|First T20 international
Veune: Greater Noida
|Ireland: 165-5 (20 overs) Thompson 56, Wilson 41 no, Hamza 2-23|
|Afghanistan: 171-4 (18.0 overs) Shenwari 56, Shahzad 47, Thompson 1-17|
|Afghanistan won by six wickets|
At the T20 series, Ireland started the three-match against Afghanistan with a six-wicket defeat in India on Wednesday.
When opener Paul Stirling was dismissed for a duck and with just one run on the board, Ireland suffered an early blow.
The opener Stuart Thompson hit 56 while Gary Wilson (41 no) and captain William Porterfield (39) added valuable runs as Ireland made 165-5 in Greater Noida.
Unfortunately, it was not enough with Samiullah Shenwari (56) and Mohammad Shahzad (47) helping the Afghans to 171-4 with two overs to spare.
Ireland and Afghanistan meet again in the second T20 at the same venue on Friday.
Thompson and Porterfield steadied the innings before Wilson finally helped the Irish to a competitive total.
The Afghans ease to total
Afghanistan cruised to their victory target as Shahzad and Najeeb Tarakai (27) put on an opening stand of 51.
On a day when the bat dominated, Afghan spinner Amir Hamza (2-23) was the only bowler to take more than one wicket.
Porterfield said, “We fell a little bit short of potentially a very big score. We could have added another 15 and gotten up to the 180 we were looking for.”
“As well as we played I thought we just came up short with the ball. We didn’t quite execute things as well as we would have liked.”
On Wednesday the loss of paceman Boyd Rankin for the T20s, because of a back problem, was another setback for the Irish.
Rankin is expected to return for the five ODIs against Afghanistan, starting on 15 March.