It's not unusual by Tom Jones was being belted out over the stadium tannoy as Afghanistan beat Ireland by 21 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three match T20I series in Greater Noida.
Unfortunately for Ireland the Pontypridd singer's signature tune rings true in relation to their T20 woes against their hosts. This week in 1965 saw the Welshman's signature tune go to the top of the UK charts, and while Ireland's barren run doesn't go back 55 years, it is now 12 games and seven years since they last tasted success in the shortest format.
It was I'm afraid a very usual story in this contest, where the Irish started strongly in both innings, but faltered in the second phases. An excellent bowling display had seen the Afghans restricted to 76 for 2 in the opening 12 overs before a late charge saw 108 scored in the last 8, with skipper Asghar Afghan (49) and Mohammed Nabi (27) adding 74 in a five overs blitz.
Craig Young (1-27) bowled well despite 25 runs coming from one of his overs, and can consider himself unlucky as the first ball of that over saw Nabi hit in line by an inswinging Yorker, but instead of a wicket saw the ball go to the boundary for leg byes.
Josh Little too had bowled well, showing great variation before losing the plot in the final over conceding four sixes as 26 were plundered bringing the total to 184.
Irish openers Kevin O'Brien (19) and Paul Stirling (12) sparkled all too briefly and Gareth Delany (7) also fell cheaply.
Skipper Andrew Balbirnie played some lovely shots as he top scored with 46 from 35 balls (5 fours, 1 six) as he and Harry Tector (37) kept the chase on track with a fourth wicket partnership of 49 in 36 balls.
However, it was - as usual - the introduction of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi which saw the decisive passage of play. The spinning duo put the brakes on the Irish chase, and the required rate climbed steadily, and soon came way out of reach.
In the end the losing margin was 21 runs and left the Irish wondering what might have been yet again.
“We started quite well, I thought we held them well – they’re obviously a dangerous side particularly in that power play," said skipper Balbirnie after the game. "But against a side like Afghanistan, you have to be good for 20 overs to get a result.
“We tend to start quite well in T20 Internationals, but it’s about getting that right balance in the middle to get us over the line in tight games.
“I think you’re always learning when you are playing such quality bowlers regularly, you’re learning about yourself and how you adapt in certain situations. The series is now gone, so we’ve got to focus on the third T20I – it’s a big T20 year obviously and we’re going to be going in there looking for the win."
The third and final match of the T20I series will be on Tuesday 8.30am (GMT) at the same venue.
|Toss won by||Afghanistan|
|Umpires||Ahmed Shah Pakteen (Afg) - Izatullah Safi (Afg) - Ahmed Shah Durrani (Afg)|
|Umpire notes||Match ref: Sir R Richardson. TV ump Bismillah Jan Shinwari|
|Player of Match||Mujeeb Ur Rahman|
Afghanistan led the 3-match series 2-0
|Hazratullah Zazai||c&b GJ Delany||28||33||1||1|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz+||run out CA Young/A Balbirnie||35||30||0||3|
|Asghar Afghan*||c HT Tector||b CA Young||49||28||4||3|
|Mohammad Nabi||c GH Dockrell||b WB Rankin||27||17||2||1|
|Najibullah Zadran||not out||16||9||0||2|
|Gulbadin Naib||not out||13||4||0||2|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb12 w3 nb1)||16|
|TOTAL||4 wickets for||184|
|1-57(Hazratullah Zazai) 2-76(Rahmanullah Gurbaz) 3-150(Mohammad Nabi)|
|PR Stirling||c Najibullah Zadran||b Mujeeb Ur Rahman||12||10||2||0|
|KJ O'Brien||c Karim Janat||b Mujeeb Ur Rahman||19||11||1||2|
|A Balbirnie*||c Samiullah Shinwari||b Rashid Khan||46||35||5||1|
|GJ Delany||c Rashid Khan||b Gulbadin Naib||7||6||1||0|
|HT Tector||b Mujeeb Ur Rahman||37||29||3||1|
|LJ Tucker+||c Mohammad Nabi||b Shapoor Zadran||16||14||2||0|
|Simi Singh||not out||13||10||0||1|
|GH Dockrell||not out||9||5||1||0|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w2 nb0)||4|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||163|
|1-29(KJ O'Brien) 2-37(PR Stirling) 3-55(GJ Delany) 4-104(A Balbirnie)|
|5-136(HT Tector) 6-144(HT Tector)|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||4||0||38||3||-||-|