ICC Intercontinental cup qualifier between Ireland and Afghanistan concluded on the 24th of January 2010, registering an impressive 7 wickets win by Afghanistan.
This ended the luck of the Irish which won them the last 18 consecutive matches.
Ireland started relatively well with a respectable total of 405 in the first innings. Portersfield, Gary Wilson, Niall O’Brien & John Mooney all getting half centuries.
But Afghanistan replied with gusto, Noor Ali scoring 53, Shabir Noori 85, skipper Nawroz Mangal 84,Mohammad Shahzad 88 and Mohammad Nabi 64.
While Andrew White made victims of 4 Afghani batsmen, Niall O’Brien excelled in the field by holding on to 4 catches.
In the 2nd innings however, Paddy power ran out of steam, putting up a total of just 202 runs on the board for Ireland. Only notable contribution with the bat came from Aussie born Johnston, whose other well known talent is entertaining "Irish Chicken Dance" he pioneered and got the world wide recognition during the WC2007 in the Caribbean.
Instead the Irish chickened out to Afghan bowlers Dahwlat Ahmadzi who took impressive 5 wickets and Mohammad Nabi’s 4 wickets.
Afghanistan stamped their authority firmly by getting down to the business of acquiring the required 2nd innings total in just over 31 overs with 7 wickets remaining.
Congratulations to Afghanistan team who are worthy winners. We appreciate your talent as well as determination to do well in the 2nd tier of the world Cricket, despite the hardship and war the country is under going currently.
Afghanistan now leads the ICC point table with 43 points, followed by Scotland who is on 29 points while they are getting ready to face Kenya in Nairobi tomorrow.
This the group that decides who plays in the Intercontinental cup finals.