Sunday 22 April 2018

Stirling hits 99 as Ireland defeat Afghanistan to keep ODI series alive

Ireland's Paul Stirling hit 99 in a much-needed win over Afghanistan
Ireland's Paul Stirling hit 99 in a much-needed win over Afghanistan

Paul Stirling made 99 as Ireland secured victory in the third one-day international against Afghanistan, their first win in six matches on tour.

Stirling made 95 in the previous game and went even closer to a sixth century in the format, bowled by Mohammed Nabi after misreading the line.

He joins Eoin Morgan, now the England captain, as the only Irish batsman to be dismissed one short of a hundred.

The left-hander had already done his share of the lifting as the Irish reeled in Afghanistan's 264 for eight with six wickets and nine balls to spare in Greater Noida, ending a losing sequence of three Twenty20s and the first two ODIs.

Stirling shared stands of 96 and 59 with Niall O'Brien and Andrew Balbirnie, the latter still around at the end with 85 not out.

Afghanistan had earlier posted the lowest first-innings total of the five-match series to date. At 97 for six they were on course for an even lower score but Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan and Shafiqullah all weighed in with half-centuries as the tail wagged.

Strike bowlers Peter Chase and Tim Murtagh both took two wickets, with Andy McBrine turning in seven miserly overs.

Press Association

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