On this day in 2019: Afghanistan register their maiden Test win beating Ireland
On this day in 2019, Afghanistan claimed a historic first Test win by beating Ireland by seven wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Dehradun. The win came just two years after Afghanistan and Ireland were awarded the Test status by ICC in 2017. The win came in just the second Test for Afghanistan as they became the second-fastest nation to notch their maiden Test match win alongside England and Pakistan.
They took fewer matches to notch up their first Test win than countries like West Indies (6), South Africa (12), Sri Lanka (14), India (25) and New Zealand (45). Afghanistan also became the third nation to win their maiden Test match away from home after England and Pakistan achieved the same in 1877 and 1952, respectively. What made their achievement even more incredible is that they became the first-ever nation to register their maiden win in Tests at a neutral venue.
The historic triumph
Afghanistan make history! ??
They get their first Test win in only their second ever Test, beating Ireland by seven wickets in Dehradun! #AFGvIRE SCORECARD ➡️ https://t.co/mV1o12EBt1 pic.twitter.com/TcFgOTE3pB
— ICC (@ICC) March 18, 2019
Afghanistan take a lead
Coming to the game, Ireland were on the back foot right from day one after Afghanistan bowled them out for a paltry total of 172. At one stage, they were reeling at 85 for 9 and even the 100-run mark was looking like a distant dream. But an 87-run stand between George Dockrell (39) and No.11 Tim Murtagh (54*) helped them post a respectable total.
For Afghanistan, pacer Yamin Ahmadzai and spinner Mohammad Nabi picked up three wickets each while Rashid Khan and Waqar Salamkheil accounted for two scalps each. With the bat, Afghanistan scored 314 runs to take a healthy lead of 142 runs. Rahmat Shah (98), Hashmatullah Shahidi (61) and skipper Asghar Afghan starred with the bat for Afghanistan.
Afghans chase down 147
In the second innings, Ireland came up with a better display with the bat and put up 288 thanks to Andrew Balbirnie’s 82 and Kevin O’Brien’s 56. A 58-run stand between last-wicket pair James Cameron-Dow (32*) and Murtagh (27) then helped Ireland set Afghanistan a target of 147 runs. Rashid starred with the ball in the second innings, taking 5 for 82 to become the first Afghanistan bowler to take a fifer in Tests. With the bat, Afghanistan finished the day on 29 for 1 and were in a strong position going into the penultimate day.
Rahmat (76) and Ihsanullah Janat (65*) did not give Ireland any chance of making a comeback in the game on day four by sharing a 139-run stand for the second wicket. With three needed to win, Afghanistan lost Rahmat and then Mohammad Nabi in successive deliveries before Shahidi came to the crease and hit the winning boundary to register a historic triumph for his team.