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.
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."
short on middle, pulled into the big gap between deep square and wide long-on. Scores level
gloves a steep bouncer behind square on the leg side
nurdles a short ball wide of square leg
slower delivery that cuts away from length, defended gently back down the pitch
looks to go over cover, thick inside edge to deep midwicket
appeal for lbw but the ball came back in a long way. He was also a long, long way forward
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
opened the bat face late to steer the short ball to deep point, sensible stuff to bring the senior partner back on strike
too full and down leg, tickled to deep fine leg
bursts through the hands of short third man. There was width, he looked to hit over point, but the ball flew off the edge. Usman Ghani was late to move but did well to cover ground and get to the ball but couldn't hold on
slower and fuller outside off, squeezed to the man at the edge of the ring at cover
appeal for lbw but the ball would've gone over. The length ball nipped back in to hit him high on the left pad.
punches the length ball to sweeper cover
bunts the length ball to the right of point for a quick single
misfield at long-off concedes a second run when it should have been just a single
gets well forward and defends to cover
nearly chopped on. The ball skid back in to nearly sneak through off the inside-edge
gets fully forward and defends the full ball on middle
|Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground, Greater Noida|
|Toss||Afghanistan, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Series result||5-match series level 2-2|
|Match number||ODI no. 3853|
|Hours of play (local time)||09.30 start, First Session 09.30-13.00 Interval 13.00-13.45, Second Session 13.45-17.15|
|Match days||22 March 2017 - day (50-over match)|
Ahmed Shah Durrani
Bismillah Jan Shinwari