Right then. 3-0 to Afghanistan. They were expected to win and thoroughly deserved to win too. They continue to take giant steps in international cricket. Ireland, on the other hand, can only hope to learn from this for the better. The format switches now as ODIs begin. The first of 5 will be played on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 1 pm local (0730 GMT). Do join us then. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan thanks the almighty for helping them win the series. Says that this is for the people of Afghanistan. Admits that there is a heavy workload leading into the World Cup and hence a few players will be flown in for the ODIs. Thanks (in Pashto) to the crowd for supporting in large numbers.
MOHAMMAD NABI HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS 81 FROM 36 BALLS. Says that he is feeling very good about the fact that if he could not take wickets from the ball, he could do well with the bat and on the field. On his Big Bash experience, Nabi says that it does a world of good to the other members after sharing. MOHAMMAD NABI IS ALSO NAMED THE MAN OF THE SERIES.
Ireland captain, Paul Stirling says that they played better today, managing to spend some time in the middle. Adds that they were not far away from a win. Hopes that down the line, the guys from the middle order will learn to chip in and finish off games. On the upcoming ODI series, Stirling says that a few new guys are coming in which promises to be an exciting package.
Earlier, in the first innings, it was a Mohammad Nabi show with the bat as his 81 from 36 catapulted the home side post 200. The Irish struggled with the ball again with only George Dockrell standing out. Who will be the Man Of The Match? Nabi, or Rashid? Stay tuned for the presentation...
Kevin O'Brien tried hard after that to play a lone hand but it was too much for him to do. Rashid Khan then strut his stuff, picking up 4 wickets in 4 balls to end with a 5-fer. Mohammad Nabi played a key role too in keeping Ireland quiet in the middle overs, finishing with 0/28 in 4 overs.
Till that 'dewy' moment, Afghanistan were not at their best at all, putting catches down, bowling bad balls, misfielding, etc... But post that wiped off incident, they came out roaring. They needed one opportunity and they got that in the form of Andy Balbirnie. At that moment, Ireland needed 83 from 38 balls. That dismissal opened the floodgates and the hosts just went through.
Ireland began their chase of 211 in a decent fashion, not cowing down in spite of losing Stirling early. In fact, during the 96-run stand for the second wicket between O'Brien and Balbirnie, it seemed like the visitors would gun this total easily. But then came that moment at the end of the 13th over when the dew was swept across the outfield.
Another day. Same teams. Another match. But same result. Afghanistan continue their winning run and maintain their grapple on Ireland. Tonight was probably a case where the Men In Green could have won but after the dew was wiped across the outfield, the game changed totally.
R Khan to B Rankin, Full and around middle, pushed down to long on to end the game with a single. AFGHANISTAN WIN BY 32 RUNS AND COMPLETE A 3-0 WHITEWASH!
R Khan to S Poynter, Pushes this towards point and takes a run.
R Khan to S Poynter, The googly, around middle, Poynter misses his flick and is hit on the pads.
R Khan to B Rankin, Works it down the leg side for a single.
Boyd Rankin walks in at number 10.
R Khan to J Little, OUT! BOWLED! Rashid gets a fifer. Does not matter where he bowls. He gets wickets in Sharjah, Dubai, Ireland, Netherland, Windies and even in India. Full and around off, Little gets across to paddle but misses and the ball hits the off stump.
R Khan to J Little, Outside off, Little looks to cut but misses.
END OF OVER: 19 | 12 Runs 0 Wkt | IRE: 175/7
S Shirzad to J Little, Another heave-ho and the ball goes off the inner half of the bat towards long on. Just a single.
S Shirzad to J Little, FOUR! Full on middle, Little swings it down the ground and beats long on.
S Shirzad to S Poynter, Outside off, punched through the covers for a run.
S Shirzad to S Poynter, FOUR! Full and around middle, Poynter gets down and across, sweeping it over square leg. Too little, too late.
S Shirzad to J Little, On middle and leg, flicked through mid-wicket for a run.
S Shirzad to S Poynter, Short and outside off, cut through the covers for a single.