In the 2nd game of the three-match T20I series, Afghanistan marked their second consecutive victory against Ireland. The fans had expected it to be an enthralling encounter but it turned out to be a one-sided affair. And, Mujeeb Ur Rahman emerged as the hero for Afghanistan as he managed to scalp a three-wicket haul. He also helped his team in taking a consolidated lead in the series by 2-0 by winning the 2nd T20I by 21 runs.
Earlier, Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan won the toss and elected to bat. It turned out to be a reasonable decision as their opener Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz helped their side in getting off to a flying start. The duo stitched an amazing partnership of 57 runs for the first wicket. It was Gareth Delany, who took the first wicket of the match as he dismissed Zazai in the 9th over of the innings.
Ireland batting line-up kneels down in front of Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s spin
Later on, Asghar Afghan came out to bat at No.3. He looked in full flow with the bat as he smacked 49 runs off 28 balls studded with four boundaries and three sixes. Meanwhile, Gurbaz got run out on the back of a brilliant fielding effort by Craig Young. However, it didn’t affect the momentum of Afghanistan as they kept on mustering runs at a high strike-rate. Mohammad Nabi also played a small cameo of 27 runs off 17 balls that helped his side in posting a mammoth total of 184 runs for a loss of four wickets in stipulated 20 overs.
Coming onto the chase, Ireland didn’t get off to a good start as they lost their in-form opener, Kevin O Brien in 3rd over of the innings. He attempted a stroke in search of a boundary off Mujeeb ur Rehmann but ended up giving a catch to Karim Janat. Soon, Afghanistan got dismissed Paul Sterling and Gareth Delany that left Ireland struggling for a score of 55 runs with three wickets.
After that, Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector stitched a partnership of 49 runs. However, their brilliant effort went in vain as none of the other batsmen in the line-up could manage to click a good knock with their bat. In the end, Ireland lost the game by a margin of 31 runs. On the other hand, Mujeeb ur Rehmann, who registered bowling figures of 3/38, emerged as the hero for his side.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Asghar Afghan played a knock with a 175 strike rate in a T20 match. That is rare.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 8, 2020
Asghar Afghan on a roll 47 off 22 balls with 3 sixes #AFGvIRE
— Abhijeet ♞ (@TheYorkerBall) March 8, 2020
On AFG so pleasing but this is some putrid bowling by the Irish..#AFGvIRE
— Cricket Tamizhan (@CricketTamizhan) March 8, 2020
Mujeeb is bowling filth #AFGvIRE
— srikrishna 🏏 (@1998Srikrishna) March 8, 2020
Rashid Khan strikes and he is pumped up. Andy Balbirnie was going superbly but a false shot or one should say, a brilliant piece of fielding has seen the back of the Irish skipper. #AFGvIRE
— Wesley00005 (@Wesley000051) March 8, 2020
Averages of spinners from top nations since Nov18
Adil Rashid 36
Rashid Khan 51
— Krishna Kumar (@KrishnaKRM) March 8, 2020
Asghar Afghan, what?
— Static_357 (@Static_a357) March 8, 2020
Joshua Little abusing Asghar Afghan 🤭🤭
— Karthik Raj (@kartcric) March 8, 2020
That six from Simi! 😍😍😍 #AFGvIRE
— Pirate Badshah: Adrift with Rum (@99Ijsbrand) March 8, 2020
Afghanistan set a target of 185 for @Irelandcricket in the 2nd T20I of IBA Cup 2020 at Greater Noida Stadium. Skipper Asghar Afghan top-scored with 49 while Rahmanullah Gurbaz, @zazai_3 and @MohammadNabi007 scored 35, 28 and 27 runs respectively. #AFGvIRE #IBACup2020 pic.twitter.com/eTY18bRvA8
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) March 8, 2020
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