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19-Mar-2017 13:59:00 GMT
Afghanistan v Ireland, 3rd ODI, Greater Noida

Stirling, Balbirnie keep series alive

New Delhi: Ireland ended their losing run against Afghanistan with a six-wicket win in the third of their five one-day internationals at Greater Noida on Sunday

The Irish had been beaten in the first two games, and were also whitewashed 3-0 in an earlier Twenty20 series between the sides in Greater Noida.

Afghanistan elected to bat and scored 264-8 off their 50 overs.

Opener Paul Stirling hit 99 while Andrew Balbirnie's 85 not out saw them home with nine balls to spare.

Gulbadin Naib (51), Rashid Khan (56) and Shafiqullah (50 not out) had earlier rescued Afghanistan who had slumped to 67-5 - and it was the first time that three men batting at seven, eight and nine had all scored half-centuries in the same ODI innings.

The teams will meet in two more ODIs before a four-day Intercontinental Cup match at the end of the month in Greater Noida.

Injured Rankin loses fitness battle

Meanwhile, pace bowler Boyd Rankin has been ruled out of the remainder of Ireland's tour of India after failing to recover from the back injury that has prevented him playing any part in the series with Afghanistan.

The Irish had hoped Rankin would recover in time for the ODI series and the Intercontinental Cup game, but Peter Chase will stay with the squad instead.

Brief scores
Afghanistan -
264 for 8 (Rashid Khan 56, Gulbadin 51, Shafiqullah 50*)
Ireland - 265 for 4 (Stirling 99, Balbirnie 85*)
Result - Ireland won by 6 wickets

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