Afghanistan thrash Ireland in opening ODI
16-year-old Mujeeb Zadran takes 4-24 on debut to set up 138-run win in Sharjah
Ireland’s Andrew Balbirnie walks off after being dismissed during his side’s heavy ODI defeat to Afghanistan. Photograph: Nezar Balout/AFP
Teenager Mujeeb Zadran made a sensational debut as Afghanistan powered their way to a 138-run win over Ireland in the first one-day international in Sharjah.
The 16-year-old announced his arrival on the international stage in style with a haul of four for 24 to pave the way for a comprehensive victory after the Afghans had set William Porterfield’s men 239 to chase.
Having been asked to share the new ball, Mujeeb trapped opener Paul Stirling in front with his ninth delivery and clean bowled Andy Balbirnie with his 14th before adding Gary Wilson and Kevin O’Brien to his tally to reduce Ireland to 30 for five in the 14th over.
However, it was Rashid Khan who completed the rout, accounting for Simi Singh, Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh on his way to figures of three for 28. Only skipper Porterfield, with 35, and Stuart Poynter, who finished unbeaten on 27, offered any resistance as their side was skittled for just 100 in 31.4 overs.
Earlier, Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal had put on 105 for Afghanistan’s third wicket after openers Javed Ahmadi and Ihsanullah had gone cheaply, although Murtagh broke the partnership when he had Jamal taken at long-on by Wilson for 53.
Shah followed him back into the pavilion after being caught behind off Rankin on 50 to leave Afghanistan on 130 for four, and it took a late flurry from Khan with 48 and Shafiqullah, whose 36 off 23 balls included three sixes, to ease them to 238 for nine from their full allocation.