Afghanistan skittle Ireland to take Desert T20 title in Dubai

Ireland bowled out for 71 having made over 200 in semi-final victory over Scotland

 Mohammad Nabi took four wickets as Afghanistan bowled Ireland out for just 71 in the final of the Desert T20 in Dubai. Photograph:  Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Mohammad Nabi took four wickets as Afghanistan bowled Ireland out for just 71 in the final of the Desert T20 in Dubai. Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

 

Ireland slumped to 71 all out to lose the inaugural Desert T20 final to Afghanistan by 10 wickets in Dubai on Friday.

Batting first Ireland looked to continue the positivity which had reaped handsome rewards in the morning’s convincing 98-run win over Scotland, but that was to prove their undoing as the batting unravelled.

Stuart Poynter struck the first two deliveries he faced to the boundary, but was dismissed from the third to set the tone for a nightmare batting display.

William Porterfield (9) and Paul Stirling (17) advanced the total to 32 for one before the wheels fell the Irish innings in spectacular fashion.

Both fell to arch nemesis Mohammed Nabi, who claimed four for 14 as the Irish lost nine wickets for 39 runs, going from 32 for one to 71 all out – their second worst T20 total behind the 68 made against West Indies in Guyana during the 2010 T20 World Cup.

Greg Thompson (10 not out) was the only other player to reach double figures as the Irish wilted in front of a fiercely partisan 15,000 Afghan fans.

Karim Janat (2-14), Amir Hamza (2-15) and Ahmad Malik (2-20) picked up a brace apiece as Ireland were bowled out with 6.4 overs unused.

The Afghans wasted no time in chasing down their modest target, as Mohammed Shahzad and Nowroz Mangal – playing in his final international – took just 7.5 overs to secure the most emphatic of wins.

Shahzad dominated the chase, striking nine fours and one six in his unbeaten 52 from just 40 balls, reaching his half-century with the winning boundary with 12.1 overs to spare.

The teams will meet again in March in India, when they play across all three formats. The final game of the tour will be the crucial ICC Intercontinental Cup match – the result of which could go a long way to determine the winners of the competition.

Earlier, half centuries from Gary Wilson (65 not out) and Paul Stirling (60), followed up by a combined seven-wicket haul from spinners Jacob Mulder (four for 16) and George Dockrell (three for 28) propelled Ireland to an emphatic 98-run semi-final win against Scotland.

A superb all-round performance saw the Irish post a daunting total of 211 for six, their third highest total in the format – only bettered by their 225 against Afghanistan and 216 versus USA, both in the 2013 T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

DESERT T20

(at Dubai International Stadium)

SEMI-FINAL

Ireland 211-6 (20 ovs) (G Wilson 65 no, P Stirling 60, S Poynter 39, K O’Brien 30; C de Lange 2-37, J Davey 2-47), Scotland 113 (15.1 ovs) (K Coetzer 40, M Cross 35; J Mulder 4-16, G Dockrell 3-28, K O’Brien 2-24).

Ireland won by 98 runs.

FINAL

Ireland 71 (13.2 ovs) (P Stirling 17, G Thompson 10no; M Nabi 4-10, K Janat 2-14, A Hamza 2-15, A Malik 2-20), Afghanistan 74-0 (7.5 ovs) (M Shahzad 52no, N Mangal 17no).

Afghanistan won by 10 wkts

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