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Twitter Reactions: Ireland battle hard to take a 146-run lead; hosts in the driver’s seat

17 Mar 2019 CricTracker

Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The equation in the first Test between Afghanistan and Ireland in Dehradun is pretty simple. The hosts need 126 runs to win the match while the visitors are 9 wickets away. With two more days still left in the game, a result is sure to be out. Both these teams will battle it hard to win their first ever Test match. But at the close of play on day-3, it seems as if Afghanistan are in the driver’s seat.

Andrew Balbirnie came to Ireland’s rescue in their second innings with a well-compiled 82. James McCollum and Kevin O’Brien also batted well to help their team set a reasonable target. But the highlight was yet again the 10th wicket partnership for Ireland. While it was 87 in the first innings, the last two batsmen added 58 runs in the second. These efforts helped the visitors set Afghanistan a target of 147 runs.

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Rashid Khan creates history; becomes the first Afghan to pick a 5-wicket haul in Tests

With an overnight score of 22/1, Ireland continued batting on the third day. Skipper William Porterfield was dismissed for a duck on day-2 itself. The hosts didn’t take too long to break the partnership. Paul Stirling was dismissed by Yamin Ahmadzai for 14 runs. After an impressive 82, chinaman bowler Waqar Salamkheil got the better of Andrew Balbirnie.

James McCollum, who was involved in a good partnership with Balbirnie got out in the next over after the number three batsman was dismissed. Rashid Khan quickly ran through the middle-order before Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell dug in and built a good partnership. But the leggie dismissed both of them within a span of six balls. He then claimed the wicket of Andy McBrine to become the first Afghan to pick a 5-wicket haul in Tests.

James Cameron and Tim Murtagh provided the bowlers with a tough time. They scored runs at a quick pace and were getting boundaries regularly. Their partnership of 58 helped Ireland go past 250. The side was ultimately bowled out for 288 runs after Ahmadzai picked up the wicket of Murtagh.

The Afghan openers tried to play cautious cricket in the final passage of play. But Mohammad Shahzad, after scoring 2 runs off 34 balls was dismissed when just 3 overs were left in the day. After defending a lot of balls, Ihsanullah Janat smashed a 6 and a 4 in the last over as Afghanistan finished with a score of 21/1. Twitterati was flooded with congratulatory messages for Rashid Khan. They also praised Balbirnie and the tail-enders for their efforts.

Here is how Twitterati reacted:

Rashid Khan has his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket! How good is the Afghanistan leg-spinner?

Ireland lead by just 98 with one wicket in hand. #AFGvIRE LIVE ⬇️

— ICC (@ICC) March 17, 2019

Well played @rashidkhan_19 ????

— Adelaide Strikers (@StrikersBBL) March 17, 2019

Congrats @rashidkhan_19 bhai for 5fer on your very 2nd matchODI done ????T20 done ????Now time for test era ???? if you know what I mean#AFGvIRE #Rashidkhan #Afghanistan #Ireland @ACBofficials

— hafiz9665 (@hafizqasmi1) March 17, 2019

Bowlers taking maiden five-fer for each team:

Billy Midwinter????????Alfred Shaw????????Albert Rose-Innes????????Herman Griffith ????Jack Cowie????????Mohammad Nissar????????Fazal Mahmood ????????Somachandra de Silva????????John Traicos????????Naimur Rahman????????Rashid Khan ????????#AFGvIRE #CricketStats

— Sports history. (@Shafaqut94) March 17, 2019

Rashid Khan (v Ireland) and Tim Southee (v Pakistan) are the only players with 5-wicket hauls vs an opponent in all the three International formats.

Rashid (20y 178d) is also the youngest among the 9 players to complete the set of 5-fers in all 3 International formats. #AFGvIRE

— Cricket Blue Tigers (@CricBlueTigers) March 17, 2019

Rashid Khan takes the first ever 5-for for Afghanistan in Test cricket. Pretty apt. #AFGvIRE

— Shubh AggarWall (@shubh_chintak) March 17, 2019

This match is totally balanced in all aspects and both teams look totally equal in everything. Only difference comes out which is the reason of the result as a winner, one and only @rashidkhan_19 .#AFGvIRE @cricbuzz

— Abhishek (@Bobby4793) March 17, 2019

He's taken 123 ODI wickets for Afghanistan.He's taken 75 T20I wickets for Afghanistan.He's now taken a maiden Test five-fer for Afghanistan.

Rashid Khan – what a talent. ????#AFGvIRE

— bet365 (@bet365) March 17, 2019

Is Rashid Khan the best bowler in the world right now?

Is S Ravi the worst elite umpire in the world right now?

Is there a trickier combination than great wrist spinner and poor umpire on a turning track? @guerillacricket #guerillacricket #AfgvIre

— Arthurshire ????️‍???? (@ArthurshireCC) March 17, 2019

Why's no one talking about the Afghanistan Vs Ireland test? Seems like absorbing stuff. Afghans on top and Rashid Khan in top form, 6 wickets for the match. #AFGvIRE

— Jack Clifton (@JackClifton90) March 17, 2019

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