Right then! Yet another series for the Afghans where they cannot lose. They have the chance to win it come Sunday where they have just one box to tick - the top order throwing it away. Their batting runs deep, which is nice but they cannot keep on leaving it to the lower order. Ireland, well, need to bat better. Period. They have got one final chance on Sunday, March 10, 2019 when the 5th ODI will be played, at 1 pm local (0730 GMT). Join us then. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Afghanistan skipper, Asghar Afghan, says that this game was very important for them. Laments the top order throwing its wickets away but praises Rashid's fightback. On players getting a chance in this game, Afghan says that more players will be given a chance come Sunday. On Rashid winning the Man Of The Match award, Asghar says that no one plays for the award, everyone plays for the team. On his injury during his dismissal, Afghan says that there were some MRI scans done and nothing came out to be serious. Adds that he just wanted to take some rest.
RASHID KHAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH, for his all-round show of 52 and 2/22. Thanks the almighty for enabling him to perform well tonight. Adds that he is always confident about his batting and is happy that he perform when his team needed him to. On playing cricket all round the world, Khan says that one needs to enjoy the game and keep oneself fit.
Ireland skipper, William Porterfield, says that the confidence was high coming into this game and feels that some individual errors with the bat cost them the match. Admits that 223 was perhaps a bit more than they conceded but he is not too concerned about that, as he is very happy with the bowling. On the batting front, the skipper says that they got a half decent start but then his side 'managed' to get into a hole. On the preparations for Sunday, William says that there is not a lot one can do in one day but he will certainly hit the nets and try and work on the mistakes committed in this game.
Now, about Afghanistan. Champion bowling. Who said they are all about Rashid or Mujeeb? Tonight was Aftab Alam's night. His 4/25 broke the spine of Ireland's batting, with wickets of Porterfield, O'Brien, Poynter and Murtagh. The others were decent too, crucially not letting the team down, maintaining excellent pressure. Please do stay tuned for the presentation...
Was it the rain which spiced things up? Perhaps. The ball was skidding onto the bat and there was some inconsistent bounce as well. Ireland simply could not adjust to the pace and bounce and kept mistiming their shots and eventually lost their wickets.
Normally, small totals are always difficult to chase. Because one gets muddled in the mind. Should I play attacking cricket? Should I be cautious? Well, Ireland seemed to start off well, racing off to 31 inside 6 overs but then suddenly lost 3 quick wickets. Then, there was a brief partnership brewing between Simi Singh and Kevin O'Brien but once the former was dismissed, the floodgates opened. Ireland slipped from 66/3 to 114 all out.
Easy-peasy then for Afghanistan. Who would have thought? After they were 81/6, scraped to 223, it always looked like another defeat was looming. But the hosts have pulled off something spectacular.
M Nabi to B Rankin, OUT! LBW! That is the end of the game. Afghanistan have won by 109 runs. Tossed up on off, Rankin looks to defend but misses the line completely and gets hit on the pads. Nabi appeals and the umpire raises his finger. That was as plumb as it got. Afghanistan take a 2-1 series lead!
M Nabi to B Rankin, Floated delivery on middle, Rankin flicks it to the leg side.
M Nabi to B Rankin, Tossed up on middle, Rankin plays a slog sweep over mid-wicket. It lands in no man's land. The batsmen pick up a couple.
END OF OVER: 35 | 6 Runs 0 Wkt | IRE: 112/9
Mohammad Nabi into the attack now. 7-1-16-0 so far.
R Khan to Cameron Dow, FOUR! A rare bad ball, short and around off, the googly, Dow picks the length, goes back and pulls it past short mid-wicket for a boundary!
R Khan to Cameron Dow, Down the leg side, flicked towards short fine leg.
R Khan to Cameron Dow, Very full, Dow misses his flick and is hit on the pads. Rashid appeals for LBW but it is turned down by the umpire. Perhaps missing leg stump.
R Khan to Cameron Dow, Tossed up, around middle, pushed towards cover.
R Khan to B Rankin, Around middle, worked through mid-wicket for a single.
R Khan to B Rankin, ALMOST! Terrific ball. Rashid nearly cleaned him up. Yorker ball, around leg, Rankin looks to defend but is slightly late in getting his bat down. The ball takes the inside edge and just beats the leg stump!
R Khan to B Rankin, Leg spinner going down the leg side for a wide.
END OF OVER: 34 | 3 Runs 0 Wkt | IRE: 106/9
A Alam to Cameron Dow, Length delivery on leg, Dow nudges it towards fine leg. The batsmen pick up a couple. Mujeeb at deep fine leg slides and does well to pull it back. He saves two runs for the team.
A Alam to Cameron Dow, Full on off, Dow defends it out.
A Alam to Cameron Dow, On off, Dow defends it off the front foot.
A Alam to B Rankin, Length delivery on off, Rankin plays it towards covers for a run.