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Ireland's domination of the World T20 Qualifiers was sealed in sensational style in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night when Phil Simmons' men easily accounted for second seeds Afghanistan after a sublime batting display.

Once again William Porterfield called correctly and just as they have done in every game throughout the tournament Ireland went in first. And boy did they go for a positive start - Porterfield and Paul Stirling stamping their class all over a bemused Afghan attack from the start.

The openers were savage on anything loose and none too kind to the good ball either as they raced to a half century opening stand in less than four overs. The onslaught was halted temporarily when Hamza Hotak bowled the Ireland skipper for 27 (4 fours and a six) but any thoughts of putting the brakes on looked remote when Kevin O'Brien took 14 runs from Hamza's next three deliveries.

Ireland were rampant- the 6 power-play overs yielding no fewer than 82 runs- and the Afghans looked stunned. Hamza and Mohammad Nabi managed to reel it back a little in the middle overs but Ireland still passed the 100-mark in the 9th before Karim Sadiq shifted O'Brien for a 12-ball 20.

Stirling was proving a tougher nut to crack however and he and Trent Johnston continued the assault as the batting side continued to dominate. Johnston ruined Nabi's figures by crashing 20 off his third over as the pair raced to a further 50 partnership- this one off just 24 balls.

Stirling's magnificent knock came to an end in the 15th over, 76 runs made off 43 balls and including 8 fours and 3 sixes. More importantly however with 168 for 3 on the board and 33 balls still to come, the Middlesex man had given his team a wonderful opportunity to bat Afghanistan right out of this final.

Despite Dawlat bowling Gary Wilson for 3 there was to be no denying "TJ" and the big man brought up his first ever 50 in T20 Internationals in his final T20 appearance with a boundary off Shapoor Zadran. The party was spoiled late on when Shapoor removed John Mooney (12) and then Johnston in successive balls- the latter with 62 runs from just 32 balls (5 fours and 4 sixes)- an innings that brought sustained applause even from the fielding side as he left.

Surprisingly Ireland only managed 4 from the final over but with a closing score of 225 for 7 it looked a moot point. Hamza (3-39) and Shapoor (2-36) were the pick of the attack- on a day when all the Afghan bowlers went for 9 an over and more.

Any suggestions that Afghanistan had accepted defeat were blown away early as Mohammad Shazad clubbed 14 off Max Sorensen's first three balls and fellow opener Nawroz Mangal took 12 off Tim Murtagh's first four. Ireland needed to break the partnership and Porterfield brought George Dockrell into the attack very early with the move paying dividends when the spinner did for Mangal for 14.

Unmoved, Shazad continued the fightback before Dockrell had him caught at mid-on by Shannon for a quick-fire 38 (8 fours and a six) that allowed them to end the power-play just behind the rate at 74 for 2. Ireland then regained the momentum however when Alex Cusack dismissed Nabi and Sadiq in consecutive balls and Sorensen saw off Ashraf (22).

Gulbadin Naib was looking really threatening but having thumped 3 fours and 4 sixes in his 19 ball 43 he went for one big shot too many and was snared by Johnston. The same bowler then claimed the scalp of Samiullah Shinwari next ball as Ireland closed in on a second successive WCQ trophy win.

Despite their fine start Afghanistan's resistance petered out after that; finally dismissed for 157 as Ireland celebrated a superb tournament. Trent Johnston completed his final T20 stint with 3 for 34 while Cusack (2-18), Dockrell (2-37), Murtagh (2-24) and Sorensen (1-22) all bowled well as the boys in green knocked ever louder on the ICC door.

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