All-round Rashid seals series whitewash for Afghanistan

A brilliant all-display by Rashid Khan, scoring 48 with the bat and registering 29/4 with the ball, ensured Paul Stirling' second century in the series could not hold back Ireland's loss as Afghanistan beat them by 36 runs in the Final ODI of Kardan University Cup and win the series 3-0.

Home Media International 26 Jan 2021

All-round Rashid seals series whitewash for Afghanistan

Earlier in the day, Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie won the toss and opted to field first. The Afghan openers provided the team with a quick start before Rahmanullah Gurbaz lost his wicket to Craig Young for a quick-fire 22. Javed Ahmadi and Rahmat Shah-the centurion from last match- followed in quick succession and Hashmatullah Shahidi also lost his wicket quickly putting Afghanistan in a troubling position.

Skipper Asghar Afghan and senior all-rounder Mohammad Nabi put on a great partnership of 71 runs for the fifth wicket to steady the ship of the Afghan innings. Afghan was eventually out for 42 while Nabi was back to the pavilion for 32.

Afghanistan were headed to a below-par total before Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib took them to a respectable total helped by cameos from Mujeeb ur Rahman and a final flourish from Naveen ul Haq. Khan was out two short of what would have been his second half-century in the series while Naib played a sensible knock of 36 as Afghanistan posted 266/9 on board.

In response, an in-form Paul Stirling scored his second century of the series as Ireland gave a tough fight to Afghanistan in chasing the target. However, Stirling could not get enough support from the other end as Afghan spinners ran through the Irish batting order. Rashid Khan, continuing his good-day, was the pick of the bowlers while Mujeeb ur Rahman took two wickets as well. Ireland were eventually all-out for 230 in 48th over of the chase conceding their third consecutive defeat.

Paul Stirling was declared the Player of the series for his two centuries while Rashid Khan was awarded man of the match.

The Kardan University Cup was Afghanistan's entry into the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. The series triumph means Afghanistan is currently well-placed with 30 points.