Rashid Khan has bowled Afghanistan to the brink of their first-ever Test victory against fellow Test newcomers Ireland at Dehra Dun on Sunday, writes SIMON LEWIS.
Khan more than doubled his Test wickets tally with his maiden five-for as he knocked over Ireland’s middle-order after Andy Balbirnie’s maiden Test half-century (82 off 149 balls) and Kevin O’Brien’s 56 off 78 balls had Ireland stabilised the Ireland innings at 137-2 before they suffered another collapse.
The Irish lost seven wickets for 93 runs before Tim Murtagh added a vital 27 runs off 32 balls following his first innings undefeated innings of 54. Murtagh shared a second half-century stand for the last wicket in this Test, adding 58 runs off 63 balls with James Cameron-Dow, who ended undefeated on 32 off 39 balls.
On Saturday Rahmat Shah came within a nudge of notching his country’s first Test century before he was bowled by Murtagh for 98 off 214 balls. Stuart Thompson bowled superbly to return 3-28 (econ 1.60) as Afghanistan were bowled out for 314.
With two days left to play, Afghanistan needs just 118 runs to record for their first Test win and they still have nine wickets in hand. The luck of the Irish seems to be well are truly out, but Lady Luck has known to smile kindly on smaller targets, so the neutrals will be hoping for an exciting finish.
Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images