Ireland have welcomed Afghanistan to play a five-match T20 series at their home. The series started last night at the Stormont Cricket Ground, where the home team made a brilliant victory against the Afghans. Ireland won the first match by seven wickets with one ball left of their innings. Irish batsman Andrew Balbirnie won the Player of the Match award for his crucial 51 runs.
Mohammad Nabi, the T20 skipper of Afghanistan, won the toss and decided to bat first in the first match of the series. So, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Usman Ghani came onto the pitch to start the innings for Afghanistan. Their starting was a bit slow as both batsmen batted very carefully. However, they added 34 runs in the opening partnership.
After that, Rahmanullah Gurbaz lost his wicket in the 5th over, scoring 26 runs. Usman Ghani then tried to make another partnership with Hashmatullah Shahidi. Eventually, Usman Ghani started hitting boundaries. With Shahidi, he added 38 runs for the team. But Shahidi couldn’t stay long. He left the pitch, scoring only 11 runs.
The next two batters of Afghanistan couldn’t contribute much. But Usman Ghani kept scoring runs. He picked up a half-century in this match. Unfortunately, his brilliant innings ended in the 15th over with 59 runs. In addition, Ibrahim Zardan added a very crucial 29 off 18 balls for the team. He also remained not out in this match. Relying on these scores, Afghanistan completed their first innings in 168 runs.
Chasing the target, Ireland had a flying start Paul Stirling and the skipper Andrew Balbirnie picked up 61 runs in the opening partnership. Both players batted brilliantly. But the Afghan skipper brought a breakthrough in the 8th over as he picked up Paul Stirling. However, Stirling scored 31 runs before his departure.
After that, Lorcan Tucker came into the crease and played magnificently. With Bilbirnie, Lorcan Tucker added 62 runs on the scoreboard. Although their partnership broke in the 15th over, both players picked up half-centuries in this match. Andrew Balbirnie departed the pitch after scoring 51 runs, while Lorcan Tucker added 50 runs before his departure. Moreover, Harry Tector picked up 25 runs only from 15 balls. Depending on their scores, Ireland won this match by 7 wickets.