Afghans take charge of opening day game against Iris
Afghanistan were in the better position at the end of day one in the one-off Test against Ireland held in Dehradun on Friday. The hosts were 90 for 2 after Ireland all dismissed for 172. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi remained unbeaten respectively for 22 and 13 runs.
The hosts lost both their openers Ihsanullah Jannat for 7 and Mohammad Shahzad for 40 falling to James Cameron-Dow 2 for 35, trailing by 82 runs.
Meanwhile, this is only the second Test for both teams since the ICC awarded them Test status in 2017. Afghanistan lost its inaugural Test to India last year while Ireland lost to Pakistan.
Early on the day, spinners took nine of the 12 wickets to fall, Ireland's batsmen came undone against the spin trio of Mohammad Nabi (3-36), Rashid Khan (2-20) and debutant Waqar Salamkheil (2-35).
However, Iris opener Paul Stirling smashed six fours in a breezy knock of 26, with captain William Porterfield appearing to have made the right decision to bat first, but then the top order collapsed and lost seven wickets just for 25 runs.
Afghan fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai picked up 3 crucial wickets of opener Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (4) and George Dockrell (39). Among the others, Mohammad Nabi (3-36) removed Porterfield (9), Kevin O Brien (12) and Stuart Thompson (3) while Rashid (2-20) dismissed James McCollom (4) and Stuart Poynter for the naught. Another unorthodox left-arm spinner Salamkheil (2-35) removed Andy McBrine (3) and James Cameron-Dow (9) after lunch, before Tim Murtagh’s unbeaten 54 off 75 balls frustrated Afghanistan until tea. Murtagh along with Dockrell added 87 runs in the final wicket-stand that lifted the visitors at 172.
In reply, Ireland left-arm spinner Cameron-Dow picked up two Afghan openers Ihsanullah Janat for 7, and Mohammad Shahzad for 40. But Rahmat Shah (22) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (13) kept Afghanistan safe through to stumps without further loss.
Murtagh 54*, Dockrell 39; Nabi 3-36, Ahmadzai 3-41
Shahzad 40, Rahmat 22*; Cameron-Dow 2-35
Afghanistan trailing by 82 runs