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Sublime Rashid helps Afghanistan secure 3-0 whitewash over Ireland

Ireland suffered a 36-run loss in the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi today.

Rashid Khan (left) facing Ireland in 2018.
Rashid Khan (left) facing Ireland in 2018.
Image: Rowland White/INPHO

A BRILLIANT ALL-round display from Rashid Khan helped Afghanistan secure a series clean sweep against Ireland today with a 36-run victory in the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi.

Rashid’s swashbuckling 48 helped Afghanistan recover from 163-7 to post 266-9 from their 50 overs, before the leg-spinner took four wickets as Ireland fell short despite a second straight hundred from Paul Stirling.

The whitewash sees Afghanistan collect 30 points in the race to qualify for the 2023 World Cup in India.

After a quick start, the Afghans became bogged down by Ireland’s spinners, with Simi Singh claiming 3-37.

But a stunning late onslaught from Rashid, whose 40-ball innings featured three fours and three sixes, saw Afghanistan post a competitive total.

Stirling’s 12th ODI ton helped Ireland stay in the chase despite losing regular wickets, but the opener was bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the 37th over.

A 30-run eighth-wicket partnership between Singh and Andy McBrine kept the slim Irish hopes alive.

But, after Hashmatullah Shahidi made a mess of a catch from Singh off Rashid’s bowling, Mohammad Nabi was alert to the situation to run out Singh.

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Rashid bowled Craig Young with the next delivery and Naveen-ul-Haq trapped McBrine lbw as Afghanistan completed the series in style with three wickets in as many balls.

“Paul has played superbly in the last couple of games – you run out of words to describe how he’s playing, but no one could really back him up and get that big score with him that could potentially won us a game the other day or today,” said Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie. “He’s played brilliantly and we’ve just got to be there to support him.”

“Today we just needed someone to stick with him and get a 50 or 60, but it didn’t happen and hasn’t happened this week – we probably haven’t been up to our usual standards. There’s a few guys who will go away to Bangladesh with the Wolves shortly, which is a great opportunity – and for the guys at home we have a lot to work on because there’s a lot of cricket coming up and we’ve got to be better than what we’ve shown in the last few games.”

© – AFP, 2021 

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