Afghanistan hammer Ireland in ODI opener


Afghanistan batsman Nasir Jamal plays a shot on his way to an impressive 53 against Ireland
First One-Day International, Sharjah
Afghanistan 238-9 (50 ov): N Jamal 53, R Shah 50, B Rankin 4-44, T Murtagh 3-28
Ireland 100 (31.4 ov): W Porterfield 35, S Poynter 27 no, M Zadran 4-24, R Khan 3-28
Afghanistan won by 138 runs

Ireland were skittled out for 100 as they went down to a 138-run defeat against Afghanistan in the first of three one-day games in Sharjah.

Nasir Jamal hit 53 as Afghanistan posted 238-9, with Boyd Rankin (4-44) and Tim Murtagh (3-28) ensuring Ireland were set a modest target.

However, the Irish quickly collapsed to their fifth lowest total since gaining ODI status in 2007.

William Porterfield scored 35 while spinner Mujeeb Zadran took 4-24.

Afghanistan were 22-2 before an impressive third-wicket partnership of 125 between Jamal and Rahmat Shah (50).

Lower order contributions from Rashid Khan (48) and Shafiqllah Shafique (36) gave the Afghans a competitive total.

Irish captain Porterfield watched on from the other end as the wickets began to tumble, starting with Paul Stirling for five.

Mujeeb Zadran picked up four Irish wickets to help Afghanistan to a comfortable victory on Tuesday

The Afghan spinners were doing the damage on a turning pitch and they reduced Ireland to 30-5, still 47 runs shy of their lowest ever ODI score.

Stuart Poynter’s unbeaten 27 brought Ireland to three figures before Murtagh’s wicket brought a one-sided game to an end.

The teams are back in action at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday with the final match three days later.

The series provides valuable preparation in limited overs cricket ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in March 2018.

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