Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

15.31 24 Jan 2021


Share this article


Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie says there aren't many positives to be taken from their loss to Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning. 

Afghanistan won by seven wickets with 28 balls remaining after Ireland won the toss and chose to bat first, setting a target of 260.

The loss means that will Afghanistan win the ODI series, having also won during the week and with the sides set to meet again on Tuesday.

30-year-old Balbirnie says their performance simply wasn't good enough.

“At the halfway stage we were in the game, but would have liked a few more having batted so well – particularly Paul again playing so beautifully to set us up.

"We probably lost a bit of momentum there at the back end. With 260 we felt in the game, but we didn’t have enough on a pitch that played a bit slower and deader as the day went on.”

“We definitely expected the pitch to turn a bit more in the second innings, but it probably didn’t turn as much as we would have liked.”

“I still think we can do better with the bat – apart from Paul and Curtis, there weren’t a lot of positives to take. We played well the other day getting 270, and we set ourselves up to mount a good total here today, but we weren’t able to do that, and against this Afghan side that has a lot of power we were up against it.”

Speaking after the loss, Balbirnie went on to further praise Paul Stirling after he hit an excellent hundred to overtake William Porterfield in becoming Ireland's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats.

Balbirnie said this was particularly impressive following the death of former manager Roy Torrens on Saturday.

“Paul seems to have a fantastic tour every time we go away – he was very close to the late Roy Torrens who we unfortunately lost yesterday, and you could see that that innings today was for him.”

“There are definitely players ready to go in the wings, and that’s the beauty of this squad that there are a number of players knocking on the door.

"We picked the guys for these two games that we thought could win some games, and they have been trying – particularly the bowlers who have been battling hard on a wicket not conducive to our style of bowling.

"The lads are hard on themselves, they’ll be really disappointed with the last two games, but as a squad, we’ve got to be ready to rebound and ready to go – we’ve only a day between games, and we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get some points towards this World Cup Super League.”


Share this article


Read more about

Afghanistan Andrew Balbirnie Cricket Ireland Paul Stirling

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Newstalk Breakfast

Newstalk Breakfast

07:00-09:00

Share

Up next

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on