Gurbaz century leads Afghanistan to victory over Ireland

Rahmanullah Gurbaz on his way to brilliant century on debut against Ireland in Abu Dhabi. — Twitter
Rahmanullah Gurbaz on his way to brilliant century on debut against Ireland in Abu Dhabi. — Twitter

Abu Dhabi - Afghanistan took 10 points from the match which is the first in the World Cup Super League


Published: Thu 21 Jan 2021, 7:17 PM

A breathless century on his debut from teenage opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz helped Afghanistan to a 16-run win over Ireland in the first ODI in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

The 19-year-old, who hit a run-a-ball 127, and some late slogging from Rashid Khan, who smashed 55 from 30 balls, took Afghanistan to an imposing 287 for nine from their 50 overs.

Off-spinner Andy McBrine was the pick of the Irish bowlers, picking up 5-29 from his 10 overs.

But it proved to be too many for the Irish batsmen who struggled from the start. Lorcan Tucker made a battling 83 but they fell 16 runs short of the target.

Afghanistan took 10 points from the match which is the first in the World Cup Super League which serves as part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup qualification process.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Afghanistan got off to a solid start thanks in main to Gurbaz who made his first 50 from 38 balls as he scored the lion’s share of an opening partnership of 120 with Javed Ahmadi.

He had 74 to his name by the time Ahmadi was caught by Singh off McBrine on the boundary for 38.

Gurbaz reached his hundred off 115 deliveries and went on to make 127, which included nine sixes and eight fours, before slogging a long hop from Gareth Delany down the throat of Simi Singh on the square leg boundary.

When he fell at 198-6, the Afghanistan innings was in trouble after McBrine had assiduously worked his way through the middle order, finding turn and bounce.

This was McBrine’s first ODI five-wicket haul during which he became the eighth Irish bowler to take 50 ODI wickets.

Najibullah Zadran steadied the ship with 29 before Rashid Khan came in to hammer 55 from 30 balls, including five sixes, to take the innings away from Ireland.

It was always a stiff target for Ireland as the average second innings total at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is just 206, although Pakistan did chase down 294 there against the West Indies in 2008.

They got off to the worst possible start, losing Kevin O’Brien in the third over, leg before to Naveem-ul-Haq.

As wickets fell at the other end, Paul Stirling made a rapid 39 before he too was trapped leg before by Mohammad Nabi.

At 88-4, Ireland were in trouble but Tucker and Curtis Campher (39) gave them renewed hope with an 86-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Tucker attempted to increase the scoring rate but having reached 83 from 96 balls (three fours and three sixes), he was stumped by a delighted Gurbaz to round off a performance that secured him the man of the match award.

The second game in the three-match series takes place at the same venue on Sunday.


Afghanistan innings

Rahmanullah Gurbaz c Singh b Delany 127

Javed Ahmadi c Singh b McBrine 38

Rahmat Shah c McCarthy b McBrine 3

Asghar Afghan c O’Brien b McBrine 6

Mohammad Nabi c O’Brien b McBrine 3

Gulbadin Naib c O’Brien b McBrine 2

Najibullah Zadran c Young b McCarthy 29

Azmatullah Omarzai c & b Singh 2

Rashid Khan run out (Singh/Tucker) 55

Mujeeb Ur Rahman not out 1

Naveen-ul-Haq not out 2

Extras (b 2, lb 4, w 13) 19

Total (nine wickets; 50 overs) 287

Fall of wickets: 1-120 (Ahmadi), 2-133 (Shah), 3-146 (Afghan), 4-152 (Nabi), 5-161 (Naib), 6-198 (Gurbaz), 7-208 (Omarzai), 8-256 (Zadran), 9-285 (Rashid)

Bowling: McCarthy 10-0-69-1 (w2), Young 6-1-40-0, Singh 10-2-45-1, Campher 3-0-39-0 (w3), McBrine 10-0-29-5 (w3), Stirling 4-0-23-0 (w1), O’Brien 5-0-19-0, Delany 2-0-17-1

Ireland innings

Paul Stirling lbw b Nabi 39

Kevin O’Brien lbw b Naveen 1

Andy Balbirnie c Rashid b Naveen 15

Harry Tector c & b Naib 28

Curtis Campher lbw b Rahman 39

Lorcan Tucker st Gurbaz b Rashid 83

Gareth Delany c Omarzai b Rashid 5

Simi Singh st Gurbaz b Rahman 23

Andy McBrine c Rashid b Naveen 2

Barry McCarthy not out 5

Craig Young not out 12

Extras (b2, nb 2, w 15) 19

Total (nine wickets; 50 overs) 271

Fall of wickets: 1-16 (O’Brien), 2-36 (Balbirnie), 3-86 (Tector), 4-88 (Stirling), 5-174 (Campher), 6-185 (Delany), 7-228 (Singh), 8-232 (McBrine), 9-253 (Tucker)

Bowling: Naveen 9-0-68-3 (w3, nb1), Rahman 10-0-40-2 (w2), Naib 7-0-36-1 (w1), Nabi 10-0-45-1 (w1, nb1), Rashid 10-0-56-2 (w3), Omarzai 4-0-24-0

Result: Afghanistan win by 16 runs

Points Afghanistan 10, Ireland 0

Toss: Afghanistan

Umpires: Ahmed Shah Durrani (AFG), Ahmed Shah Pakteen (AFG)

TV Umpire: Bismillah Jan Shinwari (AFG)

Match Referee: Manu Nayyar (IND)

More news from Cricket