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Afghanistan beat Ireland by 6 wickets

Afghanistan skipper, Asghar Stanikzai feels that the wicket was looking good throughout, which made batting easy for them. Opines that the opposition fell short of 25-30 runs in a deck such as this which favours the batsmen. Adds that the first game is always important in any series and is really happy to win it.

Ireland skipper, William Porterfield says that they didn’t build on the start they got. Praises the Afghan batsmen by saying that they played well and they struck the ball cleanly. He feels that his run out changed the momentum of their innings. Feels that could have got to 180 easily and also that the bowling could have been a bit better. Ends up by saying that it’s just the first match and there were a lot of positives to take from it.

Man of the Match, Samiullah Shenwari thanks the almighty for his performance today. Applauds his coach and the skipper for giving him the confidence when he needed it the most. Adds that he would like to keep up his performance level high. Ends by saying he enjoyed his batting today.

None of the Irish bowlers were that effective as they hardly could keep the runs in check. Kevin O’Brien managed to get a wicket but he was hammered all round the park. By the time, Stuart Thompson was brought into the attack, the game had already tilted in favour of the hosts as he also managed to pick up a wicket.

Shenwari came in and started off in fourth gear as he hammered 56 runs off only 36 balls. Mohammad Shahzad also batted well to give support, as the top-order pulled the game through. Skipper Stanikzai walked in late and saw his team chase the total carefully with Shafiqullah on the other end with two overs to spare.

An entertaining performance by the Afghanistani batsmen, they lead the 3-match T20I series 1-0. They were on top of the game from the very first over. The openers managed to get them to a flying start where they scored 50 runs in less than five overs before losing Najeeb Tarakai on the last ball of the fifth over. The first Twenty20 International (T20I) of the historic series between Afghanistan and Ireland at Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground. This will be the debut international match at this venue. Previously, there have been matches played during Duleep Trophy 2016-17. Along with the ground, Afghanistan will make its debut in hosting a home bilateral series, though India is not there home but Board of Control for Cricket in India have given them Noida ground to use as home ground. And this happened just after former Indian cricketer Lalchand Rajput became the coach of Afghanistan cricket team back in June 2016.

This will be also the first bilateral series for Ireland in India. They have played World Cup matches but nothing other than that. Both Ireland and Afghanistan are amongst the rapidly rising team in international cricket. Ireland, who shocked the world by beating Pakistan in 2007 World Cup, has a reputation of creating upsets. On the other hand, Afghanistan have not made enough upsets but the speed in their rise has been better than Ireland in last two years.

So far, both the teams have played seven T20Is against each other. Afghanistan holds the upper hand by winning four out of them, while Ireland won three. In the recent times, Afghanistan have dominated Ireland quite often. Ireland were beaten twice in the recently concluded Desert T20 tournament. Ireland faced a disastrous defeated in the final of the tournament, where they were bowled out for mere 71.

All in all, this series seems to be a big one for both the teams and surely a historic one for Afghanistan.

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