Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored a century as Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 16 runs in the first ODI in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The 19-year-old batsman slammed 127, while Rashid Khan smashed 55 off 30 balls as Afghans put up 287-9 in 50 overs. For Ireland, offie Andy McBrine grabbed a five-for (5-29).
However, the Ireland batsmen found it difficult from the beginning. Even though Lorcan Tucker played a gritty innings of 83, that was not enough as the side fell 16 runs short of the target.
Opting to bat first, Gurbaz and Javed Ahmadi piled on 120 runs in the opening partnership, but soon, a middle-order collapse saw the side struggling. However, with Rashid stepping up, things eased out. While Afghans found it difficult to play McBrine, the Irish bowler went on to scalp his first ODI five-for. He also became the eighth Irish bowler to take 50 ODI wickets.
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