Afghanistan beat Ireland in first T20I – cricket

Afghanistan beat Ireland in their first of three Twenty20s on Friday as Najibullah Zadran smashed an unbeaten 42 in a rain-affected fixture in India.

Ireland, in their 1,000th “capped” match since 1855, made 172 for six as Paul Stirling smashed a fast-fireplace 60 and fellow opener Kevin O’Brien 35.

Indian Premier League spin star Rashid Khan took three wickets as he restricted the Irish after Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Shapoor Zadran leaked runs.

Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz bought Afghanistan off to a strong begin earlier than offspinner Simi Singh had each leg earlier than for 23 and 28 respectively.

Karim Janat and Asghar Afghan had been run out cheaply however Samiullah Shinwari and Shapoor Zadran steadied the ship earlier than rain halted play at 133 for five off 15 overs.

This was sufficient for Afghanistan to be adjudicated the winner by 11 runs beneath the Duckworth-Lewis technique.

Injured Ireland fast Mark Adair was changed for the sequence by Shane Getkate, the one change to the squad that secured a 1-1 draw in the West Indies in January.

Ireland’s head coach Graham Word was additionally absent after injuring himself in an accident at residence, with Rob Cassell stepping in as performing substitute.

“There’s no shying away from the fact that Afghanistan have had our number in T20 Internationals,” skipper Andrew Balbirnie stated earlier than the match.

“I can’t honestly remember the last time we beat them in this format. We’ve certainly got a point to prove against these guys.”

For Afghanistan, left-arm fast Zadran rejoined the squad that features legspinner Qais Ahmad, 19, who floored a shocked Andre Russell with a bouncer in the current Big Bash.

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