Ireland and Afghanistan featured in a close contest, in a five-match ODI series, which ended in a 2-2 draw, with one match being rained out. As the scorecard suggests, the series was evenly contested, with both teams making at mark at various stages in the series. Here’s a look at the top performers in the series from either side.
Ed Joyce: The experienced Ireland batsman had an excellent series, and finished with 339 runs from four games, at a superb average of 169.50 with two hundreds and one fifty, at a strike rate of 86.70. He began the series with 62, followed it up with 105 not out and, after a failure in the fourth ODI, finished the series with a sensational 160 not out to play the pivotal role in Ireland squaring the series.
Mohammad Shahzad: The Afghanistan opener was again consistency personified for his team. He was the second highest run-getter in the series, with 176 runs at an average of 44, with two fifties at a strike rate of 81.86, and a best of 81. He hit half-centuries in the second and third ODI. His failures in the subsequent games hurt the team.
Kevin O’Brien: The experienced Ireland batsman played a couple of good knocks with 145 runs from four games at an average of 36.25 at a strike rate of 86.82 with one fifty with a best of 75. O’Brien was also the joint highest wicket-taker in the series with 10 wickets at an average of 17, an economy rate of 4.57 at a strike rate of 22.3 with a best of 4 for 45.
Rashid Khan: The Afghanistan all-rounder had a memorable series with 142 runs from four games at an average of 47.33 with a best of 60 not out at an excellent strike rate of 123.47. With the ball, Khan picked up seven wickets at an average of 23, an economy rate of 4.23 and a strike rate of 32.5. He finished the series with a best of 4 for 21. His best with both bat and ball came in the fourth ODI.
Barry McCarthy: The young medium pacer was highly impressive for Ireland. He claimed 10 wickets at an average of 17.70, an economy rate of 5.47 and strike rate of 19.4, with a best of 4 for 59. This effort came in the second ODI, and was followed up by 3 for 57, 1 for 40 and 2 for 21. He is definitely one for the future as far as Ireland is concerned.
Peter Chase: In four games, Chase claimed seven wickets at an average of 28.71, an economy rate of 5.28, a strike rate of 32.5 with a best of 2 for 39. He claimed two-fors in three consecutive games, a rather impressive stat.
--By A Cricket Analyst