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Afghanistan nose ahead despite mini-collapse

16 Mar 2019 CricBuzz

Never mind the 116 runs, eight wickets collapse, with a lead of 142, a barrage of top-quality spinners, a dusting-up pitch and a batting order in distress facing off, Afghanistan would still be smiling.

It was a see-saw all through. Afghanistan, in a nostalgic throwback to the 90s, saw no business in the 'keeper and the lower-middle-order hanging around. Ikram Ali Khil was the first to fall, courtesy McBrine's big flighter, foxing him with the sharp dip. Rashid Khan came out with a clear mood to go after everything against George Dockrell. It started with a six, followed up with a four and then the moment he decided to defend, ended up getting trapped plumb, playing completely down the wrong line.

The skipper, Asghar Afghan, then took it upon himself to swing the long handle, connecting some lusty strikes as he helped pummel his side near a lead of 150, becoming the third batsman in the innings to bring up a half-century. His six-hitting style too was very 1990s, running down the track and throwing in every muscle of his body in smashing them into long-on. However, Ireland too wouldn't be disheartened at giving out the 142-run lead, given the dire straits they were in at one point when Shahidi and Rahmat were going great guns.

Each of the frontline bowlers found themselves among the wickets. James Cameron-Dow picked the two wickets that fell yesterday, Andy McBrine and Dockrell picked up a couple each to trigger the collapse with the newish ball, before Stuart Thomspon came in to clean up the final two wickets.

Ireland had 12 tricky overs to negotiate, and it didn't help their cause that their most experienced bet, William Porterfield fell off the second delivery, nicking Yamin Ahmadzai through to the 'keeper. With 120 runs still in the deficit, they'd hope to take a leaf out of the Shah-Shahidi stand to replicate.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 314 (Rahmat Shah 98, Hashmatullah Shahidi 61; Stuart Thompson 3-28) lead Ireland 172& 22/1 (Andrew Balbirnie 14; Yamin Ahmadzai 1-9) by 120 runs

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Original Link: https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/107169/afghanistan-nose-ahead-despite-mini-collapse-vs-ireland-cricket-team-dehradun-test

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