1st T20I, Greater Noida, Mar 8 2017, Ireland tour of United Arab Emirates and India
(18/20 ov, target 166)
Afghanistan won by 6 wickets (with 12 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
• The Report by Akshay Gopalakrishnan

Shenwari and Shahzad thump Ireland

Afghanistan's spinners Amir Hamza and Rashid Khan joined forces with batsmen Mohammad Shahzad and Samiullah Shenwari to deliver the side a six-wicket win over Ireland

Match centre 
Commentator: Akshay Gopalakrishnan
Scorecard summary
Ireland165/5(20 overs)
Afghanistan171/4(18 overs)
end of over 189 runs • 1 wicket
AFG: 171/4CRR: 9.5 
Shafiqullah6 (1)
Asghar Afghan20 (13)
Craig Young3-0-30-1
Stuart Thompson3-0-17-1

Clinical performance from Afghanistan. They played at their adopted home ground, and played like the home team, being cheered amply from onlookers and thoroughly outplaying the opposition. They go 1-0 up in the three-match series. Ireland have issues to sort out, especially with the ball. Their batting was pretty decent, although they did not get as many runs on the board as they would have liked. But it was still, by far, the better suit today. Can they bounce back from this big defeat or will Afghanistan seal the series on Friday? Join us then to find out. Cheers!

Asghar Stanikzai - On this kind of wicket, it does not matter if we bat first or bowl first. The outfield here is very fast. We always believed the target was chaseable. It is always important to start the series well, and I am happy that we were able to win.

William Porterfield - It was a case of runs not on the board. We did not bowl too well either. 180 is what we were trying, we could have got there comfortably given the start we had, but unfortunately, we could not do so.

Shenwari - The captain and coach told me to play my natural game, which I did and I am happy for having done it. We have played some cricket recently, so all the guys have been busy coming into this series.

Samiullah Shenwari is the Man of the Match for his half-century.

5.06pm That was a no-contest. Ireland have been thoroughly outplayed, with bat and ball. Ireland made a superb start as Afghanistan's bowlers sprayed it too full or too short and offered width on both lengths. Their spinners then came and stifled Ireland, but they were able to put up a decent score nonetheless. It was always going to be hard work to defend 165 given the firepower at the top that Afghanistan possess. But bowling remains a major worry for Ireland as they bowled poor lines and lengths and were ruthlessly punished by Afghanistan's batsmen who power-hit their way to take a 1-0 lead. Presentation time.

Ahmad Khalid Qu: "I am desperately waiting to see Afghanistan receive full membership. A wish that will come true very soon."

Mohib.H: "Well done Afghanistan, you truly deserve to take on the BIG boys now...."

Mohib.H: "Hope to see Afghanistan as the 12th headache for the BIG boys in the nearest future. "

Young to Shafiqullah, SIX runs
takes the aerial route to finish it off. Full and outside off, frees his arms and clears the long-on boundary. Shovels it from outside off and with the fielders inside the circle to prevent the single it was a chance he could liberally take. Makes clean contact and the ball sails a long way over the boundary
Young to Mohammad Nabi, OUT
oh, gone! Got to ask, was that really necessary? Full and outside off and Nabi drills it hard through midwicket. Cannot keep it along the ground and sends it straight into the hands of the midwicket fielder
Mohammad Nabi c Dockrell b Young 1 (6m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00
Young to Asghar Afghan, 1 run
fullish length outside off, eases it down to long-on for a single. Scores level
Young to Mohammad Nabi, 1 run
short of good length, swivels around and pulls it to deep square leg. Just two needed now
Young to Asghar Afghan, 1 run
short and no pace again. This time he anticipates well and hangs in the backfoot, waits for it before pulling but cannot beat the deep backward square leg fielder
Young to Asghar Afghan, no run
short of a length, no pace at all, tries to pull and goes through with the shot too early

Laiqkhan Rafeh: "Well played boys, a step closer to full membership, keep it up"

end of over 173 runs • 1 wicket
AFG: 162/3CRR: 9.52 • RRR: 1.33 • Need 4 from 18b
Asghar Afghan18 (10)
Mohammad Nabi0 (0)
Stuart Thompson3-0-17-1
Kevin O'Brien4-0-52-1
SR Thompson to Asghar Afghan, 1 run
good length outside off, drops it in front of covers off the front foot and they take a quick single
SR Thompson to Asghar Afghan, no run
full and outside off, tries to squeeze it out through the off side and cannot make contact

Mujeeb : "@Suga: In that case, Afghanistan should get full membership because currently, they are too good among the Associates.....The same goes for Ireland ..... !"

SR Thompson to Samiullah Shinwari, OUT
superb catch at long-on. They go upstairs to check if he has taken that fine, but does not seem like there's any problem. It was full and the batsman was using the inward angle and lofting it. It's the long part of the boundary there and the ball nearly carries but not over the fielder there. He moves to his right, takes it reverse-cupped and is arching back. The angle and momentum takes him over the ropes, so he flicks it in the air, crosses the boundary and steps back in to take it again. It's a pretty clean effort, no part of the foot was on the ropes
Samiullah Shinwari c Dockrell b SR Thompson 56 (65m 36b 6x4 3x6) SR: 155.55

Shan: "Just to get a perspective... the next best run getter from an associate team is Porterfield, who played almost the same number of matches but is almost 750 runs lesser than Shehzad... That's 77% more than the next best associate player..."

SR Thompson to Samiullah Shinwari, no run
fuller ball outside off, defended off the front foot into the off-side and the bowler runs to his left to cut it off
SR Thompson to Asghar Afghan, 1 run
comes down the track and ends up nearly yorking himself, the ball goes off the inside part of the blade to the square leg region
SR Thompson to Samiullah Shinwari, 1 leg bye
angled down leg, misses the flick and the ball goes off the pad to the left of the diving wicketkeeper and towards fine leg

Suga: "I think ICC should prevent Afghanistan from playing with associate nations, considering their consistent win over them."

end of over 1627 runs
AFG: 159/2CRR: 9.93 • RRR: 1.75 • Need 7 from 24b
Asghar Afghan16 (7)
Samiullah Shinwari56 (33)
Kevin O'Brien4-0-52-1
George Dockrell4-0-35-0
O'Brien to Asghar Afghan, FOUR runs
Kevin O'Brien's struggle in this over ends with another boundary. Too full and lofted straight down the ground. One-bounce over the straight boundary
O'Brien to Asghar Afghan, 1 wide
and another wide. Sprays it too wide outside off and the batsman chases it. Goes so wide that he almost loses balance as he reaches out for it. The ball misses the flashing blade and the wicketkeeper appeals for a catch as he takes it. Not given
O'Brien to Asghar Afghan, FOUR runs
whatever Afghanistan are doing now are working in their favour. Short of a length and outside off. Not much room and does not sit up as well as he would have liked. Gets a top edge on the attempted pull and the ball goes on the bounce over third man
O'Brien to Samiullah Shinwari, 1 run
full and angling away, comes forward and drives off the front foot to extra cover
O'Brien to Samiullah Shinwari, 1 wide
sprayed down leg again and the keeper collects it this time
O'Brien to Samiullah Shinwari, 5 wides
sprayed down the leg side. Ireland getting it all horribly wrong here. The batsman misses the glance and the keeper misses the ball as well as the wicketkeeper dived to his left and the ball goes to the fine leg boundary
Match details
Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground, Greater Noida
TossIreland , elected to bat first
SeriesIreland tour of United Arab Emirates and India
Player Of The Match
Samiullah Shinwari
Series resultAfghanistan led the 3-match series 1-0
Match numberT20I no. 599
Hours of play (local time)14.00 start, First Session 14.00-15.25, Interval 15.25-15.45, Second Session 15.45-17.10
Match days8 March 2017 (20-over match)
Ahmed Shah Pakteen
Ahmed Shah Durrani
TV Umpire
Reserve Umpire
Bismillah Jan Shinwari
Match Referee
Graeme Labrooy