They had Afghanistan next, their rivals at the associate level. With Ireland losing the toss, Afghanistan decided to bat first. What a start for Afghanistan, when Karim Sadiq tonked Rankin for a 1st ball six over long-on. Then he dispatched TJ for consecutive boundaries, giving them a the advantage. Rankin would swing the pendulum back towards Ireland when Rankin has Sadiq bowled. The ball striking the helmet ferociously, then onto the stumps.
TJ was then struck for four by Ahmadi, then TJ got his man. Trying to upper cut TJ all the way over third-man but he doesn't get all of it. Where Rankin takes an easy catch to leave Afghanistan on 27/2. Shahzad would continue as Afghanistan do, by going for every shot. This time punishing Sorensen for six over midwicket.
Asraf would get a six from TJ behind square, however O'Brien spoiled the party. The batsman slicing the ball into the hands of a leaping Porterfield.
Ireland would continue to slow the run rate down. This time Mangal lofting it high to Sorensen at long-on, who takes a good diving catch. Although, Shahzad remained at the crease, despite his discomfort. Then Shenwari giving Stirling some treatment, as he lofted him over long-on for six.
Dockrell wouldn't fare too much better, when Shahzad came down the track to loft him for another six. Ireland would pull them back again, Sorensen having Shenwari caught at long-off. Perhaps any other fielder and it would have been six, this however was the very tall figure of Rankin.
Stirling then taking the wicket of Nabi, the big hitter couldn't flex his muscles today. In the 19th over, Ireland got the wicket they wanted, albeit a bit too late. Sorensen has Shahzad trying to pull, which resulted in a top-edge to long-off. Naib would add some vital late runs to Afghanistan's total, with two big six's from TJ.
Leaving Afghanistan on 152/7.
Ireland got off to the worst possible start, when Porterfield was bowled first ball. However a boundary to end the over from Joyce. Followed by three consecutive boundaries from Stirling, quickly brought Ireland back.
Joyce would provide the shot of the day with a glorious cover drive. However he would succumb to pressure from Alam, flicking a full ball all the way to deep square-leg.
Stirling was in no mood to stop with the fall of Joyce. He would smoke Dawlatzai for more boundaries, inclusive of a stupendous six over third man. While giving the same treatment to Alam. Picking the length ball early, and sending it deep over midwicket for six more.
Ireland had been brought back a touch by Afghanistan. With three overs passing without a boundary to their names. Then Nabi got punished, Stirling came down the track and lofted him over long-on for six.
He would eventually fall in the 13th over. A short ball outside off has Stirling pulling it, the fielder times the jump perfectly. With that Stirling 79(38) had to go, another scintillating performance by the young Irish batsman.
Ireland were then rocked when Kevin O'Brien would fall first ball. With Kevin trying to run it down to third man. Resulting in the outside edge to Shahzad, which he takes brilliantly.
Afghanistan were then starting to pile the pressure on. As Wilson and Poynter didn't look too comfortable at the crease. Then out of nowhere, Poynter lofted Zadran over extra-cover for four. Quite an audacious stroke, considering the circumstances.
Ireland looked to regain control, as Wilson runs it for four past third man. Then Poynter added further impetus. Hitting Dawlatzai for six straight down the ground, in a double handed forehand type of stroke.
Victory was in sight for Ireland with 3 needed from the last two overs. However Wilson would try to finish the game first ball. Although he would only find the hands of long-off. Poynter would manage to finish it off, a full ball on leg and he flicked it past midwicket for four.
MOTM - Paul Stirling for his 79(38)...
Ireland had got one over their rivals Afghanistan. With the victory they were now placed in Group B, alongside Australia and the West Indies.