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Wishes fly in thick and fast as Afghanistan register their maiden Test victory

Rahmat Shah played a valiant knock in the second innings to help his team ace a tricky chase.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was less than a year that Afghanistan started their journey in the longer format of cricket when they played India in Bengaluru. The debutants were hammered on that occasion by their stronger opponents by an innings and 262 runs and the game hadn’t even gone into the third day.

Nine months since that defeat, the Asian side created yet another history by picking up their first win in the Test match and this time, their opponents were Ireland. Both teams were playing their second red-ball match but it was Afghanistan who prevailed eventually as they won their one-off Test by 7 wickets in Dehradun.

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Ireland failed to match Afghanistan eventually

Afghanistan had a good start after Ireland captain William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. Their bowlers shared the job equally to bowl Ireland out for 172 on the first day itself, wresting the momentum. Ireland were in fact 9 down for 85 at one stage and added 87 runs for the final wicket.

Asghar Afghan’s side then ensured that they did not come up with a batting debacle as they had against India last year, not once but twice. Powered by Rahmat Shah (98), Afghan (67), Hashmatullah Shahidi (61) and Mohammad Shahzad (40), Afghanistan posted a total of 314 in their first innings, gaining a lead of 142. The gap could have been better had the Irish bowlers not put brakes in the later part of the Afghanistan innings as they lost their last seven wickets for 88 runs.

Ireland’s batting was comparatively better in the second innings even though a middle-order slump prevented them from taking things the way they would have loved. Ace spinner Rashid Khan ran through the Ireland middle-order to pick up his first five-wicket haul in red-ball cricket as they were reduced from 137 for 2 to 157 for 6.

The lower order came to Ireland’s rescue yet again as they added 131 runs for the last four wickets and crucial 58 runs for the final wicket. Ireland got all out for 288 to set a target of 147 for Afghanistan.

The Asians came up with a stellar performance in the second innings even after losing Shahzad early in the innings. Opener Ihsanullah (65 not out) and Rahmat Shah (76) added 139 runs for the second wicket to make the victory an easy one.

Social Media was filled with the congratulatory messages for Afghanistan after they crossed the line. They became the second joint fastest team to register a Test win along with England and Pakistan.

Here’s how the cricketers reacted:

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