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Ireland hammer Afghanistan to win cricket's Intercontinental Cup

AFP
Dec 13, 2013 at 08:41pm IST

Dubai: John Mooney's second five-wicket haul in the match saw Ireland post a comprehensive victory by 122 runs over Afghanistan to win the ICC Intercontinental Cup final on Friday.

Defending champions Afghanistan, chasing 347 runs for victory, were 136 for 5 overnight but were dismissed for 224.

Medium pacer Mooney took 5 wickets for 36 in the Afghan second innings, giving him match figures of 10 for 81.

Ireland hammer Afghanistan to win cricket's Intercontinental Cup

Defending champions Afghanistan, chasing 347 runs for victory, were 136 for 5 overnight but were dismissed for 224.

This was Ireland's fourth title in six editions of the Intercontinental Cup, but this victory marked the first time a team has won three ICC tournaments across three different formats in the same calendar year.

Ireland won the World Cricket League Championship title in the 50-over format in October and the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament in November, to go with the Intercontinental Cup title in the longer format.

"It is a fantastic feeling," said Ireland skipper William Porterfield.

"We had obviously set out to do that. We won the 50-over stuff with a couple of games to go. I think we only lost one game throughout that campaign which was great for ourselves. Coming here (in UAE) last month and beating Afghanistan in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier final was great.

"I think it is all because of the hard work we put in. We are a pretty hard working bunch any time we come away on tour. Over the last four or five years, we have become a lot more professional outfit both on and off the pitch. I think that has helped us massively with our cricket."

Rahmat Shah and captain Mohammad Nabi took Afghanistan to 189 for 5 at lunch without being separated.

However, things changed after lunch when Ireland decided to take the second new ball in the 82nd over at 199 for 5.

Porterfield's master stroke did the trick when Mooney ran through Afghanistan's lower order as the defending champion lost its last five wickets for 25 runs in just under 14 overs with Rahmat Shah left stranded at 86.

Brief scores Ireland 187 all out, 61 overs (John Anderson 55, John Mooney 33; Dawlat Zadran 4-44, Rahmat Shah 3-36) and 341 all out, 95.1 overs (Niall O'Brien 87, Ed Joyce 78, Kevin O'Brien 47; Mohammad Nabi 4-39)

Afghanistan 182 all out, 77.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 42, Asghar Stanikzai 41; John Mooney 5-45) and 224 all out, 94.5 overs (Rahmat Shah 86 not out, Mohammad Nabi 49; John Mooney 5-36)

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