Afghanistan win as Stirling wrongly given out
For the second one-day international in succession, an Ireland player won the man of the match award, but it was scant consolation as Afghanistan took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series in Greater Noida.
Two days after skipper William Porterfield's century counted for nothing, it was Paul Stirling in his 200th game who broke an Irish record and was five runs away from equalling a world record.
Stirling, who had bowled only one over in Ireland's last 13 games, became the first to take six wickets for Ireland in a one-day international and when he was wrongly given out, leg before wicket for 95, he was one hit away from being the second player ever to take six wickets and score a century in the same ODI.
But, while England's Paul Collingwood still holds the latter record, former Ireland captain Trent Johnston's 5-14, in the World Cup Qualifying final in 2009, has been usurped.
Stirling has bowled just as well, if not better, for less reward and, despite figures of 6-55, Afghanistan still amassed 338, their highest ODI total, Rather, it was his 80-ball innings, including nine fours and five sixes which will have given Stirling much greater satisfaction.
The 26-year old punched the air on his dismissal, a concoction of disappointment at missing out on his sixth ODI century, the horrible verdict - confirmed by television replays - and knowing he had so much more to give.
Ed Joyce and Stirling had put on 113 for the first wicket and the 'out' decision came in only the 27th over with Ireland, on 173-2, on course for their greatest ever chase.
But then Ireland have been here before - and the bowler who had been given the wicket was Rashid Khan, the half-million dollar teenager who still had seven overs to bowl.
Sure enough, the Indian Premier League-bound leg spinner dismissed Niall O'Brien and, crucially, Porterfield in his next two overs and despite spirited resistance from Stuart Thompson it was Rashid who matched Stirling wicket for wicket and Afghanistan had 34 runs to spare.
Afghanistan 338 (50 overs, Asghar Stanikzai 101, Rahmat Shah 68, Mohammad Shahzad 63; P Stirling 6-55, G Dockrell 2-45, P Chase 1-92) Ireland 304 (47.3 overs, P Stirling 95, E Joyce 55, P Stirling 45, S Thompson 37, N O'Brien 5, A Balbirnie 11, G Wilson 14, A McBrine 6, G Dockrell 10 not out, T Murtagh 5, P Chase 0; Rashid Khan 6-43, Dawlat Zadran 3-52). Afghanistan won by 34 runs