Lorcan Tucker canes Afghanistan as Ireland takes lead in T20I series opener
Barry McCarthy picked up 3-34 with the ball
Ireland overcame Afghanistan’s spin threat to go 1-0 up in the five-match T20I series at Stormont.
IRE vs AFG 2022: Balbirnie, Tucker maul Afghanistan with rapid fifties
Prior to the match, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and had opted to bat first. The visitors batted throughout their 20 overs to pile up 168-7. Opener Usman Ghani struck the lone half-century of the innings while Ibrahim Zadran’s death overs’ cameo turbo-charged the Afghans total.
Irish pacer Barry McCarthy picked up crucial wickets at regular junctures of the visitors’ 20-over phase to finish with 3-34 of his four overs.
The host’s response was fuelled by a rip-roaring 61-run opening stand, which was followed by another 62-run partnership for the immediate next wicket. Skipper Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker both charted half-centuries at a breakneck pace to bring Ireland on the brink of their run-chase.
Harry Tector and George Dockrell saw them past the finishing line, with Afghanistan’s trump card Rashid Khan going wicketless in his four overs.
The two sides will now face each other in the second T20I at the same venue on August 11.
Afghanistan: 168-7 (20)
Usman Ghani 59 (42), Ibrahim Zadran 29* (18)
Barry McCarthy 3-34, George Dockrell 2-7
Ireland: 171-3 (19.5)
Andy Balbirnie 51 (38), Lorcan Tucker 50 (32)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman 1-22, Mohammad Nabi 1-27
Ireland won by 7 wickets