Najibullah ZadranThe Afghanistan national cricket team narrowly missed a victory in the 5th and final match against Ireland to win the 5 match One Day International (ODI) series.

The first match of the series was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rainfall but Afghanistan won the second match by 39 runs on 12th July, leading the series 1-0.

However, Ireland won the third match on 14th July by 6 wickets and leveled the series 1-1 but Afghanistan once again took a lead by defeating Ireland in the fourth match by 79 runs.

Ireland set a target of 266 runs for Afghanistan during the 5th match of the series by losing 5 wickets only with Ed Joyce remaining not out by scoring 160 runs.

Afghanistan started its innings by losing the two opener batsmen in the early overs of the game with Mohammad Shahzad scoring 7 runs and Javed Ahmadi 3 runs.

The top order batsmen could not do enough to build a partnership after Rahmat Shah’s wicket was taken during the 20th over of the game after he scored 30 runs.

Gulbaddin Naib also could not do much after his wicket was taken during the 9th over of the match after he scored 2 runs.

A momentum was built after Asghar Stanikzai started chasing the target with Mohammad Nabi but it was Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan who brought Afghanistan close to chase the target.

Zadran sccored 54 runs and Rashid Khan 40 runs and both the wickets were lost during the 45th and 46th over of the match.

There were still hopes that Mirwais Ashraf would help to chase the target but his wicket was taken and he could not score any run.

Dawlat Zadran at the end started to hit back to back Fours and Sixes and scored 31 runs from 15 balls but he failed to chase the target with Yamin Ahmadzai wh scored 3 runs.

Afghanistan lost the match by 12 runs and the series was concluded in draw after both the teams won two matches each with the first match abandoned.