International Cricket

16-year-old debutant Mujeeb Zadran helps Afghanistan rout Ireland by 138 runs

The Irish were bowled out for only 100 in pursuit of 239.

Off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran became the first international male cricketer born in the 21st century as his four wickets helped Afghanistan thrash Ireland by 138 runs in the first One-day International in Sharjah on Tuesday.

Born on March 28, 2001, the 16-year-old’s 4/24 were the joint-best figures for an Afghanistan bowler on ODI debut as Ireland were bowled out for only 100 in pursuit of 239. Afghanistan’s biggest win over Ireland gives them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the remaining matches also in Sharjah on December 7 and 10.

Ireland women’s all-rounder Gaby Lewis became the first international cricketer born this millennium when she made her Twenty20 International debut against South Africa at Solihull, England in 2014.

Mujeeb, brought into the Afghanistan side for this series after taking 20 wickets in five matches to help his country win the Under-19 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur last month, made an early impact.

He equalled fast bowler Shapoor Zadran’s 4/24 against the Netherlands at Amstelveen in 2009. Skipper William Porterfield (35), Stuart Poynter (27*) and George Dockrell (ten) were the only batsmen to reach double figures in Ireland’s lowest total against Afghanistan.

Their previous lowest was 150 at Belfast in 2016 and their previous heaviest defeat against Afghanistan was by 71 runs in Dublin in 2015. Rising star Rashid Khan, 19, took 3/28 with his leg-spin, having also struck a 49-ball 48. Afghanistan, sent in to bat, made 238/9 with Nasir Jamal scoring 53 and Rahmat Shah an even 50.

The big-hitting Shafiqullah Shafiq smashed a 23-ball 36 with three sixes after coming in at number nine. Boyd Rankin (4/44) and Tim Murtagh (3/28) were the pick of the Ireland attack, while Kevin O’Brien took 1/50 to become the first Irish bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets.

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