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06-Dec-2017 04:25:00 GMT
AFG v IRE, 1st ODI, Sharjah

Debutant Mujeeb pushes Ireland to heavy defeat

Sharjah: Having posted 238 for 9 in its 50 overs, Afghanistan bowled William Porterfield's men out for exactly 100 in 31.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Zadran, the debutant 16-year-old off-spinner, was the chief architect of the victory, returning magnificent figures of 4 for 24 in his 10 overs.

Mujeeb accounted for Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien to cripple Ireland, which never looked on track in the chase once the new Afghan star picked up four of the first five wickets.

Mujeeb’s returns were the joint-best for an Afghanistan bowler on debut, matching Shapoor Zadran’s 4 for 24 against the Netherlands in Amstelveen in August 2009.

Six out of the top seven Irish batsmen failed to reach double-figures, and even Porterfield, who fought till the 23rd over despite no support from the other end, couldn't carry on for too long.

Porterfield's 35 off 63 balls was the only bit of resistance from Ireland, and had it not been for Stuart Poynter's unbeaten 27 off 42 balls from No. 8, Ireland might not have reached the three-figure mark.

Brief scores:
Afghanistan 238 for 9 (Jamal 53, Rahmat 50, Rankin 4-44) beat Ireland 100 (Mujeeb 4-24, Rashid 3-28) by 138 runs

Rashid Khan, the star leg-spinner, also returned 3 for 28, but Mujeeb had only left the lower-order wickets for him to pick, which he did expertly after having made a telling contribution with the bat in the first half.

Dawlat Zadran, meanwhile, picked up two wickets.

Earlier, riding on half-centuries from Rahmat Shah (50 in 75 balls) and Nasir Jamal (53 in 63), Afghanistan, after being asked to bat, overcame the early losses of Javed Ahmadi and Ihsanullah to set up a strong platform.

Boyd Rankin's 4 for 44 and 3 for 28 from Tim Murtagh threatened to disrupt Afghanistan's progress, but a late assault from Rashid (48 in 49) and Shafiqullah (36 in 23) ensured it didn't falter at the death.

The two teams will lock horns in the remaining two matches on December 7 and 10 at the same venue.

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