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Scripting history, Afghanistan score maiden Test win

Scripting history, Afghanistan score maiden Test win

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On
Mar 18, 2019 - 12:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon created history on Monday when they trounced Ireland by seven wickets in the one-off Test in the Indian city of Dehradun.

Chasing a target of 147 runs, Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat chipped in with useful half-centuries to guide Afghanistan to an easy win at the Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium.

Janat remained unbeaten at 65, smashing eight boundaries and two sixes. His partner Shah hit 76 off 122 balls. His knock included 13 boundaries, the ACB spokesman said.

Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News the pair put on 139 runs for the second wicket. Hashmatullah Shahidi scored the winning runs, touching off celebrations in the Afghanistan camp.

Afghanistan's remarkable win came in their second Test match. In their maiden five-day debut last in 2018, they lost to India within two days in Bangalore.

As the two sides took to the field on the penultimate day of the Test, Afghanistan needed 147 to win. They were 29 for one at stumps on Sunday.

Earlier, ace-spinner Rashid Khan bagged five wickets to restrict Ireland for 288 on day three of the match. Afghanistan lost opener Mohammad Shahzad, who was caught behind for two off spinner Andy McBrine.

Andy Balbirnie (82) and Kevin O’Brien (56) struck half-centuries for the visitors before Rashid Khan returned career-best figures of 5 for 82.

In Afghanistan’s first innings on Saturday, Rahmat Shah was dismissed two runs short of what would have been the first-ever Test century by any Afghan batsman.

The Irish had been restricted to 172 on the opening day at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. Afghanistan responded with a total of 314, taking a first innings lead of 142 runs.

In a post-match comment, skipper Asghar Afghan, said: "Happy. It's a historic day for Afghanistan, for our team and our people. We have been playing first-class cricket, so we have that composure.”

He gave credit to bowlers, hailing the performance of Rashid and Yamin. With his team bound for South Africa ahead of the Worldinfo-icon Cup, Afghan promised playing good cricket there.

Rahmat Shah, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his twin fifties, said: "First of all I'd like to congratulate the country on this win.

He noted a difference in his form in ODIs and the Test, saying the one-day wicket was suitable for spin and the Test surface for batting. He also praised the bowlers for playing well.

On the other hand, Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "It was obvioulsy going to be a tough ask defending 150. It was the first innings where it went wrong for us. Winning the toss was big, If we'd done how we'd done in the second innings then, it could have been a completely different game.

“But credit to Afghanistan, they outplayed us. We had a few glimpses. It's only our second game, quite a few lads making their debuts. But you want the lads to kick on and make a big contribution…”

mud

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