Ireland outplay Afghanistan to register maiden Test win in only 8th appearance

Ireland defeated Afghanistan on the third day of the recently concluded only Test at the Tolerance Oval in UAE. Mark Adair won the 'Player of the Match for his bowling.

Mathew K
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Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie (File Photo: X)

Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie (File Photo: X)

Ireland registered their maiden Test win after defeating Afghanistan by 6 wickets in the only Test both teams played at the Tolerance Oval from February 28 to March 1. It was the 8th Test appearance for Ireland in the longest format of the game; the team played under the captaincy of senior batter Andy Balbirnie.

Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and decided to bat first; batting first, Afghanistan batters couldn’t crack the ‘Mark Adair’ code as the pacer claimed a brilliant five-wicket haul in the first innings. Besides him, Craig Young and Curtis Campher also scalped two wickets each, alongside one wicket each picked by Barry McCarthy.

On the back of these bowling performances, Ireland bundled out Afghanistan at 155 runs in the first innings. It was only the opener Ibrahim who scored a half-century for Afghanistan, scoring 53 runs off 83 balls, with 9 fours. Other than him, Karim Janat also scored 41 runs off 78 balls, with 6 fours.

Responding to Afghanistan’s first innings, Ireland scored 263 runs in their first innings on the backs of some crucial knocks from Paul Stirling, Curtis Campher, and wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker; they scored 52, 49, and 46 runs, respectively.

Young Afghanistan spinner Zia-ur-Rahman claimed a five-wicket haul, picking 5 wickets just at the cost of 64 runs in 30 overs, alongside 3 wickets picked by Naveed Zadran. Nijat Masood and Zahir Khan also bagged one wicket each.

Skipper Andy Balbirnie led Ireland's run-chase after four early wickets

Later in the second innings, Afghanistan could score only 218 runs and was bundled out having a lead of only 110 runs, setting a target of 111 runs for Ireland to win. Mark Adair shone once again for the Irish side and scalped 3 wickets in the second innings of Afghanistan.

While chasing the target of 111 runs on the third day of the game, Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie played a crucial unbeaten knock of 58 runs off 96 balls, alongside another unbeaten knock played by wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker to help Ireland win by 6 wickets, scoring 111 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 31.3 overs. Balbirnie and Tucker also stitched an all-important match-defining unbeaten partnership of 72 runs for the fifth wicket.

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