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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Captain Andrew Balbirnie leads Ireland to first Test victory against Afghanistan

Mark Adair, who recorded career-best figures of 5/39 in the first innings, continued to torment the Afghan batters, though, taking three wickets for 56 runs, including thatof Shahidi

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 02.03.24, 08:08 AM
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Ireland beat Afghanistan by six wickets to script their first-ever win in Test cricket, ending their spell of seven consecutive losses, in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Ireland’s captain Andrew Balbirnie led his side from the front with an unbeaten 58 to seal it within three days.

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The Irish played their first Test in 2017 and lost to Pakistan. They had lost to Afghanistan in their second Test five years ago at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun.

Starting the third day at 134 for three, Afghanistan rea­ched 218 with a half-century from skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (55 off 107 balls) and Test debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 85-ball 46.

Mark Adair, who recorded career-best figures of 5/39 in the first innings, continued to torment the Afghan batters, though, taking three wickets for 56 runs, including thatof Shahidi.

Ireland, chasing a target of 111, were initially left reeling at 18 for three. But Balbirnie held fort, building partnerships with Paul Stirling and Lorcan Tucker to help Ireland to victory in the last session.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 155 & 218. Ireland 263 & 111/4 (Andrew Balbirnie 58 not out). Ireland won by 6 wickets.

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