Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2023/24

Afghanistan 236 for 9 (Shahidi 69, Gurbaz 51, Adair 3-51) beat Ireland 119 (Stirling 50, Nabi 5-17, Kharote 4-30) by 117 runs

The ball turned and skidded to the tune of Mohammad Nabi and Nangeyalia Kharote, who combined with Mohammad Nabi to grab nine wickets and fashion a big win for Afghanistan in the third ODI against Ireland in Sharjah. Nabi, who turned 39 at the beginning of the year, got his maiden ODI five-for 15 years after his debut. Kharote, the 19-year-old left-arm spinner, was on debut and pocketed four.

Ireland lost 8 for 26 in a startling collapse, as a comfortable 93 for 2 in the 22nd over turned into 119 all out in 35 in pursuit of 237. Afghanistan won by 117 runs, and took the three-match series 2-0 after victory in the first and a washout in the second.

Nabi bowled all ten of his overs in a single spell – he finished with 5 for 17 – using all his experience to keep varying his pace, line and length and sternly testing the Ireland batters. Nabi’s best on night was his fifth wicket. He went around the stumps to Graham Hume, and angled it into the left-hand batter. The ball dipped on the shorter side of a length on off, and rushed through to strike the stumps after beating Hume’s defence.

Kharote bowled nine overs on the trot at the other end and finished with 4 for 30, with his first wicket coming in the 25th over. Curtis Campher, on 43, tickled one to the wicketkeeper, having smashed Kharote’s first two balls in international cricket for 6 and 4 back in the 19th over.

The slowness of pitch meant it wasn’t easy for a new batter to start on, and Nabi had, earlier in the day, played his part with the bat too. He added 97 in 21 overs for the fifth wicket with Hashmatullah Shahidi, before departing for 48. Shahidi, though, batted deep for a patient 69. Both batters’ knocks were much needed after their side were 96 for 4 despite a half-century by opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

From there Ireland’s bowlers did well to restrict Afghanistan to 236, claiming 5 for 45 in the last eight overs. But their batters were not allowed to back up that effort as, despite the absence of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, the veteran Nabi found an able partner in teenager Kharote to help carry Afghanistan’s spin-bowling baton.

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