Afghanistan beat Ireland for historic first Test victory

DEHRADUN, India (AFP) – Afghanistan’s cricket team claimed a historic first Test win yesterday as they beat Ireland by seven wickets.

Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat scored fifties for the war-torn country as they chased down 147 for victory on day four.

Afghanistan were steered to their target by a 139-run partnership between Shah, who made 76, and debutant Janat, who hit an unbeaten 65.

Shah registered his second fifty of the match after making 98 in Afghanistan’s first innings score of 314.

With three needed to win, Afghanistan lost Shah and then Mohammad Nabi in successive deliveries before Hashmatullah Shahidi came to the crease and hit the winning boundary to trigger celebrations in the Afghanistan camp.

Ace spinner Rashid Khan, who is second in the ICC one-day international rankings, had played a key role in the historic win by taking five wickets on Sunday’s day three to help dismiss Ireland for 288 in their second innings.

Khan returned career-best figures of five for 82 to stall Ireland’s resurgence after Andy Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien had hit gritty half-centuries.