Controversial Joyce run-out mars Afghanistan win
Afghanistan 229 for 7 (Rashid 60, Nabi 50, McBrine 2-29) beat Ireland 150 (Kevin O'Brien 34, Rashid 4-21) by 79 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Seventeen-year-old Rashid Khan produced his career-best batting and bowling performance in ODIs to give Afghanistan a 2-1 lead against Ireland in Belfast. Rashid, who had played in the Under-19 World Cup as well as the World T20 this year, first belted 60 off 44 balls to rescue Afghanistan from 109 for 6 to 229, and then returned 4 for 21 in eight overs to dismiss Ireland for 150.
Afghanistan's victory, however, was marred by Ireland opener Ed Joyce's controversial run-out. After driving the ball over extra cover in the sixth over, Joyce stopped running mid-pitch, assuming the ball had reached the boundary. Mohammad Nabi chased the ball down and flicked it back to Rashid, who then threw to the non-striker's end where Yamin Ahmadzai, the bowler, took the bails off with Joyce mid-pitch, having assumed the ball was dead.
The on-field umpires - Alan Neill and C Shamshuddin - asked Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai to withdraw the appeal, but he refused to do so. There was no TV umpire for the game, and the wicket led to an exchange between Ireland captain William Porterfield - who was also batting at the time - and the Afghanistan players.
Speaking after the match, Porterfield confirmed that Joyce had thought the ball crossed the rope. "We ran past each other, he [Joyce] said he pretty much saw him [Nabi] pass the rope, flick it back," Porterfield said. "The fielder comes back and says he didn't. I don't know what footage is out there of [this]. The umpires said they are going on his word, and this is as far as it goes for me."
Four overs after Joyce's dismissal for 12 off 21 balls, Porterfield was run out as well, for 16 off 27 balls. Rahmat Shah, who had earlier laid the foundation for Afghanistan with 48 off 70 balls, then removed Sean Terry and Stuart Poynter to reduce the hosts to 67 for 4 by the 18th over. Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling threatened a recovery with thirty-something each, but Rashid, the legspinning allrounder, sliced through the middle and lower order. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad was involved in three of those dismissals. Ireland lost their last six wickets for only 20 runs.
They had started well with seamer Peter Chase having Noor Ali Zadran, who had replaced Javed Ahmadi, nicking behind for 10. Shahzad, coming off three successive half-centuries, flickered only briefly on Sunday, holing out to deep square leg off Stirling for 22.
When Samiullah Shenwari and Stanikzai exited in successive overs, Afghanistan had slipped to 84 for 4 in the 21st over. Ireland's bowlers tightened the screws by delivering 53 boundary-less balls, a sequence broken by Nabi flat-batting a four off seamer Tim Murtagh. Najibullah Zadran had fallen in the dry spell, and Rahmat edged behind soon after it ended, leaving Afghanistan teetering on 109 for 6.
Nabi and Rashid then came together to add 54 for the seventh wicket and revive their side. That was followed by an unbroken partnership of 66 between Rashid and Mirwais Ashraf at over eight to the over, lifting Afghanistan to 229 for 7 on a pitch that Porterfield later admitted was difficult to score on.
Rashid, who was dropped on 17 and 34, got to his maiden international fifty, which included five fours and two sixes. Terry spilled the first chance of his, parrying the ball to the cover boundary, while Murtagh fluffed the second.
Porterfield said the fielding lapses cost Ireland on a surface that assisted spin. "Just under 200 on that pitch would have been about par," he said. "I think that, putting those couple of chances down… you're probably looking at 175-180 [if those catches were taken], which I think is pretty chaseable regardless of the [pitch]. We've done it [drop catches] a couple of times now in game where we've been just a wicket or two behind. Difficult to claw back from there."
With the first ODI of the series being washed out, Afghanistan cannot lose this series now. The final ODI will be played on July 19, at the same venue.