Ireland hit back to seal share of spoils

Ireland earned a share of the series spoils against Afghanistan.
Ireland earned a share of the series spoils against Afghanistan.
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Ireland’s spinners combined to restrict Afghanistan to 216-6 in the final ODI at Dehradun, before half-centuries from Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie ensured their side a share of the series spoils.

Ireland captain William Porterfield was delighted by the performance and said the team is now looking forward to the Test.

“All credit to the lads, it can be a quick turn around with one day between the games,” he said.

“To win a toss, restrict them again and then knock them off is all credit first of all to the bowlers, but also to the batters how they went about it today after the disappointment of a few days ago.

“We’ll have a day off tomorrow, then the red balls will come out and we’ll hit the ground running for the Test. It’s something we’re really looking forward to.”

Asked how the squad adapted to the “alien conditions” of India, he added: “We had a few weeks build up, and the lads in Oman played well. We’ve actually been out here a lot, and we’ve been to Sharjah and places like that, so the lads knew exactly what to expect.

“We [Ireland and Afghanistan] also play each other quite a lot, so we know what to expect from both sides.”

Andrew Balbirnie, collecting his Player of the Series award for scoring 215 runs at an average of 71.66, was equally upbeat.

“All the batters are very aware of how good their spinners are and the threats they have,” he said.

“Our view is if you have a bad day against them it’s not the end of the world, you just go back and look at how you can play them better and go out and do that.

I was fortunate enough to do that - two low scores and two decent knocks - but more importantly managing to get us over the line, maybe not today but by and large.”

Asked what we did differently to other batters in the squad, Balbirnie added: “I wouldn’t say I did anything differently, I just knew my game.

“I said after the last match we had two days between where we watched a lot of footage of their bowlers and how we could look to score from them.”