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168/7 (20)
171/3 (19.5)
IRE won by 7 wickets
Player of the match: Andy Balbirnie
 
That's that then from this contest but there's plenty more cricketing action to look forward to tomorrow. Do join us for our coverage of the same and of course, keep yourselves updated with the rest of the cricketing news from around the globe here on Sportskeeda. Thank you for tuning in today and don't forget to rejoin us in a couple of days' time for our coverage of the 2nd T20I on this very platform. On behalf of my good friends Pratyush Rohra and Maanas Upadhyay, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha drawing stumps. Good night and take care!
A fine display by Ireland across departments. They came back strongly with the ball and were in control for almost the entirety of their chase. This win ought to add a spring in their step as they look ahead to the rest of the series and of course, the T20 World Cup later this year. With Afghanistan boasting of quality in its ranks, this is shaping up to be a cracker of a series ahead of us alright!
Ireland Captain Andrew Balbirnie is back for a chat. Here's what he thinks of his team's performance today: Very happy to get over the line. I thought we bowled pretty well and smart in the first innings and then it a pretty good chase. I thought Lorcan Tucker played a brilliant knock. A decent platform from me and Paul and then Harry Tector finishing it off - a complete chase really. You don't want to be too reckless - we managed to get a solid platform at the start. Everyone came out with a clear role and executed it really well. The bowlers bowled really well. Lot of good things to take out of it. We know how they like to play particularly in the middle. They're powerful in the middle-order. That's what we asked our bowlers, to hit the top of their mark. If they get hit so be it but at least they were clear with their plans.
Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan Captain): It's the first game we've played together after one and a half months. We were short of runs on the board but Ireland played really well. We were about 15-20 runs short. (On Usman Ghani's knock) He played really well in the domestic tournament and that's why he was selected for this game. As a bowling unit we can work on our line and length. We missed our lines and lengths in the first 6-7 overs and towards the end as well.
Andrew Balbirnie is the Player of the Match. Here's what he has to say: It's great to score runs and get the win as well. We've faced a few tough teams in the last few weeks, so it's nice to get a win. When you're out of form, you can look a bit awkward. I went back to sir Garry and worked on some stuff. It's about keeping it simple and watching the ball closely, really.
Ireland 171/3 (19.5) beat Afghanistan 168/7 (20) by 7 wickets.
Andrew Balbirnie 51 (38) | Barry McCarthy 3/34 (4)
Usman Ghani 59 (42) | Mujeeb Ur Rahman 1/22 (3)

Quite a chase that! Clinical for large swathes but you just never know against an attack as potent as Afghanistan. And unsurprisingly, Ireland were tested to the hilt but they've managed to hold their nerve in the end. At long last too!

Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling got the team off to a flyer. It was Balbirnie in essence really with Stirling even strangled to a maiden over in the Powerplay by Naveen-ul-Haq. He too, found a new gear to his innings though as the hosts racked up 53 in the first six. And while Stirling couldn't carry on, Lorcan Tucker picked up from where he left off against South Africa last week, infusing positive momentum through the middle-overs.

The Rashid Khan threat was staved off without a fuss as both Balbirnie and Tucker deployed the sweep to excellent effect. Mohammad Nabi's attempt in rotating his bowlers yielded minimal reward until both set batters perished after their respective half-centuries, putting the game back into the balance.

Fazalhaq Farooqi executed his assortment of yorkers towards the end, bowling to his field for a good part of his death-overs spell. It came down to the wire and it seemed for a while as though Afghanistan would hold their nerve. However, Ireland found the odd boundary at just the right time and in the end, Harry Tector and George Dockrell held their nerve to see the hosts through to the finish line. A 1-0 lead is what Ireland take in this 5-match series - stick around for the presentation...
George Dockrell seals it in style! He embraces Tector in the middle and at long last, Ireland have managed to cross the final hurdle in a contest. Ireland win by 7 wickets with a delivery to spare!
20.0
19.5 Naveen-ul-Haq to George Dockrell, GAME, SET, MATCH! Ireland have finally won a T20I contest at home this summer! Short delivery angled into the right-hander, Dockrell holds his ground and pulls it in the gap at cow corner to find the ropes and give Ireland a 7-wicket victory! The hosts clinch a thriller to take a one-nil lead in this five-match series.
Field changes galore. Does Naveen look for the yorker?
Oh cricket, you cruel leveler! Ibrahim Zadran, the man who pasted it around in the final over with the bat, has parried it to the fence this time around. Just 2 runs needed now...
19.4 Naveen-ul-Haq to George Dockrell, FOUR! WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT? Slower one outside the off-stump, Dockrell drills down to long-on to split the gap between long-on and long-off. Ibrahim Zadran did all the hard work to get across and put in the dive but unfortunately, he's only managed to parry it into the long-off ropes, leaving his fellow fielder no chance to save his blushes. Jeez! 2 needed in 2 now.
19.3 Naveen-ul-Haq to Harry Tector, toe-crushing yorker to follow Tector as he tried to give himself some room. Somehow squeezed out to short fine leg to sneak a single
A shot of the highest order! Plays the field brilliantly does Tector and it's down to 7 needed off 4...
19.2 Naveen-ul-Haq to Harry Tector, FOUR! That's a poor ball from Naveen. Slower one in the slot outside the off-stump, Tector picks it early and backs away to loft his drive up and over extra cover to find the ropes.
Injuries everywhere! Tector's receiving some treatment having dived for his life but Naveen is down in some pain as well with the physio tending to him.
19.1 Naveen-ul-Haq to Harry Tector, back of a length delivery angled into Tector, rocks back to pull but he's dragged it towards mid-wicket. More good running between the wickets as they get back for the second run
Naveen-ul-Haq. He's not averse to this situation and specializes in this phase. Can he seal a thriller for Afghanistan?
Jeez, how much of a difference one wicket can make! Ireland were coasting along while Andrew Balbirnie was out there alongside Lorcan Tucker. The moment the former fell, the asking rate started to rise, only to be compounded further by the departure of Tucker. And now, it's down to this - 13 needed off the final over! Nerves...