Afghanistan thrash Ireland to take series lead

By Sports Desk March 08, 2019

Rashid Khan had an impact with bat and ball as Afghanistan crushed Ireland by 109 runs in the fourth one-day international, putting them 2-1 up in the series with one game to play.

After being put into bat on Friday in Dehra Dun, Afghanistan were in trouble at 131-7 when captain Asghar Afghan was run out in the 33rd over for 54.

However, Rashid combined with Mohammad Nabi - who was the highest scorer in the match with 64 - to put on a crucial 86-run partnership, helping their side reach 223 before they were eventually bowled out.

Ireland reached 31 without loss in reply but lost 10 wickets for 83 runs to be bowled out inside 36 overs, recalled seamer Aftab Alam returning career-best figures of 4-25.

Rashid chipped in with two wickets to complete a fine all-round performance, while Nabi picked up 1-18 as Ireland were bundled out for 114.

Yet the most telling contribution from the duo was their eighth-wicket alliance earlier in proceedings, rescuing an Afghanistan innings that had spluttered along from the outset.

They were 81-6 at one stage before skipper Afghan went on the attack, hitting three sixes in a 70-ball knock that came to an end when he failed to beat George Dockrell's direct hit from cover.

Nabi hit six boundaries as he happily played second fiddle to Rashid, who scored 52 from 58 balls before becoming the last man out midway through the 50th over.

Ireland had recovered from 73-4 to chase down 257 to win the third ODI on Tuesday, yet this time around they fell well short of their target.

William Porterfield and opening partner Paul Stirling started steadily in reply, only for three wickets to then fall in the space of seven deliveries.

Simi Singh (20) and Kevin O'Brien (26) provided some resistance before the tail folded quickly, meaning Ireland will have to win Sunday's fifth one-dayer to avoid a series defeat.

 

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