A brilliant century by Rahmanullah Gurbaz on debut helped Afghanistan beat Ireland by 16 runs in the first match of Kardan University Cup at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Gurbaz became the first Afghan player, and 16th overall, to achieve the rare feat before getting out for a run-a ball 127 in which he hammered 9 sixes and 8 fours.
Earlier, Afghan skipper Asghar Afghan won the toss and opted to bat first in his team’s first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup ODI Super League. The opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Javed Ahmadi provided a brilliant foundation for the team before Ahmadi lost his wicket to Mcbrine for 38 breaking the 120-run partnership.
As Gurbaz was accumulating runs on one end, Afghanistan lost wickets in quick succession as 5 batsmen were back to the pavilion within 10 overs. Gurbaz, however, was well supported later by Rashid Khan in the middle. Khan scored a quick half-century smashing 5 sixes in the process taking Afghanistan to a good total of 287/9 in the allotted overs.
In response, Ireland could not chase the required target and fell short as Afghan bowlers restricted them to 271/9 winning the match by 16 runs
Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher gave a good fight to the Afghan spin and pace attack with great knocks of 83 and 39 respectively.
The second match of the series will be played on 24th of this month between both sides at the same venue.