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Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs Ireland Only Test 2023/24

Ireland 263 (Stirling 52, Ur-Rahman 5-64) and 111 for 4 (Balbirnie 58*, Tucker 27*, Naveed 2-31) beat Afghanistan 155 (Ibrahim 53, Adair 5-39) and 218 (Shahidi 55, Young 3-24, McCarthy 3-48, Adair 3-56) by six wickets

Six years and seven Test defeats later, Ireland earned their first victory in cricket’s longest format on Friday, beating Afghanistan by six wickets on the third day of the one-off Test in Abu Dhabi.
Set a small target of 111 for victory, Ireland found themselves in a slippery position at 13 for 3 in their fourth innings, but their captain Andy Balbirnie staved off the Afghan challenge with Lorcan Tucker for company to seal the historic win in front of a spattering of travelling Ireland fans. There were tears in the crowd among family members of the Irish contingent when Tucker scurried across for a single to complete the historic winning run in the 32nd over.
While Balbirnie’s unbeaten 58 on a turning surface got Ireland back on track for the win, it was their pace bowlers who set the game up. The trio of Barry McCarthy, Mark Adair and Craig Young shared three Afghanistan wickets apiece in the third innings to make Afghanistan fold for only 218, having started the day at a comfortable 134 for 3. In all, Ireland’s pace bowlers shared 19 of the 20 wickets in the match, only the second time in eight Tests that the team took all 20. They bent their back in warm conditions at the Tolerance Oval to ensure Afghanistan could finish with a lead of only 110, a score that was, in the end, too low.
It was Adair who got the first breakthrough of day three by dismissing overnight batter Hashmatullah Shahidi on 55, trapping him lbw from around the wicket. McCarthy then got a length ball to shape in and rattle Nasir Jamal’s off stump. Young then pegged Afghanistan further back by getting Karim Janat caught at midwicket on 13 and then shattering the stumps of the dangerous-looking Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 46 in back-to-back overs.

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