Top order-batsman Andy Balbirnie smashed a brilliant unbeaten 145 to steer Ireland to a four-wicket win over Afghanistan in the third ODI on Tuesday. The win meant that Ireland levelled the five-match series 1-1 after the second game was washed out.

It is also the third-highest score by an Ireland player in ODI format. Balbirine helped Ireland secure a long-awaited victory over Afghanistan in the third ODI game of the series. Balbirnie combined with George Dockrell for a 143-run partnership to take Ireland to their first victory of the series, after Afghanistan appeared to have taken firm control of the game, with the Irish 73/4 in their chase of 257.

Chasing 257 on a sluggish wicket, Balbirnie smashed eight fours and as many sixes during his 136-ball unbeaten knock to take his side home with one over to spare.

Balbirnie’s heroics followed on from an Afghan innings that saw Najibullah Zadran score his maiden international century, an excellent knock after Ireland had threatened to bowl Afghanistan out cheaply.

Earlier, Afghanistan recovered from 74 for 5 on the back of Zadran’s maiden ODI hundred and a composed 75 by captain Asghar Afghan to post 256 for 8. Zadran hit an unbeaten 104 off 98 deliveries with the help of five sixes and as many fours.

Afghanistan had won the first match by 5 wickets here on February 28.

(With PTI Inputs)