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Rashid Bags Maiden Five-Wicket Haul But Ireland Fight Hard

At stumps, Afghanistan were 29 for 1, still needing 118 runs for victory. They lost Mohammad Shahzad for just 2 and had Ihsanullah Janat and Rahmat Shah in the middle. Afghanistan had earlier bowled out Ireland for 288, with Rashid bagging 5 for 82.

Cricketnext Staff |March 17, 2019, 5:40 PM IST
Rashid Bags Maiden Five-Wicket Haul But Ireland Fight Hard

Rashid Khan bagged five wickets but Andrew Balbirnie and Kevin O Brien's half-centuries helped Ireland fight back to leave the only Test in Dehradun interestingly poised at the end of the third day.

At stumps, Afghanistan were 29 for 1, still needing further 118 runs for victory. They lost Mohammad Shahzad for just 2 and had Ihsanullah Janat and Rahmat Shah in the middle. The hosts had earlier bowled out Ireland for 288, with Rashid bagging 5 for 82.

The visitors began the day on 22/1, still trailing the hosts by 120 runs. Considering they had been bowled out for just 172 in the first innings, it was a tough ask from Ireland to make a match from that position.

However, that's precisely what they did. The away side lost Paul Stirling for just 14 when he was trapped leg before by Yamin Ahmadzai leaving Ireland 33 for 2. Balbirnie and James McCollum then revived the innings with a 104-run stand for the third wicket.

Just when Ireland seemed close to wiping away the deficit, they suffered a mini-collapse as chinaman Waqar Salamkheil and Rashid struck twice each as the tourists lost four wickets for 20 runs. At 157 for 6, having lost both their set batsmen, Ireland were staring at a big defeat.

But they fought back again to stay afloat in the game. O'Brien and George Dockrell added 63 for the seventh wicket before both were dismissed by the Afghan leggie in successive overs. Rashid then dismissed Andrew McBrine in the next over to get his fifth, leaving Ireland 230 for 9.

Still, Ireland's fight was not done. The last wicket pair of James Cameron-Dow and Tim Murtagh added 58 to stretch the total, setting Afghanistan a target of 147.

The hosts suffered a blow when Shahzad was strangled down the leg side by Balbirnie's off-spin, setting up an interesting fourth day's play.

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