Afghanistan vs Ireland: Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie has admitted that the target of 260 runs for Afghanistan in the second ODI on a pitch that became more dead as the game progressed wasn’t enough to seal the match.
Paul Stirling smashed a fine hundred to take Ireland past 250 in the second ODI against Afghanistan, but an unbeaten ton from Rahmat Shah saw Afghanistan wrap up a comfortable win. Balbirnie, who scored just five runs, said his side expected the wicket to offer more turn in the second innings but did admit that Ireland could have added some runs with the bat.
“We probably would have liked a few more. Paul batted beautifully to set us up. 260 was probably not enough on a wicket that went a bit more dead as it went on. We expected some more turn in the second innings, but I still think we can be a lot better with the bat,” said Balbirnie after the match.
“Barring Paul and Curtis for a bit, we weren’t very good with the bat. We had set ourselves up for about 270, but we need more to challenge a team like Afghanistan,” he added.
Former Ireland cricketer Roy Torrens passed away at the age of 72 last week. The Ireland skipper said Stirling was very close to the late Irish cricketer.
“Paul has a fantastic tour when we go away. He was very close to the late Roy Torrens and Irish cricket has certainly lost a great man. Paul would love to have scored his hundred for him,” said Balbirnie.
Afghanistan sealed the series 2-0 against Ireland after the win in the second ODI. The two sides will now lock horns in the dead rubber on Tuesday.
“It happened to us in Southampton, where we were beaten comprehensively and we came back to win the last one. 10 points is important in a competition like this. I think there are players in the wings ready to go. We have to rebound and be raring to go towards getting some points in the Super League,” said Balbirnie.