Dehradun: Top order-batsman Andy Balbirnie smashed a brilliant unbeaten 145 to steer Ireland to a four-wicket win over Afghanistan in the third ODI here Tuesday. The win meant that Ireland levelled the five-match series 1-1 after the second game was washed out.
Balbirnie anchored Ireland’s innings after coming to bat at number 3 at the fall of captain William Porterfield (3). Ireland had scored 13 from 2.4 overs then. Chasing 257 on a sluggish wicket, Balbirnie smashed eight fours and as many sixes during his 136-ball unbeaten knock to take his side home with one over to spare.
Earlier, Afghanistan recovered from 74 for 5 on the back of Najibullah Zadran’s maiden ODI hundred and a composed 75 by captain Asghar Afghan to post 256 for 8. Zadran hit an unbeaten 104 off 98 deliveries with the help of five sixes and as many fours. Afghanistan had won the first match by 5 wickets here on February 28.