Ireland secure vital win
Ireland secured a comfortable Twenty20 win against Afghanistan in the first Quadrangular series match in Sri Lanka.
By James Mason
Last Updated: 01/02/10 2:58pm
Ireland secured a comfortable win against Afghanistan in their first Twenty20 match in the Quadrangular series in Sri Lanka.
William Porterfield top-scored for Ireland with 46 after being set a target of 122 by Afghanistan.
The side did suffer a blip in the middle order; however the team strolled to victory with 11 balls to spare.
Afghanistan were first to bat and lost opener Karim Sadiq early on - Niall O'Brien with a quick piece of work behind the stumps.
There were starts for both Shafiqullah Shafiq and skipper Nowroz Mangal, who scored 23 and 27 respectively, but both failed to push on and get a big score.
Wickets began to fall quickly for Afghanistan after the duo were dismissed, with Trent Johnston taking four wickets and Botha claiming three, ripping through the remaining batsmen.
The only real resistance came from Raees Ahmadzai, who scored an unbeaten 33 from 26 balls, hitting two four in the little cameo.
Ireland's bowling attack was disciplined and penetrative throughout the innings, with 17-year-old George Dockrell claiming two wickets from his four overs, conceding only 11 runs.
The Irish response started off very positively with the opening partnership of Porterfield and O'Brien proving to be successful.
Porterfield smashed a quick-fire 46 from only 30 balls, scoring nine fours along the way.
The pair added 52 in just over six overs, setting up Ireland for a comfortable victory and launching their Twenty20 World Cup bid which begins in April.
There was a momentary blip in the middle order for the Irish after both openers had been removed, slipping from 91-2 to 98-5 in the space of 12 balls.
Despite that anxious spell, John Mooney and Gary Wilson steered the side to victory, with an unbroken partnership of 26.