Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ireland won their first Test match against Afghanistan

After seven straight losses, Ireland defeated Afghanistan by six wickets in Abu Dhabi on Friday to win their first-ever Test match.

In the last session of the third day, Ireland surpassed their modest objective of 111, captain Andy Balbirnie leading from the front with an unbeaten 58.

In 2018, Ireland played their first Test match, which ended in a loss to Pakistan.

Afghanistan was dismissed for 218 after they resumed their second innings on Friday at 134-3.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, making his Test debut, hit 46, while captain Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored with 55.

Mark Adair finished with eight wickets for the match after taking three wickets. Barry McCarthy and Craig Young each claimed three.

Gurbaz, who is more well-known for his flashy and powerful shots in limited-overs cricket, hit the game’s lone two sixes.

Ireland, needing just 111 to win, fell to 13-3 when 18-year-old fast bowler Naveed Zadran clean bowled both Curtis Campher and opener Peter Moor without scoring.

Balbirnie stopped the teenager from scoring a hat-trick, but Gurbaz quickly caught Harry Tector off Nijat Masood for two.

Nerves in the dressing room were momentarily calmed by Balbirnie and Paul Stirling, who both featured in Ireland’s 2018 first Test.

Ireland lost to 39-4 shortly after tea as Stirling was caught in the slips off left-arm spinner Zia-ur-Rehman for 14.

But Balbirnie cautiously made his way to his fourth Test half-century, which came from 86 balls, with Lorcan Tucker (27 not out) providing strong assistance in a vital 72-run winning partnership.

As part of their multi-format series, the two nations will now play three Twenty20 matches and three One-Day Internationals.

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