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'You dream of having that kind of knock': Balbirnie on match-winning hundred

The 28-year-old hit an unbeaten 145 from 136 deliveries (55.77 of his side's total) as Ireland chased down 257 at Dehra Dun to level the five-match ODI series at 1-1

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Andrew Balbirnie said his century against Afghanistan is the sort of knock "you dream of having".

The 28-year-old hit an unbeaten 145 from 136 deliveries (55.77 per cent of his side's total) as Ireland chased down 257 at Dehra Dun to level the five-match ODI series at 1-1.

"There was a couple of scary moments but you've got to take that risk as they have got world-class bowlers in their side," said Balbirnie.

"We haven't had practice the last two days because of the weather, so it’s been more of a mental battle watching videos of their main threats with the ball - and to be able to counter it today, and play a knock like that, is very special for myself and the team.

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"When you go out and bat, you dream of having that kind of knock, so to do it is just great. We're a very close team at the moment, we're in the hotel spending a lot of time with each other, so just to be able to get that win, we'll enjoy that tonight, and we'll go again tomorrow preparing for the next game in two days."

The innings - which included nine sixes, an Ireland ODI record - represents the country's third-highest ODI score of all time, with only Ed Joyce (160* vs Afghanistan, 2016) and Paul Stirling (177 vs Canada, 2010) topping it.

"Hopefully we've got confidence now. I thought the bowlers did extremely well - the Afghans batted well in the middle, but we managed to drag it back a bit," Balibirne continued.

"The guys up top, Tim Murtagh and Andy McBrine, did really well. It wasn't a perfect performance, there's still things to work on, but we're one-all with two games to go and that is great."

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