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Ireland see off Afghanistan

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Alex Cusack and Trent Johnston propelled Ireland to a 59-run win over Afghanistan in the ICC World Cricket League Championship one-day international at Clontarf.

Trent Johnston

Trent Johnston, pictured, took 2-18 and Alex Cusack 3-17 as Ireland comfortably defeated Afghanistan by a margin of 59 runs at Clontarf

Ed Joyce’s belligerent 67 not out helped the hosts to 163 all out in 47 overs after they were put in to bat in the second clash between the two countries, who suffered a washout at the same venue yesterday and on Tuesday.

But any hopes Afghanistan had of chasing down the total were dashed by Ireland’s miserly bowling attack, with Cusack taking 3-17 and Johnston 2-18 respectively before their spinners finished the job.

With the top two spots in the league earning a place at the 2015 World Cup, both teams were desperate for a win although leaders Ireland got off to a woeful start.

Left-arm seamer Shapoor Zadran ripped through their top order, taking three wickets as Will Porterfield’s men fell to 33 for four in the 12th over.

Joyce remained calm and continued to keep the score ticking, adding 47 for the fifth wicket with Kevin O’Brien who was run out for 31.

Any thoughts the total was insufficient were quickly dispelled when Johnston removed captain Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad before Cusack accounted for Javed Ahmadi, Asghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi as Afghanistan fell to 33 for five.

Spin duo Paul Stirling and George Dockrell took two wickets apiece as Afghanistan were all out in 33.1 overs to hand Ireland a comfortable victory.