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So we come to the end of this long tour. Ireland return home with a 3-0 loss in the T20Is, a 2-2 drawn ODI series and a loss in the one-off Test. It just tells us about the meteoric rise of the Afghanistan national team in international cricket. Till the next assignment, we bid goodbye. Hope you guys enjoyed the coverage of the tour as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. See you soon! Take care and cheers!
Asghar Afghan the winning captain praises the Lord firstly. He says it is a big win for the team as well as the whole country. Mentions that it was their dream to play Test cricket and before they used to play 2-day, 3-day matches. Praises all his bowlers for doing well in the game. As preparation for the World Cup, he informs us that the team will be going to South Africa to get ready and prime for the big tournament. He then goes onto thank everyone involved, including the chairman. Finally walks to collect the trophy, before being surrounded by all his teammates who smile and pose with the magnificent trophy for the shutterbugs.
Rahmat Shah is the Man of the Match, he receives a trophy for the same. He firstly thanks the country for the historic win. Reckons that the wicket in the Tests was different from that of the ODIs and mentions this was better suited for batting. Informs us that he tried to play session by session and tried to win the match by winning more sessions. Also, applauds his bowlers for doing well on a flat surface and picking all the wickets.
William Porterfield, the Ireland captain feels that it was always going to be tough to defend the low total and says that it was the first innings of batting where they did poorly. He reckons that it was a good toss to win but they failed to capitalize on it. Tells us that it is important to acknowledge the way that Afghanistan played and gives them praise. Suggests that the only way to win Test matches will be to go on and make big contributions but feels they were always fighting to come back in this game after the first innings. Signs off by saying that it was a long tour but a pretty good one and feels happy to be part of it but looks forward to go home now.
As for the match, the away side was never in the game. Right from the first morning, the home side's bowlers kept pegging away by picking wickets and bowled the Irish out cheaply in their first innings in 2 sessions. They then batted and took a lead of 142 runs courtesy a brilliant 98 from Rahmat Shah in their first innings. He was ably supported by Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi who made fifties of their own. In reply, the men from Europe did bat well on their second turn and made their second-highest Test total of 288 but they were already too behind in their game. A lead of 146 was made but that eventually proved too less for them to even compete in the game. A mention has to go to Rashid Khan who bowled brilliantly in the second innings and picked 5 wickets to his name. All in all, a team effort saw the Afghani Tigers register their first ever win in this format in the one-off Test match. Stay tuned for the presentation ceremony to follow...
Coming to the final day's play, whatever hope was left for Ireland to win the game was killed off by the flawless partnership of 139 between Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat. Both of them got to their fifties and it was the second one of the game for Rahmat. He was dismissed towards the end but that did not matter much as the game was all but over by that time. Mohammad Nabi also came to the crease just for one ball before he was run out. Shahidi came and finished off the proceedings to give his team a day they will never forget in their lives.
What an incredible victory! The first ever for the Afghanistan National Team in Test cricket and that too in just their second game. This is a moment to savor for the 'hosts', especially because it has been a team effort to win the game! Right from the first innings to the last one, Afghanistan have been right on top and they won more sessions than the Irish. The home side is now seen in a huddle and lots of jumping and celebration happening out there! Lovely scenes.
47.5CameronDow to HShahidi
FOUR! There comes the winning shot. Afghanistan win by 7 wickets. Short on middle, Shahidi pulls it over square leg for a boundary.
Shahidi walks out next to bat with just 2 runs needed.
47.4CameronDow to MNabi
OUT! Run out! Afghanistan are committing foolish mistakes here. A fuller one on middle, Nabi paddles it fine on the leg side and the ball runs towards fine leg. The fielder reaches it quickly and throws it at the keeper's end. The keeper removes the stump and Nabi who was coming for the second run seems to be struggling. The leg umpire takes it upstairs and the replays show Nabi is short. Maybe the excitement of the victory is causing all this.
Run out appeal taken upstairs! Unnecessary stuff from Afghanistan here. Mohammad Nabi tries for a non-existent second run and looks to be in some trouble here. Let us see what the replays have to say!
Mohammad Nabi walks in at number 4.
47.3CameronDow to RShah
OUT! Stumped! What an anti-climax! Rahmat missed out on a century in the first innings and now he has missed out on scoring the winning runs. Cameron Dow sees the batsman charging down the wicket to smash this ball and bowls it short. Rahmat is foxed by the turn and the lack of flight. Shah is stranded in the middle of nowhere and gets stumped by the keeper who makes no mistake.
47.2CameronDow to RShah
Full on middle, defended with ease.
47.1CameronDow to RShah
FOUR! A short pitch delivery on off, Shah punches it from back foot towards the covers region. Another boundary picked. Just 3 required now.
46.6ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Tossed up on middle, Ihsanullah flicks it to mid-wicket.
46.5ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Flighted delivery on middle, Ihsanullah defends it off the back foot.
46.4ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
FOUR! Nice shot. Short and outside off, Ihsanullah makes room and cuts it through point for a boundary. Just 7 needed for Afghanistan to win the match.
46.3ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Full on off, kept away.
46.2ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
FOUR! Back of a length delivery around off, Ihsan gets on the back foot and slaps it towards the point region. The ball touches ropes. Just 11 runs needed by Afghans.
46.1ABalbirnie to IhsanullahIhsanullah
A flighted delivery on off, Ihsanlluah keeps it away.
Andy Balbirnie is now into the attack.
45.6CameronDow to RShah
Tossed up on middle, Shah defends it out.
45.5CameronDow to RShah
Floated on middle, Shah defends it off the back foot.
45.4CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Flighted delivery on middle, Ihsanullah flicks it towards mid-wicket for a single.
45.3CameronDow to RShah
A back of a length, Shah gets on his back foot and punches it down for a single.
45.2CameronDow to RShah
A flatter ball on off, defended watchfully by Shah.
45.1CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
A back of length delivery on off, Ihsanullah gets on the back foot and plays a late cut towards the point region and runs for a single.
44.6GDockrell to RShah
Floated on middle, RS defends it off the back foot.
44.5GDockrell to RShah
Floated delivery on middle, Rahmat blocks it off his back foot.
44.4GDockrell to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Full toss on leg, Ihsanullah sweeps it through square leg for a run.
44.3GDockrell to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Full on leg, Ihsanullah plays a defense but the ball raps his pads and lobs to short leg. A soft appeal from the bowling side. The umpire shakes his head.
44.2GDockrell to RShah
Back of a length delivery on leg, Shah flicks it away for a single.
44.1GDockrell to RShah
A flighted delivery around off, Shah leans forward and strokes it to cover region for a couple.
43.6CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
A bit round arm and on middle with some pace, dug out off a yorker length by the batsman and pushed back to the bowler.
43.5CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Fuller and flatter on middle, Ihsan drives it hard to mid off but does not take the single as the ball goes too quickly to the fielder.
43.4CameronDow to RShah
A short pitch delivery on off, Shah plays it late on his back foot and gets a single at the point region.
43.3CameronDow to RShah
A back of a length delivery, RS punches it from the back foot straight to covers.
43.2CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Short ball on middle, Ihsan pulls it away to mid-wicket and adds single to the score.
43.1CameronDow to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Full on middle, defended watchfully.
42.6GDockrell to RShah
Floated on middle, Rahmat comes down the track and blocks it.
42.5GDockrell to IhsanullahIhsanullah
Flighted delivery on leg, Ihsanullah sweeps it through square leg for a run.
42.4GDockrell to RShah
Good stop by Andy Balbirnie. The umpires are checking for the replays and they confirm the same. Full and outside off, Shah looks to drive but gets an outside edge. It goes wide of first slip towards third man. Balbirnie chases it and slides and does a brillaint job to stop it before the ropes. The batsmen get three runs.