Afghanistan have won the battle of Test cricket’s newcomers, claiming an historic first-ever win in the format by beating Ireland by seven wickets in Dehradun on Monday.

Chasing 147 to win, Afghanistan fell to 1-5 late on day three but a brilliant 139-run stand between Ihsanullah Janat (65no) and first-innings hero Rahmat Shah (76) put the Asian side within touching distance of success.

Two quick wickets – including veteran allrounder Mohammad Nabi for one – did little to alter the likelihood of the outcome, as the Afghans cruised to a strong win over their fellow Full Member newbies.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan had put Afghanistan on the path to victory on day three, when he claimed his country’s first five-wicket haul to hep bowl Ireland for 288.

Ireland batsmen Andy Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien had earlier hit half-centuries before Rashid returned career-best figures of 5-82 to bowl out Ireland in the final session of play on Sunday.

“Feeling happy to get some wickets for the team when the team needed me,” said Rashid, who took seven wickets in the match.

“It was tough to grip the new ball because I had the finger injury. With the new ball it was difficult for me to pitch it on the right length because it was paining a lot.

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“Once the ball gets older and the seam has gone so it was more comfortable for me to bowl than the new ball.

“There was something for the spinners after lunch. I think we took advantage of that and bowled in good-length areas and got the results.

“It was tough to bowl (before lunch) because the new ball was quite difficult to grip but I just tried my best. You have to do for the team, you have to do for the country.

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Both sides were playing their second Test after making their debuts in the five-day format last year.

Afghanistan lost to India inside two days in Bangalore while Ireland went down to Pakistan in Dublin.

“Once the ball gets older and the seam has gone so it was more comfortable for me to bowl than the new ball.

“There was something for the spinners after lunch. I think we took advantage of that and bowled in good-length areas and got the results.

“It was tough to bowl (before lunch) because the new ball was quite difficult to grip but I just tried my best. You have to do for the team, you have to do for the country.

Both sides were playing their second Test after making their debuts in the five-day format last year.

Afghanistan lost to India inside two days in Bangalore while Ireland went down to Pakistan in Dublin.

 

 

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