Player of the Match
Player of the Match

4.50pm Kevin O'Brien - take a bow. Wickets, then had to go off on 9 because of a hamstring injury. Came out to bat in a crisis and then led the way with a fine counter-attack to keep this series alive. Afghanistan's spinners switched off briefly and lost the plot in a 10-minute passage where O'Brien went berserk. Such was the ferocity of his onslaught that it more than made up for yet aother top order wobble. Credit also to Gary Wilson for playing the role of the accumulator.

Big question now is will Kevin O'Brien play the decider on Friday? Hamstring injuries can take a while to heal. He was clearly not comfortable running, and so decided maybe hitting out was the best strategy. Worked wonders today as it came at a time where it looked like Ireland were being schooled by the Afghanistan spinners. Two attacking hits forced them to alter their line and lengths. It went downhill from there on.

Time for the presentation

"It's all coming together now," says Ireland captain William Porterfield. "We knew today would be a low-scoring affair. Restricting them to 220 was a great effort. We'll assess who is fit. We've had a couple of forced chances. Hopefully we can pick from a full squad for the final game on Friday."

No surprises with the Player of the Match award. Kevin O'Brien . "It's the same hamstring injury, which doesn't look too good. We'll reassess in the next 12-24 hours to see how it goes. As a batting unit, we spoke of how we need one from the top six to be there till the end. That's how it worked out. Afghanistan are a good bowling team. We knew they weren't going to lie down when they scored just 219."

"Top order hasn't clicked, that's a concern for us," says Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai. "The good thing is our lower order is coming up with important contributions. I think 220 was a defendable total."

pradipto: "This is a commendable effort from the Irish on a slow and low turner, kind of pitch they are not accustomed too. Kevin O'brien still has it in him."

46.5
4
Dawlat Zadran to O'Brien, FOUR runs, as easy as they come. Full toss sliding into the pads and he's flicked that imperiously into the square leg boundary. The series is now level at 2-2.
46.4
4
Dawlat Zadran to O'Brien, FOUR runs, short on middle, pulled into the big gap between deep square and wide long-on. Scores level
46.3
1
Dawlat Zadran to Dockrell, 1 run, gloves a steep bouncer behind square on the leg side
46.2
1
Dawlat Zadran to O'Brien, 1 run, nurdles a short ball wide of square leg
46.1
0
Dawlat Zadran to O'Brien, no run, slower delivery that cuts away from length, defended gently back down the pitch

END OF OVER:
46 | 8 Runs | IRE: 214/7 (7 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 4.65, RRR: 1.75)

  • KJ O'Brien63 (56b)
  • GH Dockrell4 (9b)
  • Rashid Khan9-1-50-2
  • Dawlat Zadran8-1-41-0
45.6
1
Rashid Khan to O'Brien, 1 run, looks to go over cover, thick inside edge to deep midwicket
45.5
0
Rashid Khan to O'Brien, no run, appeal for lbw but the ball came back in a long way. He was also a long, long way forward
45.4
4
Rashid Khan to O'Brien, FOUR runs, goes for an expansive drive, gets a thick inside edge that beats short fine leg. Fist pumps in the Ireland camp. They won't mind how these runs come

IRE tour of AE and India 2016-17 News

Ireland 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st48EC JoycePR Stirling
2nd11EC JoyceWTS Porterfield
3rd0WTS PorterfieldA Balbirnie
4th14KJ O'BrienA Balbirnie
4th29GC WilsonA Balbirnie
5th19GC WilsonSR Thompson
6th9GC WilsonAR McBrine
7th66KJ O'BrienGC Wilson
8th28KJ O'BrienGH Dockrell