full, and he tonks this over midwicket. Victory for Afghanistan, and with an emphatic slog sweep by the birthday boy!
A five-wicket win for Afghanistan then. They play their second ODI against Ireland in a couple of days' time. Join us then, for the moment, signing off on behalf of scorer Thilak Ram and my co-commentator Hemant Brar, this is Debayan Sen. Enjoy the game with ESPNcricinfo!
Asghar Afghan: "The first game is always important. Sometimes the wicket is like that, and that's why we had to play carefully. Mohammad Shahzad played really well."
Gulbadin Naib is the man of the match. Tells the broadcasters: "It's not easy to play on this kind of team, and then to perform and get the man of the match award. Wicket is changed, it is low and you cannot take most different deliveries. I planned to bowl slower ones and change the pace, and keep a tight line."
William Porterfield: "I think if we had (picked wickets) in the first 5-6 overs, we would have given ourselves a chance. It was a tough wicket, there was no way to hit the ball fluently. 220-230 would have been a good chase. I don' t think it played slower than expected. We just left ourselves short with the bat. With such tight schedules, it's more mental. I don't think the pitch will be too much different."
"My Crystal Ball is over the moon, to say the least. It's jumping around. "Is it because they did manage to chase this target down without major stutters like I smelled and now I'm up 1-0 with ABJ?" I ask. "Well I have done an Afridi and won't comment on International Affairs", it says. "I'm just happy for Afghanistan! Go on, lads, and conquer the world!'" muses Abhijato
7.57pm The result was scarcely in doubt, especially after the way Afghanistan bowled once William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat. Barring Stirling, the rest of them were blown away by the control and variations of a good Afghan unit, on a pretty tricky wicket. 161 was always going to be difficult to defend, but Ireland made a good fist of it. They kept picking wickets at regular intervals, but two scratchy but effective hands from Mohammad Shahzad and Gulbadin Naib have seen Afghanistan through
length, outside off, and he hits it hard again, but cannot get it past deep mid off
Abdul Rahim Noo: "As I have seen Ireland back in 2003 4 5 they were one of the best teams in the world that Afghan team were playing for clubs in Peshawar now see the difference a lot of things been changed my dream came true when I saw Afghan team playing on international stages back in 2011 especially Noor Ali Zadran's 50 against SA "
length, and he has biffed this straight down the ground, over long on! What a start!
Najibullah Zadran, who also turns 26 today, comes out to bat
there won't be a fifty for Naib! Tossed up, and pitched on leg stump, and Naib was looking to just work it towards midwicket. Got the leading edge and floated back towards Dockrell, who clings on gleefully. An effective knock from Naib comes to an end, with the final acceleration probably doing enough to seal this deal for Afghanistan
full, but towards his pads, and he can move inside the line and flick it away towards midwicket
Just 10 to win now, and 4 runs for Gulbadin Naib to bring up a 50. Interesting, but effective knock!
full toss, and he has tickled it down to fine leg. It could also be called a no-ball, because it was definitely a full toss above waist height. Not called a no-ball, though!
he's connected with this! Just a bit full in length, at the stumps, but he steps away and then just hammers it down towards midwicket. Elevation, distance, and timing....this had the complete package!
length, outside off stump, and he goes back into his crease and cross-batted swats it back towards the bowler. It goes on to beat mid off, but the fielder from mid on gets across to it
Zaranb Intezar: "@debayansen Don't mean to be nitpicker but the team's name is Netherlands so Bob Holland still couldn't be like as Asghar Afghan."
length, outside off, lifting a bit, and he defends off the crease
a chance goes begging! It was short, and he whipped it away cross-batted, towards midwicket. Dockrell got the ball in his fingers, but couldn't hold on
in the slot, just outside off, and he whacks it towards long on. Great shot, as Naib begins to hit his stride in the last 3-4 overs
Ireland were 102/6 at this stage
length, and he presses forward to ease the ball past the bowler down to long off
length, coming back in with the angle, and he defends from the crease
length, and he presses forward to defend
length, straight ball, and he defends from the crease
Andy McGirl: "Considering the teams playing surely Anthony Ireland should get an honourable mention?"
fuller, down the leg side, and he can nudge this down towards fine leg
length ball, and Afghan comes forward to defend, and it just gets his bat. Might have been in trouble had that missed the blade. The ball trickles away towards short cover
fuller, and he flicks this one away between fine leg and deep backward square leg. The fielder there chases it down to his left, and then stops the ball even as he lies sprawled on the field. Excellent commitment!
full ball, on off stump, and he drives it back towards the bowler
Sulaimankhail: "@Nadeem Expert's opinion matter. I watched Asia cup his captaincy was criticized by almost every expert commentator on the TV. When ever there are int'l commentators in the match they criticize them at least in the last 2 years"
The target is just 30 now
length ball, and Naib fetches it from outside off and biffs it away just in front of square on the on side. Top shot!