IRE VS AFG: Ireland Wins Back to Back T20Is Against Afghanistan, Leads Series 2-0

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Ireland vs Afghanistan 2nd T20I Match Highlights
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In the second T20I in Belfast, Josh Little, Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, and Gareth Delany each claimed two wickets before Andy Balbirnie’s 46 off 36 deliveries broke the back of a 123-run chase and gave Ireland a five-wicket victory. The current 2-0 series lead belongs to the home team, Ireland.

For the second time in as many games, Afghanistan elected to bat first, but their innings never really got going. By the third over, both of the openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Usman Ghani, had returned to the pavilion. After ten overs, they had a stumbling 62 for 4. They continued in the same manner in the second half of the innings, scoring 122 for 8 in total. The second-highest contributor, at 19, was the extras.

In order to put Ireland under strain, Afghanistan needed early wickets, but Balbirnie made sure that didn’t happen. They faced no pushback from the target, and Afghanistan’s shoddy fielding just made things simpler for them.

For the first time in his T20I career, Rashid Khan failed to pick up a wicket in consecutive matches. He finished with none for 27 from his four overs today after none for 25 in the first T20I.

The Ireland seamers got movement and extra bounce with the new ball to pick up three wickets in the powerplay on a field that Mohammad Nabi regarded as dry before the toss.

Gurbaz cut a full delivery to short third as the opening ball of the second over, and Adair struck. Little managed to get one in the next over to jab back into Ghani. While trying to find a cut, the hitter was constrained and ultimately chopped the ball onto his stumps.

At No. 4, Ibrahim Zadran entered and made an effort to increase the scoring rate. In his first over against Barry McCarthy, he struck the seamer for three fours. He sent Campher to the deep-third boundary for his fourth four in nine balls in the following over. But Andy McBrine’s incredible catch ended his counterattacking knock. On the penultimate ball of the powerplay, Ibrahim attempted to loft Curtis over wide long-on but ultimately misfired towards deep midwicket. Afghanistan was 41 for 3 after six overs when McBrine dashed in from deep and executed a full-length dive to take the ball barely above the ground.

In order to stabilise the innings, Afghanistan needed a partnership; nevertheless, they kept losing wickets often. Najibullah Zadran got things going in his customary encouraging way by reverse-sweeping McBrine for a four, but soon after, he uppercut Campher straight to deep point. Against Delany, Nabi also didn’t survive long until he holed out to long-on for nine.

Hashmatullah Shahidi did manage to occupy one end, but his 42-ball 36 was plagued by timing issues. Ironically, the reverse sweep he successfully executed fell right into deep point’s clutches. Afghanistan could only score 22 runs from the final four overs because Rashid was unable to produce any memorable fireworks.

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