Skipper Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan blasted superb fifties as Afghanistan notched up a dominating 109-run win over Ireland in the fourth ODI to grab a 2-1 lead in the five-match series in Dehradun on Friday.
Nabi, who top-scored with 64, starred in two crucial partnerships — sharing 50 with Afghan (54) and 86 with Rashid (52) to lift Afghanistan to 223 all out in 49.1 overs after they were struggling at 81 for six at one stage.
Fast bowler Aftab Alam then returned with a four-wicket haul as Afghanistan bundled out Ireland for 114 in 35.3 overs. Spin duo of Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman also contributed with two wickets each.
“It was an important match. Top order batted poorly again but Rashid batted really well to get us to 223 on that wicket,” Asghar Afghan said after the match.
Asked to take first strike, Afghanistan looked down the barrel as they were 81 for six in the 18th over. Afghan then resurrected the innings with a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket with Nabi. After Afghan was run out, Nabi continued to score runs in company of Rashid.
Afghan’s 70-ball innings was studded with four fours and three sixes, while Rashid cracked six fours and a six during his stay.
For Ireland, off-spinner Andy McBrine (2/37) tormented the Afghanistan team with his two wickets, while pacer Boyd Ranking snapped two wickets and James Cameron-Dow (3/32) took three.
The fifth and final ODI will be held on Sunday.
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