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Ireland vs Afghanistan: The visitors level the series with a crushing 126-run win in the 2nd ODI 

Pavan Suresh
247   //    21 May 2019, 22:46 IST

Afghanistan beat Ireland by 126 runs to level the series 1-1
Afghanistan beat Ireland by 126 runs to level the series 1-1

Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 126 runs in the 2nd One day international played at Belfast, Ireland on Tuesday.

Ireland captain William Porterfield won the toss and decided to field first. Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad got off to a flying start while Noor Ali Zadran was dismissed cheaply for 5 runs. Rahmat Shah and Shahzad steadied the innings along with Shahzad. At the end of 10 overs, Afghanistan were 56 for 1.

After the power play overs, Shahzad and Shah played with positive intent putting pressure on the Ireland bowlers. Explosive Shahzad reached his half-century off 40 balls while Shah also looked composed with his technique and scored fifty off 78 balls.

Mohammad Shahzad reached his century off 85 balls. McBrine got the breakthrough by dismissing Rahmat Shah for 62. Shah and Shahzad added 150 runs for the 2nd wicket. Mohammad Shahzad was soon dismissed by McBrine for 101.

Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran played with an attacking and added 86 runs for the 6th wicket. In the process, Najibullah Zadran reached his fifty off 30 balls. Afghanistan scored 305 for 7 in 50 overs.

Chasing the target of 306 runs to win, Ireland lost an early wicket of JA McCollum for just 3. Paul Stirling and Balbirnie steadied the innings and at the end of 10 overs, Ireland scored 47 for 1.

After the power play overs, Stirling looked in good touch and put pressure back on the Afghanistan bowlers. Balbirnie and Stirling added 48 runs for the 2nd wicket. Afghan captain Naib struck by dismissing Balbirnie for 20. Stirling reached his half-century off 53 balls and was soon dismissed. Afghanistan bowlers picked wickets at regular intervals and controlled the run flow.

It was a great bowling performance by Afghan bowlers who never allowed Ireland to score runs with ease. Afghanistan bowled out Ireland for 179 in 41.2 overs. With this win, Afghanistan drew the 2 match series at 1-1.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 305 for 7 in 50 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 101, Rahmat Shah 62, Najibullah Zadran 60*, MR Aadir 3/70) beat Ireland 179 in 41.2 overs (Paul Stirling 50, Paul Wilson 34, Gulbadin Naib 6/43) by 126 runs.