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30-Aug-2018 04:28:00 GMT
Ire v Afg, 2nd ODI, Belfast

Murtagh, Balbirnie sparkle as Ireland to set up decider

Ireland 183 for 7 (Balbirnie 60, Rashid 3-37) beat Afghanistan 182 for 9 (Najibullah 42, Afghan 39, Murtagh 4-30) by three wickets

Belfast: Ireland beat Afghanistan by three wickets in the second ODI at Stormont to set up a series decider on Friday.

Middlesex seam bowler Tim Murtagh took four wickets for the second game in a row as the Afghans were restricted to 182-9 off 50 overs.

Najibullah Zadran top-scored for the tourists with 42 off 52 balls.

A second-wicket partnership of 68 between Andrew Balbirnie (60) and Paul Stirling (39) helped Ireland to 183-7 with 37 balls to spare.

Afghanistan, playing their 100th one-day international, had won the first of the three ODI matches in Belfast by 29 runs on Monday, having also come out on top 2-0 in last week's Twenty20 series against the Irish at Bready.

Mohammad Shahzad was lbw for a duck to the second ball of the innings and was quickly followed to the pavilion by Hazrat Zazai, bowled having scored a single run, and Gulbadin Naib, lbw for seven.

When Hashmatullah Shahidi was run out by Balbirnie, Afghanistan were 16-4 but rallied with the help of Zadran's quick-fire innings, along with 39 from captain Ashgar Afghan and 32 from Rahmat Shah.

Peter Chase, Kevin O'Brien and Simi Singh took one wicket apiece.

Captain William Porterfield fell to the fourth ball of the Ireland innings but Balbirnie and Stirling's partnership helped see their side home despite the efforts of spinner Rashid Khan (3-37) and Mohammad Nabi (2-38).

Simi Singh ended unbeaten on 36, with Murtagh on four, scoring the winning runs.

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