Ireland rout Afghanistan in 5th match to clinch T20 series 3-2

Ireland rout Afghanistan in 5th match to clinch T20 series 3-2. Photo: Twitter/ICC

BELFAST: Ireland clinched the five-match Twenty20 international series 3-2 against Afghanistan by sealing a narrow win in the last and fifth rain-affected faceoff at Stormon on Wednesday. 

George Dockrell hit the winning run with two balls to spare after Ireland had been set a revised target of 56 in seven overs, with a seven-wicket victory giving the hosts the five-match contest 3-2.

Ireland paceman Mark Adair removed openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz in his first over after home skipper Andy Balbirnie won the toss.

And when Adair dismissed Ibrahim Zadran, he had figures of 3-16, with Afghanistan 26-3 inside four overs.

Usman Ghani, however, led an Afghanistan counter-attack after Josh Little had Najibullah Zadran and captain Mohammad Nabi caught behind by Lorcan Tucker off successive deliveries.

But having made an unbeaten 44, off just 40 balls — including three fours and two sixes — Ghani´s innings was curtailed by rain, with Afghanistan 95-5 off 15 overs.

A lengthy delay left Ireland chasing a revised target.

Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman had Balbirnie lbw for nine and when he had Paul Stirling (16) caught at midwicket, Ireland were 38-2.

That became 45-3 when Tucker fell to leg-spinner Rashid Khan for 14.

But Harry Tector and Dockrell then held their nerve as Ireland won with three wickets down.

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