling short and offered enough width on a small ground. Shahzad slammed fifty in no time amidst the fall of Asghar Stanikzai (12) and Najibullah Zadran.
Shahzad was eventually dismissed for a 43-ball 72, which included 6 fours and 5 sixes but the task of taking Afghanistan to a big score was taken over by Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari (13). Nabi went all out with some huge straight sixes and scored 30-ball 89 (6 fours and 9 sixes).
This is Afghanistan’s highest score in T20Is and the eighth highest overall. O’Brien and Jacob Mulder shared 6 wickets among them but failed to curb the run-flow.
Ireland had lots riding on them to avoid a series whitewash. Losing the opener by 6 wickets and the second game by 17 runs (D/L method), Ireland wanted to finish off on a high.
Their openers took on Shapoor Zadran and Nabi as Ireland had 50 on board within 4 overs. Paul Stirling was beaming in confidence as he found room and adjusted to the line and length accordingly. Stuart Thompson was giving him good support before Stirling fell for a 20-ball 49.
Porterfield and Thompson carried on in similar fashion. Nonetheless, the pressure of keeping up with the required run-rate kept Irish batsmen under check. Thompson departed for 43 and was followed by O’Brien (3). Porterfield found the going tough with wickets tumbling and fell for 16.
However, the Irish captain became the first player to cross the 1,000-run mark in the shortest format from his side. Karim Janat and Amir Hamza were rotated well and they stuck to their line and lengths to slow things down for the chasing side.
Afghanistan vs Ireland 3rd T20 Match Fill Scorecard
|Afghanistan innings (20 overs maximum)||R||M||B||4s||6s||SR|
|Mohammad Shahzad†||c Dockrell b Mulder||72||62||43||6||5||167.44|
|Najeeb Tarakai||c Dockrell b O’Brien||3||12||5||0||0||60.00|
|Usman Ghani||b O’Brien||23||36||20||3||0||115.00|
|Asghar Stanikzai*||c SR Thompson b McBrine||12||7||5||1||1||240.00|
|Najibullah Zadran||c †Wilson b Mulder||1||6||5||0||0||20.00|
|Samiullah Shenwari||c Dockrell b O’Brien||13||24||10||1||0||130.00|
|Mohammad Nabi||run out (McCarthy)||89||31||30||6||9||296.66|
|Karim Janat||c Mulder b O’Brien||6||2||2||0||1||300.00|
|Rashid Khan||not out||1||5||1||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||(lb 5, w 7, nb 1)||13|
|Total||(8 wickets; 20 overs)||233||(11.65 runs per over)|
Did not batShapoor Zadran, Amir Hamza
Fall of wickets 1-23 (Najeeb Tarakai, 2.4 ov), 2-97 (Usman Ghani, 10.2 ov), 3-119 (Asghar Stanikzai, 11.4 ov), 4-121 (Mohammad Shahzad, 12.3 ov), 5-121 (Najibullah Zadran, 12.5 ov), 6-195 (Samiullah Shenwari, 18.1 ov), 7-206 (Karim Janat, 18.5 ov), 8-233 (Mohammad Nabi, 19.6 ov)
|KJ O’Brien||4||0||45||4||11.25||(1nb, 1w)|
|Ireland innings (target: 234 runs from 20 overs)||R||M||B||4s||6s||SR|
|PR Stirling||c Mohammad Nabi b Shapoor Zadran||49||28||20||6||3||245.00|
|SR Thompson||b Amir Hamza||43||38||18||2||5||238.88|
|WTS Porterfield*||c Mohammad Nabi b Amir Hamza||16||27||14||1||0||114.28|
|KJ O’Brien||c Mohammad Nabi b Karim Janat||3||6||6||0||0||50.00|
|GC Wilson†||c Samiullah Shenwari b Rashid Khan||59||47||34||5||2||173.52|
|AR McBrine||lbw b Karim Janat||13||12||8||0||1||162.50|
|L Tucker||b Rashid Khan||16||25||14||0||1||114.28|
|GJ Thompson||b Rashid Khan||0||3||1||0||0||0.00|
|GH Dockrell||c Usman Ghani b Mohammad Nabi||2||7||3||0||0||66.66|
|BJ McCarthy||run out (Najibullah Zadran)||0||1||0||0||0||–|
|J Mulder||not out||0||1||0||0||0||–|
|Extras||(lb 1, w 1, nb 2)||4|
|Total||(all out; 19.2 overs)||205||(10.60 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets 1-65 (Stirling, 4.2 ov), 2-95 (SR Thompson, 6.2 ov), 3-100 (O’Brien, 7.5 ov), 4-123 (Porterfield, 10.3 ov), 5-159 (McBrine, 13.4 ov), 6-201 (Wilson, 18.2 ov), 7-203 (Tucker, 18.4 ov), 8-204 (GJ Thompson, 18.6 ov), 9-205 (McCarthy, 19.1 ov), 10-205 (Dockrell, 19.2 ov)
|Shapoor Zadran||4||0||60||1||15.00||(2nb, 1w)|