Afghanistan hosted a three-match T20 series versus Ireland in India at Shaheed Vijay Singh Sports Complex, Noida. The matches were played on the 6th, 8th, and 10th of March 2020 respectively. It was initially decided that Afghans were scheduled for a test match too but due to upcoming fixtures and Ireland’s financial constraints, both the nations decided to omit the test match. Ireland has faced Afghanistan 18 times in the T20 format which saw then face defeat 14 times head to head. Also, the Afghans won their previous series against the Irishmen in fantastic fashion, beating Ireland 3-0 in Dehradun, India. The Afghans won the latest T20 series by 2-1 in Noida owing to their splendid record against Ireland and a decent run of form. They also won their previous three-match T20 series against West Indies which was played in Lucknow, India by a comfortable 2-1 score-line. The Irishmen failed to end their drought in Noida against the Afghans as they had to face 2-1 defeat on the back of a poor run of form. They had last won against Afghanistan in November 2013 during the world T20 qualifier played in Dubai. Since then, they had failed to trouble the Afghans until their last match in Noida where they won by 11 runs.
Ireland won the toss and decided that they will bat first in the first match. They went off with a healthy start but got slightly off-track in the middle overs. Harry Tector helped them finish on a decent score line. The Afghani batsmen Shinwari and Najibullah Zardan scored 63 runs 7 overs which pushed the score and made the difference. Bad news arrived for Ireland as it started drizzling and the inning was cut short by 5 overs and the winners of the match were to be decided on DLS par score. Afghanistan won by 11 runs on the DLS par score method as their run rate was higher than that of the Irishmen.
The toss in the 2nd match was won by Afghanistan and they decided that they will bat first as conditions were sunny, the pitch was flat which were the ideal conditions for them to showcase their batting performance. Despite getting a slow start, they did not fall short of their expectations as they scored a staggering 184 runs in 20 overs. Asghar Afghan scored a fantastic 49 runs off 28 balls. An appreciable bowling performance by Mujeeb Ur Rahman restricted Ireland to a total score of 163/6. He also bagged 3 wickets and Afghanistan won by 21 runs. Kevin O’Brien’s 26 runs in 21 balls and 2 wickets saw him become that man of the match for Ireland in the 3rd match against Afghanistan which they won in the late super over.
Scores were tied up at 142 runs for both teams as the inevitable super-over was played to decide the outcome. Irish bowler Craig Young allowed 8 runs in the first super over and batsmen Kevin O’Brien’s fantastic six in the second super-over saw Ireland through to be winners of the match.