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Ireland take 2-0 series lead over Afghanistan

George Dockrell’s 25 not out saw the hosts home for a five-wicket win.

Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling (file pic).
Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling (file pic).
Image: Ben Whitley/INPHO

IRELAND TOOK A 2-0 lead over Afghanistan in a best-of-five T20 series after George Dockrell’s 25 not out saw the hosts home for a five-wicket win in Belfast on Thursday.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi chose to bat first after winning the toss, but the tourists left themselves too much to do with the ball after posting just 122-8 from their 20 overs.

Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored with 36 as Josh Little, Mark Adair, Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany each took two wickets.

Ireland had lost eight successive T20 internationals prior to the series opener on Tuesday, but looked set to cruise home thanks to captain Andy Balbirnie’s 46.

However, the loss of three wickets for 14 runs gave Afghanistan hope until Dockrell’s 19-ball cameo got Ireland over the line with an over to spare.

The hosts can seal the series when the two sides meet again on Friday in Belfast.

Afghanistan 122-8, 20 overs (H Shahidi 36; M Adair 2-12) v Ireland 125-5, 19.0 overs (A Balbirnie 46; M Nabi 2-15)

Result: Ireland won by five wickets

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Series: Ireland lead five-match series 2-0

– © AFP 2022

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