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Ireland record emphatic victory

Ireland won the World Twenty20 Qualifier for the second time in succession with a 68-run victory over Afghanistan.

Will Porterfield’s side recorded the fourth-highest total in T20 international history after winning the toss, with opener Paul Stirling’s 76 helping amass 225 for seven.

Afghanistan made a flying start but could only muster 157 before being bowled out at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Trent Johnston on his way to a 32-delivery 62 in his last T20 international. He also took three wickets as Ireland recorded a big victory over Afghanistan in the World Twenty20 Qualifier finalBoth teams, who were meeting in the final for the third successive time with one win apiece previously, had already secured their place in the first round of next year's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, but there was no sign of Ireland easing off as they ran amok with the bat.

Stirling scored a 38-ball 79 in last year’s final and lasted 43 balls this time, hitting four sixes and eight fours.

He shared a 68-run stand for the first wicket with Porterfield that set the tone for the innings. Trent Johnston also took a liking to the Afghan attack, smashing 62 off 32 balls with four sixes and five fours.

That left Afghanistan needing to produce something special to reclaim the title, although they looked capable of doing just that as they matched their opponents' blistering start.

They clubbed 14 runs off the first three balls of the innings, bowled by Max Sorensen, and were 36 without loss after three overs.

At the end of their six powerplay overs Afghanistan were still in a fantastic position on 76 for two.

But they could not keep that run-rate up once the field spread and they lost two more wickets in the seventh over, bowled by Alex Cusack, before being dismissed in the penultimate over, with Johnston taking 3-34 to cap a memorable all-round display in the 39-year-old’s final T20I appearance.

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