Balbirnie guides Ireland to level series | The Daily Star
01:00 AM, March 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:01 AM, March 06, 2019

Balbirnie guides Ireland to level series

Andy Balbirnie gave Afghanistan a taste of their own medicine Tuesday, smashing a brilliant unbeaten 145 as Ireland claimed their first win of a punishing series.

The 28-year-old Dubliner anchored Ireland's innings as they passed Afghanistan's 256-8 with an over to spare to win by four wickets.

Najibullah Zadran hit an unbeaten 104 as Afghanistan recovered from losing five cheap wickets to set a score that they must have thought was enough to preserve their unbeaten record in the series.

But Balbirnie hit eight sixes and eight fours to set up the morale-boosting win that levelled the five-match series 1-1, with two matches to play.

Ireland were whitewashed in the earlier T20 games in which a series of world records fell.

SCORES IN BRIEF

AFGHANISTAN: 256 for 8 in 50 overs (Zazai 34, Afghan 75, Zadran 104 not out; Murtagh 2-60, Rankin 2-56)

IRELAND: 260 for 6 in 49 overs (Stirling 20, Balbirnie 145 not out, O'Brien 21, Dockrell 54; Zadran 2-52)

Result: Ireland won by four wickets and 5-match series level 1-1.

Player-of-the-match: Andy Balbirnie.

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