Balbirnie 145* stuns AFG to level series
Published: 10:35 PM, 5 March 2019
A stunning knock of 145 not out from Andy Balbirnie – the third-highest ODI score by an Ireland player – helped Ireland secure a long-awaited victory over Afghanistan in the third ODI at Dehradun.
Balbirnie combined with George Dockrell for a 143-run partnership to take Ireland to their first victory of the series, after Afghanistan appeared to have taken firm control of the game, with the Irish 73/4 in their chase of 257.
Balbirnie’s heroics followed on from an Afghan innings that saw Najibullah Zadran score his maiden international century, an excellent knock after Ireland had threatened to bowl Afghanistan out cheaply.
After 19 overs, Afghanistan were reeling on 74/5. Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah and Samiullah Shinwari departed for single-figure scores, while Hazratullah Zazai – threatening to continue his strong run of form – was run out by Tim Murtagh with a direct hit for a 33-ball 34.
An Afghan resurgence came in the shape of skipper Asghar Afghan and Najibullah, who put on 117 runs for the sixth wicket before Boyd Rankin had Asghar removed for 75.
The dismissal of Asghar was followed by Mohammad Nabi (2) in the very same over, leaving Afghanistan 193/7 with six overs left to play. This was no issue for Najibullah, who accelerated in brilliant fashion, seemingly on a one-man mission to take his side to a respectable score.
Having reached his fifty from 75 balls, the explosive left-hander took just 22 more balls to reach three figures. While Najibullah found some luck – he was dropped by Andy McBrine two balls prior to reaching his century – Ireland were on the end of some ferocious big-hitting, as Najibullah pounded five sixes and five fours in his 98-ball stay at the crease.
Murtagh and Rankin picked up two wickets for the Irish, and McBrine impressed with his off-spin once more having collected 2/43 in the previous ODI. He finished with 1/37 from his 10 overs here, having been tasked once more with taking the new ball.
Ireland’s top order struggles with the bat looked set to continue when Mujeeb had William Porterfield (3) dismissed cheaply with the new ball, while Dawlat Zadran picked up the wickets of Paul Stirling (20) and Simi Singh (1). With Kevin O’Brien out for 21, an Irish win seemed improbable.
Balbirnie and Dockrell then set about upstaging the Asghar-Najibullah partnership. The pair tackled the threatening Afghan bowling attack with great finesse, putting on 143 runs together, with Dockrell reaching his second ODI fifty, while Balbirnie went to his third, and finest, ODI century.
At one stage, it appeared that it was destined for the two to secure victory together, but Dockrell (54) was stumped by Mohammad Shahzad off the bowling of Nabi to leave Ireland 216/5. A duck for Stuart Poynter brought more pressure onto the Irish, as the threat of the Balbirnie-Dockrell partnership going to waste loomed large.
Andy McBrine’s innings of nine thus proved to be an important one, as Balbirnie controlled the run chase at the other end. It nearly all came to a crashing end when Balbirnie sent the ball to short fine-leg while on 136, but a simple catch popped out of the hands of Rahmat Shah to save Ireland’s skin.
It proved a fatal blow to Afghanistan’s chances of stealing back victory, with Balbirnie sealing the win with a boundary off the final ball of the penultimate over.
- Bangladeshis should be proud of their soldiers: Antonio Guterres
- Former SCC mayor Kamran tests positive for COVID-19
- Natore reports three new COVID-19 patients
- Dr. Nahid brought to Suhrawardy Hospital
- 29 more test positive for coronavirus in Faridpur
- Fiji declares itself Coronavirus-free
- Foreign currency reserve, annual remittances hit record highs
- Qatar completes third World Cup stadium
- Coronavirus is ‘weakening’, now claims US doctors
- Govt to recruit 3,000 medical technologists-technicians
- COVID-19 cases reached 1281 in Cumilla
- Youths in country mostly infected with coronavirus
- Electrician dies falling from under-construction building
- 123 officials get promoted as joint secretaries
- Don Dawood Ibrahim and his wife infected with COVID-19
- Coronavirus: Cox’s Bazar declared as country’s first ‘red zone’
- Bank official among 3 of a family hacked in Pabna, bodies found 3 days later
- ‘Environment care would have made easier to combat virus’
- Shechwashebak League leader killed in Bogura
- Gazipur coronavirus cases surpass 1,500
- New routine for secondary classes on TV released
- Four families placed under lockdown in Brahmanbaria
- 3 killed, 7 injured in knife attack at China supermarket
- Tea seller anxious despite his son gets GPA-5
- Consumers suffering in ‘spooky electricity bills’
- India breaks all records of COVID-19 cases in a day
- Sherpur reports six new coronavirus infected cases
- Schoolboy`s body found in pond
- Charging extra fare is breach of promise: Quader
- 5 day labourers missing as boat capsize in Padma
- All News »
- Noble made his wife Salsabil a model in music video
- 4 cops charged for killing a black man in US
- Killing of 26 Bangladeshis in Libya: Main culprit killed in drone strike
- 23 die, highest infection recorded in last 24 hrs
- Record deaths, infections in 24 hours
- Record new cases in 24 hours, 37 dead
- BGMEA’s PCR lab for COVID-19 test opened
- Anandabazar editor Anirban Chattopadhyay resigns
- Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths surge past Spain
- Over 2000 infected in 24hrs, 22 dead
- Electronic mask developed to prevent coronavirus!
- 1,256 more freedom fighters listed
- Brutal murder story of Junko, who raped about 500 times in 44 day
- Slain 26 Bangladeshis to be buried in Libya
- 1764 infected in 24 hours, 28 dead
- Music director Wajid Khan dies
- Over 2500 infected in 24 hours, 37 die
- SSC-equivalent results published, pass 82.87 pc
- Former national footballer Salauddin passes away
- Chinese COVID-19 fighters due June 8
- Chhatra League buries BNP leader
- A thrilling operation by Police: 6 youths rescued from Sundarbans
- COVID-19 death toll in country surpasses 600
- 26 Bangladeshis shot dead in Libya
- Trump announces US to sever all ties with WHO
- Mahathir expelled from party
- Happy birthday ‘Legendary Actor’ Humayun Faridi
- 2,423 new infected, 35 die in 24 hours
- COVID-19: Over 9,000 people recovered in country
- Over 125,000 cases reported globally in a day