CRICKET: Ireland crushed by Afghanistan in Desert T20 final

Ireland's Stuart Poynter
Ireland's Stuart Poynter
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Ireland slumped to 71 all out to lose the inaugural Desert T20 final to Afghanistan by ten wickets in Dubai.

Batting first Ireland looked to continue the positivity which had reaped handsome rewards in the morning’s convincing win over Scotland, but that was to prove their undoing as the batting unravelled.

Ireland's William Porterfield

Ireland's William Porterfield

Stuart Poynter struck the first two deliveries he faced to the boundary, but was dismissed from the third to set the tone for a nightmare batting display.

William Porterfield (9) and Paul Stirling (17) advanced the total to 32 for 1 before the wheels fell the Irish innings in spectacular fashion.

Both fell to arch nemesis Mohammed Nabi, who claimed 4 for 14 as the Irish lost 9 wickets for 39 runs, going from 32 for 1 to 71 all out - their second worst T20 total behind the 68 made against West Indies in Guyana during the 2010 T20 World Cup.

Greg Thompson (10*) was the only other player to reach double figures as the Irish wilted in front of a fiercely partisan 15,000 Afghan fans.

Ireland's Greg Thompson

Ireland's Greg Thompson

Karim Janat (2-14), Amir Hamza (2-15) and Ahmad Malik (2-20) picked up a brace apiece as Ireland were bowled out with 6.4 overs unused.

The Afghans wasted no time in chasing down their modest target, as Mohammed Shahzad and Nowroz Mangal - playing in his final international - took just 7.5 overs to secure the most emphatic of wins.

Shazad dominated the chase, striking 9 fours and one six in his unbeaten 52 from just 40 balls, reaching his half-century with the winning boundary with 12.1 overs to spare.

The teams will meet again in March in India, when they play across all three formats. The final game of the tour will be the crucial ICC InterContinental Cup match - the result of which could go a long way to determine the winners of the competition.

Score summary:

Desert T20 Final, Dubai

Ireland 71 all out (13.2 overs; P Stirling 17, G Thompson 10*, Mohammed Nabi 4-10, Karim Janat 2-14, Amir Hamza 2-15, Ahmad Malik 2-20)

Afghanistan 74/0 (7.5 overs; Mohammed Shahzad 52*, Nowroz Mangal 17*)

Afghanistan beat Ireland by 10 wickets