Afghanistan and Ireland in India, Only Test, 2019
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Date: 15 March-18 March, 2019
RR: 3.11 | Afghanistan beat Ireland by 7 wickets
So we come to the end of this long tour. Ireland return home with a 3-0 loss in the T20Is, a 2-2 drawn ODI series and a loss in the one-off Test. It just tells us about the meteoric rise of the Afghanistan national team in international cricket. Till the next assignment, we bid goodbye. Hope you guys enjoyed the coverage of the tour as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. See you soon! Take care and cheers!
Asghar Afghan the winning captain praises the Lord firstly. He says it is a big win for the team as well as the whole country. Mentions that it was their dream to play Test cricket and before they used to play 2-day, 3-day matches. Praises all his bowlers for doing well in the game. As preparation for the World Cup, he informs us that the team will be going to South Africa to get ready and prime for the big tournament. He then goes onto thank everyone involved, including the chairman. Finally walks to collect the trophy, before being surrounded by all his teammates who smile and pose with the magnificent trophy for the shutterbugs.
Rahmat Shah is the Man of the Match, he receives a trophy for the same. He firstly thanks the country for the historic win. Reckons that the wicket in the Tests was different from that of the ODIs and mentions this was better suited for batting. Informs us that he tried to play session by session and tried to win the match by winning more sessions. Also, applauds his bowlers for doing well on a flat surface and picking all the wickets.
William Porterfield, the Ireland captain feels that it was always going to be tough to defend the low total and says that it was the first innings of batting where they did poorly. He reckons that it was a good toss to win but they failed to capitalize on it. Tells us that it is important to acknowledge the way that Afghanistan played and gives them praise. Suggests that the only way to win Test matches will be to go on and make big contributions but feels they were always fighting to come back in this game after the first innings. Signs off by saying that it was a long tour but a pretty good one and feels happy to be part of it but looks forward to go home now.
As for the match, the away side was never in the game. Right from the first morning, the home side's bowlers kept pegging away by picking wickets and bowled the Irish out cheaply in their first innings in 2 sessions. They then batted and took a lead of 142 runs courtesy a brilliant 98 from Rahmat Shah in their first innings. He was ably supported by Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi who made fifties of their own. In reply, the men from Europe did bat well on their second turn and made their second-highest Test total of 288 but they were already too behind in their game. A lead of 146 was made but that eventually proved too less for them to even compete in the game. A mention has to go to Rashid Khan who bowled brilliantly in the second innings and picked 5 wickets to his name. All in all, a team effort saw the Afghani Tigers register their first ever win in this format in the one-off Test match. Stay tuned for the presentation ceremony to follow...
Coming to the final day's play, whatever hope was left for Ireland to win the game was killed off by the flawless partnership of 139 between Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat. Both of them got to their fifties and it was the second one of the game for Rahmat. He was dismissed towards the end but that did not matter much as the game was all but over by that time. Mohammad Nabi also came to the crease just for one ball before he was run out. Shahidi came and finished off the proceedings to give his team a day they will never forget in their lives.
What an incredible victory! The first ever for the Afghanistan National Team in Test cricket and that too in just their second game. This is a moment to savor for the 'hosts', especially because it has been a team effort to win the game! Right from the first innings to the last one, Afghanistan have been right on top and they won more sessions than the Irish. The home side is now seen in a huddle and lots of jumping and celebration happening out there! Lovely scenes.
Shahidi walks out next to bat with just 2 runs needed.
Run out appeal taken upstairs! Unnecessary stuff from Afghanistan here. Mohammad Nabi tries for a non-existent second run and looks to be in some trouble here. Let us see what the replays have to say!
Mohammad Nabi walks in at number 4.
Andy Balbirnie is now into the attack.
James Cameron Dow is now on to bowl.
Drinks Break! A flawless first hour of play for Afghanistan. They have knocked off 49 runs off the 118 that was required at the start of play and have not lost a single wicket in the process. Ireland though have not been up to the mark, bowling loose stuff at least once an over. They even dropped the catch of Ihsanullah early on, which could have given them the boost in the morning. Nevertheless, the writing seems to be on the wall now and it is about how much more time the 'hosts' take to knock off the remaining 69 runs.
Another man coming close-in... a helmet has been brought for Kevin O'Brien at silly mid-off.
First change of the morning. Andy McBrine is into the attack.
Stuart Thompson into the attack now.
Oops... what happened there? Dockrell was through his delivery stride, bowled the ball as well but then Ihsanullah backed off at the last moment. The ball just missed the off stump. Now we see a security guard or some admin guy nonchalantly walking across the sightscreen.
Tim Murtagh to bowl from the other end.
We are all set to begin. The players and umpires are out in the middle. Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah will continue their batting. Ihsanullah will take strike for the first ball of Day 4. George Dockrell will start the proceedings.
Weather Report - It is sunny. There are no predictions of rain and there is not a single cloud in the sky. Nice conditions for playing cricket.
A warm welcome to Day 4 which could well be the final day of the Test match between Afghanistan and Ireland at Dehradun. The hosts are just 118 runs away from a win and would look to finish the chase in the first session itself. They have lost the only wicket of Mohammad Shahzad. On the other hand, Ireland would need quick wickets to derail the chase of Afghanistan. They don't have a huge total on board to defend but they would try their level best to defend. Rashid Khan has been a star for Afghanistan especially in the second innings with a fifer. The pitch has started to explode and it will be difficult for the batsmen to score runs. The Afghan batsmen need to apply themselves on this track. Will the hosts chase it in a canter or will Ireland fightback? Stay tuned.
... DAY 4, SESSION 1 ...
Rashid Khan emerged as the likely hero for Afghanistan. He became the first Afghan bowler to bag a fifer in Tests and was nicely supported by the other bowlers. Chasing a stiff target on a naughty surface, they have lost Mohammad Shahzad but still have plenty of batting to come. The current pair has looked assured and Afghanistan will hope that they continue in the same manner in the morning session on Day 4. The action resumes at 1000 local (0430 GMT). 118 runs and 9 wickets - that's the equation. Do join us to witness a historic day for either Afghanistan or Ireland. Cheers!
End of an exciting day of a Test match! Yet again it was a fast-paced one with both teams landing punch after punch. It started with the Afghans getting lucky with the wicket of Paul Stirling and then the Irish responding with a strong partnership between Andy Balbirnie and James McCollum. Just when it appeared that Ireland will take a firm grip on this Test, Afghanistan bounced back post Lunch to force a collapse. Staring down the barrel, Ireland's hopes got revived by the pair of Kevin O'Brien and George Dockrell, who batted brilliantly in the afternoon. As was the norm, the virtual hosts once again came roaring back to dismiss both the set batsmen after Tea but then they collided with the 10th wicket hurdle. After a bit of hard work, Afghanistan eventually managed to break it but not before the last Irish pair took the lead close to 150.
James Cameron Dow is into the attack.
Rahmat Shah is the new batsman in.
Andy McBrine to share the cherry. Spin from both ends!