Afghanistan v Ireland Test - Men's

Afghanistan bowlers fire on opening day

Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Nabi each claim three wickets to put their team in control of one-off Test against Ireland

AFP

16 March 2019, 08:25 AM AEST

Afghanistan’s bowlers have put them in control despite a defiant half-century from Ireland No.11 Tim Murtagh on the opening day of the one-off Test between the long format's two new entrants on Friday.

Murtagh made an unbeaten 54 to lift Ireland to 172 after they were left tottering 8-69 following their decision to bat first in the north Indian city of Dehradun.

In reply, Afghanistan were 2-90 at stumps, still trailing Ireland by 82 runs in their first innings. Rahmat Shah (22 not out) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (13 not out) will resume on day two.

Left-arm spinner James Cameron-Dow struck twice to remove openers Ihsanullah (seven) and Mohammad Shahzad (40).

Earlier Afghanistan’s bowlers led their team's charge with paceman Yamin Ahmadzai and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi taking three wickets each to rattle the opposition batting.

Ireland were in deep trouble at 9-85 when Murtagh walked into bat and put on 87 runs with George Dockrell, who made 39, for the 10th wicket to frustrate the Afghanistan attack.

He hit four fours and two sixes during his 75-ball stay to register his 11th first-class 50 and get a standing ovation from the Ireland dressing room.

Opener Paul Stirling gave Ireland a brisk start with his 26 but their batting collapsed to 7-62 before lunch. They were all out at tea with Dockrell the last man out.

Nabi combined with wrist spinners Rashid Khan and Waqar Salamkheil – who took two wickets each – to run through Ireland's top and middle order.

Both sides are playing their second Test after making their five-day debut last year. Afghanistan lost to India inside two days in Bangalore while Ireland went down to Pakistan in Dublin.