Ireland win first T20I after Afghanistan fail in chase | Cricket

Ireland cruised to victory in the first T20I of their three-match series against Afghanistan in Sharjah on Friday, winning by 38 runs.

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Ben White and Josh Little starred with the ball for the tourists, while Harry Tector enjoyed an unbeaten half-century as Ireland took a 1-0 lead against series hosts Afghanistan.

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Needing 150 to win, Afghanistan got off to a nightmare start when Mark Adair claimed the wicket of Rahmanullah Gurbaz with the very first ball of the innings.

Gurbaz’s opening partner Sediqullah Atal soon joined him in the stands when Little had him catch Tector for a shot.

The Irish left-armer then bowled Azmatullah Omarzai’s first ball to create a hat-trick opportunity in the second over of the innings.

White then took over the attack and dismissed top scorer Mohammad Ishaq for 32, Mohammad Nabi, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai and Nangeyalia Kharote to finish with figures of 4-20.

The tail had too much to do and despite resistance from Naveen-ul-Haq, who made a knock of 13 off 15 balls, Afghanistan were all out for 111 after 18.4 overs.

Returning Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan won the toss early and sent Ireland into bat.

Harry Tector hit an unbeaten 56 from 34 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, to guide Ireland to 149-6.

Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie started well for the tourists and put up an opening wicket stand of 38, before Balbirnie fell to Azmatullah Omarzai on 22.

Khan, on his return from injury layoff, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-19 and he took his first All-Ireland opener at Stirling for 25 in the 11th over.

The leg-spinner then immediately got the dangerous Curtis Campher for a golden duck and then broke Gareth Delany’s flourishing partnership with Tector in the 17th over.

Tector fought valiantly in the middle but was unable to form a worthy partnership with his entourage until the arrival of Delany and then Mark Adair at the crease.

The right-hander put up a total of 35 with Delany and an unbeaten 42 with Adair to set Afghanistan a target of 150, which ultimately eluded the hosts.

Already a successful tour thanks to Ireland’s first ever Test match victory on March 1, the tourists can begin the T20I series by winning the second match on Sunday in Sharjah.


This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modification to the text.

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