That is it from us then! The limited-over contests are done and dusted. Over now to the longest format where both sides are relatively new. Who will have the final say? Join us on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 10 am local (0430 GMT) when the only Test is played out. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
William Porterfield credits the team for a quick turnaround. First praises the bowlers for restricting Afghanistan and then the batsmen for chasing the total down, putting a cover on Friday's disappointment. On playing Afghanistan, Porterfield says that they are not alien to Afghanistan, having played them a lot in Dubai and even here. Is looking to put his feet up for a couple of days now and then get ready for the Test match.
ANDY BALBIRNIE HAS BEEN ADJUDGED THE PLAYER OF THE SERIES. 215 runs at an average of 71. Balbirnie says that all the batters were aware of how good the opposition spinners are and if the batters did have a bad day, they used to go back to the nets and work harder. Adds that after the previous game, the Irish watched live video footage of the Afghan bowlers and prepared accordingly. Is looking forward to some rest and then gear up for the exciting Test match on Friday.
Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan, says that it was a very good series. Does not want to look too much into this loss as there were plenty of changes to the playing XI. Admits that the top order not firing is a cause of concern but is sure that will be sorted soon. AFGHAN IS ALSO THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS UNBEATEN 82.
Coming to Afghanistan, they tried hard but probably they tried too hard. This was exactly what Hamid Hassan opined on air too. They were simply rushing through their overs and while it does not give batsmen the time to settle, sometimes it does not allow the bowler himself to relax. The speeds were too quick and there were less changes of pace. Small things but could have made a big difference. The plan to keep Rashid and Mujeeb wicketless or not giving too many wickets worked for Ireland and the hosts struggled for an inspiration. Did Asghar Afghan's absence hamper the home side? You never know. He has more experience of shepherding in close matches. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
There was a brief chance when Simi Singh was dismissed and Ireland needed 56 runs. But the 46-run stand for the 4th wicket between Balbirnie and Kevin O'Brien thwarted all fears. This batting performance is even better than the one in the third ODI. Because it did not rest on just one batsman.
This is what happens when the top order does well. When the original required rate is just a shade over 4, all the team needs is a couple of decent partnerships. The openers added 57 and then Stirling and Balbirnie added 61 for the second wicket which meant that Rashid and Mujeeb were rendered wicketless for a long time.
Given what was witnessed a couple of days ago, everyone must have felt that 217 is a very steep target. That too, on a pitch turning square. But a couple of decent knocks at the top ensured that the run chase was easy.
M Nabi to S Poynter, FOUR! Just one ball needed for Poynter. A full toss, on middle, Stuart gets down and laps it past short fine leg! IRELAND WIN BY 5 WICKETS AND LEVEL THE SERIES 2-2!
Stuart Poynter walks in for the finishing rites.
M Nabi to G Dockrell, OUT! BOWLED! Nabi gets a wicket too. Full and outside off, Dockrell initially looks to sweep but then decides to change his shot on seeing the length. Attempts the late guide through third man but misses it totally. The ball spins in and hits the stumps.
END OF OVER: 47 | 8 Runs 1 Wkt | IRE: 215/4
Mohammad Nabi to bowl what could be the final over of the series.
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around middle, watchfully defended.
R Khan to K O'Brien, SAFE AS A HOUSE. Full and outside off, KOB punched it through point and called for a single initially. Then he saw that the fielder was taking it too lightly and took the second on the throw. The return was a weak one from the fielder and Shahzad had to stretch and then dislodge the bails, which he did very slowly. The run out appeal was referred upstairs but replays confirmed in one go.
Is that a run out now? Shahzad has made a lazy attempt to run Kevin O'Brien out. Referred upstairs...
R Khan to K O'Brien, EDGED, FOUR. Just a hit away from the win now. Full and outside off, O'Brien reaches out to push but gets a thick outside edge past first slip to the third man fence.
R Khan to K O'Brien, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
R Khan to K O'Brien, Outside off, a play and a miss.
R Khan to K O'Brien, Short and outside off, punched behind point for a couple.
END OF OVER: 46 | 4 Runs 1 Wkt | IRE: 207/4
George Dockrell is in the middle.
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, OUT! BOWLED! Right through the gap. Landed outside off, Balbirnie stays back to defend but the ball lands on that rough patch outside off, spins back in, goes right through the gap between bat and pad and hits the timber! Andy is disappointed with himself that he could not finish it off. But just 10 more needed now. Mujeeb finishes with figures of 10-2-26-1, a decent effort again.
Ur Rahman to K O'Brien, Outside off, punched through the covers for one more.
Ur Rahman to A Balbirnie, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a run.