Afghanistan and Ireland in India, Only Test, 2019 |One-off Test |3/15/2019 Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
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.
Cameron Dow to Shahidi, FOUR! There comes the winning shot. Afghanistan win by 7 wickets. Short on middle, Shahidi pulls it over square leg for a boundary.
Shahidi walks out next to bat with just 2 runs needed.
Cameron Dow to Nabi, OUT! Run out! Afghanistan are committing foolish mistakes here. A fuller one on middle, Nabi paddles it fine on the leg side and the ball runs towards fine leg. The fielder reaches it quickly and throws it at the keeper's end. The keeper removes the stump and Nabi who was coming for the second run seems to be struggling. The leg umpire takes it upstairs and the replays show Nabi is short. Maybe the excitement of the victory is causing all this.
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.
Cameron Dow to Shah, OUT! Stumped! What an anti-climax! Rahmat missed out on a century in the first innings and now he has missed out on scoring the winning runs. Cameron Dow sees the batsman charging down the wicket to smash this ball and bowls it short. Rahmat is foxed by the turn and the lack of flight. Shah is stranded in the middle of nowhere and gets stumped by the keeper who makes no mistake.
Cameron Dow to Shah, Full on middle, defended with ease.
Cameron Dow to Shah, FOUR! A short pitch delivery on off, Shah punches it from back foot towards the covers region. Another boundary picked. Just 3 required now.
END OF OVER 47 | 8 Runs & 0 Wkt | AFG 140/1
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, Tossed up on middle, Ihsanullah flicks it to mid-wicket.
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, Flighted delivery on middle, Ihsanullah defends it off the back foot.
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, FOUR! Nice shot. Short and outside off, Ihsanullah makes room and cuts it through point for a boundary. Just 7 needed for Afghanistan to win the match.
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, Full on off, kept away.
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, FOUR! Back of a length delivery around off, Ihsan gets on the back foot and slaps it towards the point region. The ball touches ropes. Just 11 runs needed by Afghans.
A Balbirnie to Ihsanullah, A flighted delivery on off, Ihsanlluah keeps it away.
END OF OVER 46 | 3 Runs & 0 Wkt | AFG 132/1
Andy Balbirnie is now into the attack.
Cameron Dow to Shah, Tossed up on middle, Shah defends it out.