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Ireland International Matches
Afghanistan lost to Ireland by 1 wicket
T20, Greater Noida, 10 March 2020

Kevin O'Brien the hero as Ireland end hoodoo

Kevin O'Brien's last gasp six sealed Ireland's first win in a T20I against Afghanistan for seven years in a Super Over thriller in Greater Noida. With three needed from the final ball, O'Brien hit Rashid Khan over long-off to spark celebrations in the Irish camp.

Rashid's last over heroics in the main match had taken the game to the extra over, as he hit Josh Little for a six from the fourth ball and a four from the last. Defending what looked a below par 142, Gareth Delany and Simi Singh each took two wickets in an over, while Barry McCarthy, Josh Little and Craig Young all bowled well to keep the Irish in the contest.

Delany earlier top scored with 37 in the Irish innings, sharing a stand of 62 in 41 balls with O'Brien (26) who pipped the Leinster all-rounder to the Man of the Match award. They rebuilt the Irish innings after the loss of Paul Stirling in the first over and skipper Andy Balbirnie fell cheaply too.

YMCA's Harry Tector continued his decent run on tour as he hit 31 from 22 balls, including two sixes. Debutant Qais Ahmed and Naveen Ul-Haq each picked up three wickets for the hosts.

Afghanistan looked in control as openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (42 off 29 balls) and Usman Ghani (18 off 24 balls) shared an opening stand of 60 and at that stage the Asian side were 1/33 on with the bookies. The contest turned as Delany accounted for both in the space of three balls with identical dismissals - holing out to Harry Tector at deep midwicket.

The recalled McCarthy (1-21) dismissed Janat, and with Simi Singh coming back well from early tap, Ireland were suddenly right back in it. Young impressed and Little almost got Ireland over the line in the last over before Rashid's lusty blows.

North Down's Craig Young was entrusted with the Super Over and did well to concede just 8, which looked very gettable, and even more so when a single and boundary off the first two balls reduced the equation to 4 off 4. It swung back as Stirling was trapped lbw, followed by a single from the next two balls. However, O'Brien had the final say to end the Irish woes and finish the tour on a winning note.

It was a fitting farewell to stand-in coach Rob Cassell, who is leaving Ireland for a role in the IPL. Ireland are in action again in March when they travel to Zimbabwe for a six match white-ball tour.his last game before taking up a post in the Indian Premier League.

The Super Over