Tour and tournament reports

Ireland vs Afghanistan, 2019

A review of Ireland vs Afghanistan, 2019

Ian Callender
Mohammad Shahzad guides the ball to third man, Afghanistan v India, Asia Cup 2018, Dubai, September 25, 2018

Mohammad Shahzad guides the ball to third man  •  Getty Images

One-day internationals (2): Ireland 1, Afghanistan 1
Without a match for nine days, and forced for financial reasons to prepare in Scotland rather than in Ireland, Afghanistan were skittled in the first game of this short series. But days later, they hit 305, to draw level. Afghanistan's most dangerous batsmen, Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah, put on 150.
The bowlers departed for England in less good heart. On two new pitches, the first tinged with green, the Afghan spinners were nullified: Mujeeb Zadran, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi collected two for 155 in 38 overs. The medium pace of Gulbadeen Naib, the new captain, was more successful, taking six for 43 in the second match.
Ireland's bowlers recovered from their pummelling in the preceding tri-series, with seamer Mark Adair collecting four for 19 in the first game. That allowed William Porterfield to sniff back-to-back wins for the first time in any format for 14 months. He might have missed a trick: offspinner Andy McBrine shimmied through ten overs for 17 after opening in the first game, but did not come on in the second until the 16th. Adair took three more wickets, but they cost 71. Player of the Series Paul Stirling made 71 and 50 - giving him four successive ODI half-centuries - and Porterfield 53 in the victory, but the rest of the batting was disappointing.