CricketEurope Ireland logo
Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report

On any other day

Both sides made one change going into this second match of the series, Lorcan Tucker replacing the injured Stuart Thompson and Usman Ghani coming in at the top of the order for Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Afghanistan won the toss and it wasn't long before the tone of the innings was set as after two quiet overs from Little and Rankin, Peter Chase went for 15 runs off the third and from there it was all downhill in terms of the bowling on show.

Hazrat Zazai who had smashed Ireland at Bready last year repeated the dose even more emphatically with a century off only 42 deliveries as he tucked in everything that Ireland dished up.

He had a life on 72 when he sliced a straightforward chance to the usually safe hands of Dockrell on the cover boundary and when his innings ended after the 20 overs he had scored 162* (62 balls 11x4 16x6)

Usman Ghani's contribution of 73 off 48 balls (7x4 3x6) went almost unnoticed in a record 236 first wicket partnership.

Ireland used eight bowlers with Rankin, Chase and Little claiming consolation wickets but with all the bowlers except Rankin returning double digit economy rates it was a day to forget, if that's possible, on the bowling front.

Ireland's openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien answered in kind as they recorded their own century partnership to set the Irish reply off in style. The loss of O'Brien for 37 with the score on 126 signalled the return of Rashid Khan and a topspinner accounted for Balbirnie as he paid the price for attempting to force off the back foot.

Mujeeb then tempted Stirling into a sweep which carried flat to deep square leg and the Ireland captain departed for 91 off 49 deliveries and with him went any hope of getting within touching distance of the target.

From there it was the proverbial 'like snow off a ditch' as Tucker perished to Khan at long-off and Dockrell missed a sweep by some distance.

Getkate offered a few lusty blows but in the end was another lbw victim of Rashid.

On any other day Stirling and O'Brien's partnership would have caught the eye but today was all about Afghanistan as records tumbled and Ireland finished a distant second.