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Cricket: Afghanistan notch up maiden Test win, beat Ireland

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Afghanistan registered their maiden win in the longest format of the game on Monday after hammering Ireland by seven wickets in the one-off Test here.
 
Chasing 147 for victory, Afghanistan comfortably crossed the line on the fourth day of the contest, thanks to the 139-run second wicket partnership between between Rahmat Shah (76 off 122) and Ihsanullah Janat (65 off 129). 
 
It was also Shah's second fifty of the match as he had played a 214-ball 98-run knock in Afghanistan's first innings score of 314.
 
With just three runs needed for victory, Afghanistan lost Shah and Mohammad Nabi in successive deliveries before incoming batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi hit the winning boundary to hand Afghanistan a memorable win.
 
Earlier opting to bat, Ireland were bundled out for 172 runs, courtesy some decent bowling by the Afghan bowlers -- Yamin Ahmadzai (3/41), Mohammad Nabi (3/36) and Rashid Khan (2/20).
 
The war-torn nation then rode Shah, Shahidi (61) and skipper Asghar Afghan's (67) knocks to post 314 runs, taking a healthy 142-run lead.
 
Ireland then witnessed some fight from Andy Balbirnie (82) and Kevin O'Brien (56), helping their side put 288 runs on board in their second innings.
 
It was Rashid's impressive show which once again denied Ireland reach a strong total as the leg-spinner returned with figures of 5/82.
 
This was Afghanistan's second Test outing after making their debut in 2018 against India, while Ireland have also played two five-day games.
 
Brief Scores:
 
Ireland: 172 (Tim Murtagh 54 not out; Mohammad Nabi 3/36) and 288 (Andrew Balbirnie 82; Rashid Khan 5/82) lose to Afghanistan: 314 (Rahmat Shah 98,; Stuart Thompson 3/28) and 147/3 (Rahmat Shah 76, James Cameron 1/24).
 
IANS
 

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