Ireland 2024
Fixtures
25 July Test: Ireland v Zimbabwe (Stormont)
27 September 1st T20I: Ireland v South Africa (Abu Dhabi)
29 September 2nd T20I: Ireland v South Africa (Abu Dhabi)
2 October 1st ODI: Ireland v South Africa (Abu Dhabi)
4 October 2nd ODI: Ireland v South Africa (Abu Dhabi)
7 October 3rd ODI: Ireland v South Africa (Abu Dhabi)
Results
T20 World Cup, Group A: : Canada beat Ireland by 12 runs
New York, 7 June.
Canada 137/7 (20 overs; Nicholas Kirton 49, Shreyas Movva 37; Barry McCarthy 2-24, Craig Young 2-32)
Ireland 125/7 (20 overs; Mark Adair 34 , George Dockrell 30*; Jeremy Gordon 2-16, Dilon Heyliger 2-18)
Ireland's T20 World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread after a shock 12-run loss to Canada - the lowest ranked side in the 20-team competition. Nicholas Kirton scored a Man of the Match 49 to help the Canadians to 137 for 7 - two wickets apiece for Craig Young and Barry McCarthy. The Irish reply started slowly as they slumped to 59 for 6 in the 13th over, before they finally kicked into life. Mark Adair hit 34 as he and George Dockrell - who made an unbeaten 30 - added 62 for the 7th wicket, but with 17 needed from the last over, they could only manage four to finish on 125 for 7. Ireland will now need to beat USA and Pakistan in their two remaining games next week in Florida, and hope results elsewhere go their way, but given their poor NRR, they are in effect all but eliminated.
T20 World Cup, Group A: : India beat Ireland by 8 wickets
New York, 5 June.
Ireland 96 (16 overs: Gareth Delany 26; Hardik Pandya 3-27, Jasprit Bumrah 2-6, Arshdeep Singh 2-35)
India 97/2 (12.2 overs: Rohit Sharma 52 ret.hurt. Rishabh Pant 36*)
Gareth Delany top-scored with 26.
Ireland's T20 World Cup opener turned into a nightmare as India tore them apart on a brutal track in New York. The Irish lost a crucial toss and their innings was soon in tatters at 50 for 8, staring down the barrel at their lowest T20 WC total - 68 against the West Indies. Gareth Delany struck a few lusty blows in a top score of 26 to get them to 96. It was never going to be enough as India strolled to the win at a canter thanks to a Half century from Rohit Sharma and Rishbabh Pant's unbeaten 36. Mark Adair and Ben White with the consolation wickets for Ireland, who have little time to lick their wounds with their next game on Friday against Canada at the same venue, but hopefully not on the same pitch.
Triseries match 6: Netherlands lost to Ireland by 3 runs
Voorburg, 24 May.
Ireland 161/6 (20 overs; George Dockrell 53*, Curtis Campher 37, Paul Stirling 36, Mark Adair 19*; Logan Van Beek 2-26, Paul van Meekeren 2-34 Bas De Leede 2-43)
Netherlands 158/5 (20 overs; Max O'Dowd 60, Michael Levitt 39, Vikram Singh 27; Mark Adair 2-21, Craig Young 2-35)
Triseries match 5: Ireland beat Scotland by 5 wickets
Voorburg, 23 May.
Scotland 157/8 (20 overs: Matthew Cross 35, Michael Leask 34, Michael Jones 23; Craig Young 3-31, Mark Adair 3-36)
Ireland 158/5 (19.3 overs: Andrew Balbirnie 56, Lorcan Tucker 55, Paul Stirling 32; Chris Sole 3-28)
Lorcan Tucker and Andy Balbirnie added 65 together (CricketEurope)
Half centuries from the Pembroke duo of Andrew Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker led Ireland to a final over five-wicket win over Scotland in Voorburg. Balbirnie top-scored with 56 from 46 balls (6 fours) sharing an opening stand of 66 in 7.4 overs with Paul Stirling - who his two sixes in a 21-balls 31 - and added a further 65 in a further 7.4 overs with Sydney Parade colleague Lorcan Tucker. The keeper batsman continued his rich vein of form in making his 3rd half century in four innings, run out for 55 with the scores level. Chris Sole's three wickets gave the scoreline a closer look that it merited in a chase that the Irish controlled. Earlier, Mark Adair and Craig Young had each taken three wickets as Scotland posted 157 for 8 - Matthew Cross (35) and Michael Leask (34) adding 55 for the 5th wicket. The Irish spinners all did their jobs too, backed up by athletic fielding. Ireland play the final game of the series against hosts The Netherlands on Friday.
Triseries match 4: Netherlands lost to Scotland by 71 runs
Voorburg, 22 May.
Scotland 158/7 (20 overs, George Munsey 72, Logan van Beek 3-13)
Netherlands Netherlands 87 (14.5 overs; Scott Edwards 29, Bas De Leede 27; Mark Watt 4-12, Brad Currie 2-12, Chris Greaves 2-13)
George Munsey scored 72 in Scotland's win (CricketEurope)
George Munsey hit 6 sixes in a Man of the Match 72 to help Scotland to an emphatic 71-run win over Netherlands. Munsey benefitted from a life when just 5 and made the hosts pay dearly in his 40-ball knock that included 6 sixes - three coming in one Tim Pringle over. Logan van Beek took 3 for 13 but it wasn't enough to stop the visitors making 158 for 7. The Dutch reply started badly losing a wicket in each of the first three overs to be on 19 for 3. Bas de Leede (27) and Scott Edwards (29) staged a fightback and they had hope at 61 for 3 after 9 overs. Chris Greaves (2-13) struck with his first and third balls to account for De Leede and Wes Barresi to all but end the contest. Edwards holed out off Currie (2-12) and Mark Watt brought things to a swift conclusion as he took three wickets in four balls to finish with 4 for 12 - the Dutch capitulating to 87 all out in the 15th over.
Triseries match 3: Ireland v Scotland - match abandoned
Voorburg, 20 May.
Ireland
Scotland
Triseries match 2: Netherlands lost to Ireland by 1 run
Voorburg, 19 May.
Ireland 150/8 (20 overs; Mark Adair 49, Lorcan Tucker 40; Tim Pringle 3-32, Daniel Doram 2-27, Paul van Meekeren 2-27)
Netherlands 149/8 (20 overs; Tim Pringle 35*, Max O'Dowd 33, Bas de Leede 32; Fionn Hand 3-18, Curtis Campher 2-33, Mark Adair 2-34)
Mark Adair celebrates trapping Scott Edwards lbw (CricketEurope)
Ireland won a last-ball thriller against The Netherlands in Voorburg, surviving a late fightback to win by 1 run. Mark Adair's hard-hit 49 helped the Irish recover from 83 for 6 to post 150 for 8, adding 66 in 35 balls with Gareth Delany. Fionn Hand's 3 for 18 had Ireland in firm control as the hosts needed 38 from the last two overs, but Tim Pringle hit three sixes to leave three needed from the last ball. It was Adair's day though as he kept Pringle to a single to seal the nervy win.
3rd T20I: Ireland lost to Pakistan by 6 wickets
Clontarf, 14 May.
Ireland 178/7 (20 overs: Lorcan Tucker 73, Andrew Balbirnie 35, Harry Tector 30*; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-14, Abbas Afridi 2-43)
Pakistan 181/4 (17 overs: Babar Azam 75, Mohammed Rizwan 56; Mark Adair 3-28, Craig Young 1-49)
Winners Pakistan (Sportsfile)
Stand-in skipper Lorcan Tucker made it back-to-back half centuries as he top-scored with 73 as Ireland posted 178 for 7 against Pakistan in the deciding match of their T20I series at Clontarf. Ross Adair opened in place of the rested Paul Stirling, but went for 7 in the 3rd over. Tucker then hit 13 fours and a six in his 41-ball knock, adding 85 in 8.1 overs with Andrew Balbirnie, whose 35 from 26 balls included 2 fours and 3 maximums. Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-14) stymied Ireland’s progress, and it took an unbeaten 30 from Harry Tector to get the hosts up to what they hope will be a defendable total. It wasn’t on Sunday – can they take their chances this time and clinch a memorable series win? At the halfway point of the chase, Pakistan in control having lost just one wicket - that of Sayub Ayam caught off a leading edge by George Dockrell from Mark Adair. Since then Mohammed Rizwan has reached 50 from 30 balls (4 fours, 3 sixes), having added 76 and counting with Babar Azam. Pakistan win at a canter with three overs to spare against an Irish attack that looked very pedestrian for the most part - not helped by an at times ragged fielding display. Babar Azam top-scored with 75 from 42 balls, including 5 sixes - four of them in a savage attack on a Ben White over. His stand with Rizwan was ended at 139 in 12.2 overs but by then the game was well and truly up. Mark Adair had his figures dented by a few lusty late blows from Azam Khan but still can be proud of his 3 for 28. Ireland now head to The Netherlands for a tri-series with the hosts and Scotland, while Pakistan are off to England.
2nd T20I: Ireland lost to Pakistan by 7 wickets
Clontarf, 12 May.
Ireland 193/7 (20 overs; Lorcan Tucker 51, Harry Tector 32, Gareth Delany 28*, Curtis Campher 22; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-49, Abbas Afridi 2-33)
Pakistan 195/3 (16.5 overs; Fakhar Zaman 78, Mohammad Rizwan 75*, Azam Khan 30*)
Lorcan Tucker scored 51 (Sportsfile)
Ireland were left to rue missed opportunities as they dropped chances to dismiss both Fakhar Zaman and Rizwan in the relatively early stages of a match defining stand of 140 in 13 overs. Chasing 194, Pakistan lost wickets in the first overs of the reply, but won comfortably in the end. Fakhar Zaman top scored with 78 from 40 balls, while Rizwan's unbeaten 75 from 46 balls also had 6 boundaries and 4 maximums. By the time Ben White broke the stand, the finishing line was in sight, and Azam Khan cleared the ropes four times in a 10-ball 30 not out to speed them to victory. Earlier Lorcan Tucker scored a typically impish half century, adding 62 for the third wicket with Harry Tector (32). There were breezy cameos from all the middle order, with two sixes each for Gareth Delany (28*) and Curtis Campher (22). A total of 193 for 7 would have given optimism at the halfway stage, but you need to take your chances at this level. All is set up for a series decider on Tuesday at the same venue.
1st T20I: Ireland beat Pakistan by 5 wickets
Clontarf, 10 May.
Pakistan 182/6 (20 overs: Babar Azam 57, Saim Ayub 45, Iftikhar Ahmed 37*, Fakhar Zaman 20; Craig Young 2-27, Gareth Delany 1-11, Mark Adair 1-40)
Ireland 183/5 (19.5 overs: Andrew Balbirnie 77, Harry Tector 36, George Dockrell 24, Curtis Campher 15*, Gareth Delany 10*; Abbas Afridi 2-36, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-26, Imad Wasim 1-28, Naseem Shah 1-37)
Andrew Balbirnie made a Man of the Match 77 (Sportsfile)
Andrew Balbirnie scored a Man of the Match 77 to lead Ireland to victory over Pakistan and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20 I series. Chasing 183, Ireland lost early wickets but wrestled back control with a 3rd wicket stand of 77 between Balbirnie and Harry Tector (36). The Pembroke man top-scored with 77 from 55 balls (10 fours, 2 sixes) to take Ireland to the brink of victory. George Dockrell hit 2 fours and 2 sixes in an entertaining 24 from 12 balls, but there was still plenty to do after both fell. Gareth Delany and Curtis Campher got the 16 required from the last 8 balls to seal the win with a ball to spare. The visitors overcame a sluggish start to post 182 for 6, with Babar Azam and Sain Ayub adding 85 for the second wicket. Craig Young (2-27) was best with the ball, but late runs looked to have dented Irish chances of a famous win. Balbirnie though had other ideas. The teams meet again on Sunday and Tuesday.
3rd T20I: Afghanistan beat Ireland by 57 runs
Sharjah, 18 March.
Afghanistan 155/7 (20 overs: Ibrahim Zadran 72*, Mohammad Ishaq 27)
Ireland 98 (17.2 overs: Curtis Campher 28, Gareth Delany 21; Azmatullah Omarzai 4-9, Naveen-ul-Haq 3-10)
Winners Afghanistan (ACB)
Ibrahim Zadran top scored with an unbeaten 72, having been dropped when on just 10.His efforts ensured an above par total of 155/7. All of the six bowlers used took a wicket each. The chase got off to awful start with the top three all gone with just 15 on the board. Harry Tector and George Dockrell come and go cheaply and Ireland in all sorts of bother at 46 for 5. It looks a forlorn task but Gareth Delany takes 16 off a Nabi over, followed by Campher taking a shine to Kharote. But just as they seemed to be getting a foothold, Campher holes out to long off. 52 dots in 15 overs for the Irish. Omarzai has his third as Adair chops on. Make that fou as McCarthy splices a return catch. The return of Rashid sees Delany well caught in the deep. Almost all over. It is now as White is bowled to give Naveen his fourth. Seamers doing the damage for the hosts for once rather than the spinners. Food for thought for Ireland, especially their batting order. Next for them is a home T20 series against Pakistan in early May followed by a tri-series in Netherlands with hosts and Scotland.
2nd T20I: Afghanistan beat Ireland by 10 runs
Sharjah, 17 March.
Afghanistan 152/9 (20 overs: Mohammad Nabi 59, Sediqullah Atal 35, Rashid Khan 25; Mark Adair 3-27, Josh Little 2-20, Barry McCarthy 2-33, Ben White 1-32)
Ireland 142/8 (20 overs: Andy Balbirnie 45, Gareth Delany 39, Paul Stirling 24; Rashid Khan 4-14, Nangeyalia Kharote 2-23)
Runs and wickets for MOM Rashid Khan as Afghanistan square the series (ACB)
Sensational start from the Ireland seamers with Afghanistan reduced to 14/4 inside the first four overs. Two wickets each for Adair and Little and both Ishaq and Omarzai gone first ball. A run out breaks the Atal Nabi partnership at 93 before Nabi completes a fifty and then gives White a wicket, slicing to Stirling at point. An lbw for Adair sees Rashid Khan come to the crease at number 9 - not the worst in the world. Can Ireland keep him away from the strike in the last few overs? He's out in the final over to McCarthy for 25 off 12 deliveries and Naveen-ul-Haq follows next ball, two wickets to McCarthy. Game on. Stirling and Balbirnie post 49 for the first wicket before Kharote rattles Stirling’s off stump. Tucker gets too fancy and his paddle sweep off Rashid is caught at short fine leg. More disaster as Tector is bowled next ball by a googly. Campher caught and bowled by Nabi and Ireland are contriving to lose this as boundaries have dried up in these middle overs. A welcome boundary from Balbirnie but he’s given lbw next ball off the middle of his glove attempting a sweep! A long delay and a gesture to the umpire before departure will surely cost him - but that was a shocker! Rashid back on and takes two in the over bowling both Dockrell and Adair with googlies. Gareth Delany keeps Ireland in it by taking 22 off Farooqi’s 18th over, but in the end 11 off the 19th left Ireland needing 18 off the final Farooqi over, and that was just too big an ask with Delany falling to the final delivery. Rashid Khan's contribution the difference between the sides - his injection of runs at the end of the Afghan innings, and his seemingly inevitable haul of wickets ripping the heart out of the Irish reply. All to play for tomorrow in the series decider - same time, same place.
1st T20I: Afghanistan lost to Ireland by 38 runs
Sharjah, 15 March.
Ireland 149/6 (20 overs; Harry Tector 56*, Paul Stirling 25, Andy Balbirnie 22; Rashid Khan 3-19, Nangeyalia Kharote 2-16)
Afghanistan 111 (18.4 overs: Mohammed Nabi 25, Ben White 4-20, Josh Little 3-18, Barry McCarthy 2-14, Mark Adair 1-26)
One ball was all it took for Rashid Khan (ACB)
News from the toss is that Ireland have been put in. Josh Little, Ben White, Neil Rock and Gareth Delany all play. 1st wicket as Balbirnie drives uppishly to cover. Ends an enterprising cameo. Lorcan Tucker never settles and goes for just four. 66/2 at the halfway point, Can they kick on? No, as Paul Stirling falls with Rashid having him caught then bowling Campher 1st ball. Awful shot. Neil Rock gone for 1. Ireland in disarray. 100 up with four overs left. Strong finish needed. Last ball of Rashid spell sees Delany caught on the long-on boundary. Good 18th over as Harry Tector gets 14 from it. Harry Tector continues the strong finish as 19 comes off the last over. His unbeaten 56 came off 32 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes. Game on. Ten overs of pace from Afghanistan produced 1-92 while ten overs of spin returned 4-44, is there a lesson there for Ireland? Adair strikes first ball wit Gurbaz caught at deep square top edging a hook to Campher. Regular opener Ibrahim Zadran comes in at 3 to join Sediqullah Atal. Josh Little returns to Irish colours for the second over and Ital splices a drive to Tector who runs round from mid off to extra cover to hold the catch and Omarzai is bowled first ball driving at the inswinger - sensational start by Ireland. Unlucky Adair in his second over as a huge swing from Ishaq flies over slip and a drive just clears a leaping mid off - two better looking drives on the leg side mean it's 17 off the over! Suddenly the crowd has found its voice again as it's all aggression from Mohammad Ishaq. Wicket for Ben White as McCarthy takes catch at deep square. Delany looks to have got Nabi caught behind but umpire says no. Stirling looks aghast. 5th wicket for the Irish as Barry McCarthy gets in on the act. Well on top at the halfway stage of the chase. More umpiring controversy as Nabi is caught but umpire had called no-ball off White. Very tight. Ireland incensed. Lots of debate. Don't think I've ever seen Stirling so animated. Ireland though have the 6th wicket as White gets another. Crowd very quiet..even quieter as White gets two in two balls. And it's a fourth for White who gets the huge wicket of Nabi. Little then gets Rashid as Tector has his fourth catch. Crowd head for the exit. McCarthy gets the last and the convincing win is secured. Fully deserved. The bowling unit superb after that late onslaught by Tector Ireland go 1-0 up. Next game on Sunday.
3rd ODI: Afghanistan beat Ireland by 117 runs
Sharjah, 12 March.
Afghanistan 236/9 (50 overs: Hashmatullah Shahidi 69, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 51, Mohammad Nabi 48, Ibrahim Zadran 22; Mark Adair 3-51, Barry McCarthy 2-42, Harry Tector 1-17, Andy McBrine 1-36, Theo van Woerkom 1-46)
Ireland 119 (35 overs: Paul Stirling 50, Curtis Campher 43; Mohammed Nabi 5-16, Nangeyalia Kharote 4-30, Fazal Farooqi 1-23)
Afghanistan's destroyer in chief Mohammad Nabi claimed five wickets (ACB)
Ireland made one change for the final game of the series with Barry McCarthy replacing Craig Young, but it's Adair and Hume who take the new ball on the same pitch as was used for the first game. Not much pace or bounce evident in the opening overs and certainly nothing past the bat! Overconfidence costs Zadran his wicket as he skies an attempted pull off McCarthy to mid-on and then Rahmat Shah edges Adair to Tucker for only 4 - two wickets out of the blue. Gurbaz collected a run-a-ball fifty but was caught and bowled by McBrine in his first over. The fourth wicket falls to a run out - Ormarzi left stranded as Shahidi threatened to run, then stopped! Partnership between Shahidi and Nabi passes 50 as Tector gets a rare opportunity with the ball. Last 10 overs coming up - Ireland can't afford a repeat of the first game which saw them concede 95 runs in that spell. With Nabi holing out at long-on van Woerkom takes a wicket in his final over. 200 up with six overs left. Ikram plays over one from Tector and Ireland are keeping things in check - at the moment! Adair goes round the wicket to Shahidi and a fullish delivery traps him lbw then another for him and one for McCarthy ensures there is no final flourish from the hosts. The final ball of the innings is cut for 6 - a chest high full toss by Adair ignored by both umpires! Ireland contained well without looking threatening at any stage and now they will be hoping some dew will help the ball 'come on' in their innings. No quick start to the chase from Ireland as Farooqi, bowling left arm round the wicket accounts for Balbirnie for just a single, an inside edge through to the keeper - Deja-Vu. A steady second wicket stand between Stirling and Campher lays a good foundation and at drinks they have added 69 and counting. Another half century for Stirling but he falls immediately after. Nabi also accounts for Tector, who got away with a close lbw shout doesn't survive a second in the same over. A third wicket for Nabi as Tucker chips tamely to mid-on. Campher then gets a shocker, given caught off the pad down the leg side. No doubt about the next however as Kharote turns one past Dockrell's defensive prod into middle and off stumps. It could have been two in two when McBrine tamely chipped his first ball to short mid wicket but the total sitter was inexplicably dropped! It does get worse Adair plays back and is plumb - a second wicket in the over for debutant Kharote. 'Start the car!' McBrine goes to cut Nabi off middle stump and misses - lucky to get 0. Five wickets gone for the addition of a single and a leg-bye. Nabi completes his five-for bowling Hume in his last over and Kharote bowls McCarthy to end Ireland's misery. A spectacular collapse that sees only two Irish batsmen managing to reach double figures for the second game in a row - hard to imagine that has ever happened before.
2nd ODI: Afghanistan v Ireland - Match abandoned without a ball bowled
Sharjah, 9 March.
Afghanistan
Ireland
Captains Hashmatullah Shahidi and Paul Stirling (ACB)
With no prospect of play due to unseasonal rain in Sharjah the second ODI has been called off. The final game of the series will take place on Tuesday as originally scheduled.
1st ODI: Afghanistan beat Ireland by 35 runs
Sharjah, 7 March.
Afghanistan 310/5 (50 overs: Rahmanullah Gurbaz 121, Ibrahim Zadran 60, Hashmatullah Shahidi 50*, Mohammad Nabi 40; Theo van Woerkom 3-55)
Ireland 275/8 (50 overs: Harry Tector 138, Lorcan Tucker 85; Fazal Farooqi 4-51, Azmatullah Omarzai 2-47, Gulbadin Naib 1-38, Noor Ahmed 1-61)
Harry Tector's century was in a losing cause today (ACB)
Ireland won the toss and bowled first bringing Graham Hume and George Dockell into the side. Lorcan Tucker playing his 50th ODI. A steady start for the hosts but it should be one down as Gurbaz on 7 skies one to Campher off Van Woerkom and he makes a hash of it. Turned out to be a costly one as the openers added 150 with Gurbaz posting 121, his sixth ODI century, before he was bowled by Van Woerkom, who claimed the first three wickets to fall. With skipper Shahidi and Nabi adding 71 off 47 deliveries for the fifth wicket Ireland's seamers took a bit of a hammering in the closing overs, Shahidi raising his half century off only 32 deliveries. Imposing total from the hosts. Early departure for Stirling edging Omarzai through to keeper Alikhil and Balbirnie joins him for 4 off 18, flat footed, stuck on the crease and bowled by Farooqi. The mountain gets higher and Ireland are struggling to get any sort of foothold in the chase. Campher reprises his Test dismissal, playing outside the line of Farooqii and off stump is rattled. 16 year old debutant Mohammad Ghazanfar into the attack - he impressed in the U19 World Cup, nominally an off-spinner but has a front of the hand delivery which spins away! Drinks taken after 16 overs with the score 64/3, Tector and Tucker have added 28 at almost a run-a-ball but much more is needed from them if Ireland are to challenge. 100 up and Tector completes a fifty off 59 deliveries (6x4). Into the last 20 overs with Ireland needing 172 - the first T20 of the series? Partnership ends at 173 when Tucker edges Farooqi behind. Ten oversremaining and Ireland need another 101. Afghanistan were 215/3 at the same stage but of course they had a strong finishing burst to their innings, can Ireland match that? It doesn't look like it at the moment as Dockrell is caught by substitute fielder Kharote, a stunning diving forward grab at mid wicket to give Noor Ahmed a wicket. Ireland just not able to find the boundaries needed. Farooqi ends the 46th over by 'yorking' Mark Adair and Ireland going down tamely in the end it seems as McBrine chips his second delivery to mid wicket. Only 2 boundaries in overs 40-47, both sixes by Tector who is out in the final over caught at mid off. A lesson in how to bowl at the 'death' - hopefully 'much learnings' by Ireland who were sadly lacking in that department today. They might also wish to reflect on a batting performance which contained only two double figure innings.
Test: Afghanistan v Ireland (Day Two - Close)
Tolerance Oval, 29 February.
Afghanistan 155 & 134/3 (37 overs: Hashmatullah Shahidi 53*, Noor Ali 32, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 23*; Mark Adair 2-23, Barry McCarthy 1-25)
Ireland 263 (83.4 overs: Paul Stirling 52, Curtis Campher 49, Lorcan Tucker 46, Andy McBrine 38, Harry Tector 32; Zia-Ur-Rehman 5-64, Naveed Zadran 3-59, Nijat Masood 1-38, Zahir Khan 1-67)
Paul Stirling who scored 52 in a partnership of 80 with Lorcan Tucker (ACB)
Not the start Ireland wanted as Harry Tector is trapped lbw by Naveed. He reviewed but in vain as hitting middle/leg. Paul Stirling joined by Lorcan Tucker. Important stand as Ireland look to hopefully build a big lead - they have added 34 in 14 overs this morning as drinks are taken. Ireland take the first innings lead as the 50 stand comes up after 97 balls. Paul Stirling reaches his half century from 87 balls (7 fours) but is then bowled by Zahir Khan on the stroke of lunch. Could that be a turning point. He and Lorcan Tucker (32*) had shared an Irish record stand of 80 for the 6th wicket. The lead is 31 - can they extend it to 100 and beyond? Tucker and McBrine add 30 before Tucker pushes at a wide one from Zia-Ur-Rehman and gives a straightforward catch to slip. Decision time for Ireland - total defence isn't going to work here, there's an unplayable delivery just round the corner so is measured attack the best option for the new batsman Mark Adair? The lead is 78 at the afternoon Drinks break with 48 more overs scheduled in the day. Next session an important one for both sides. Two powerful sweeps for boundaries by Mark Adair but third time unlucky as he's lbw for 15 giving Zia-Ur-Rahman his fourth wicket. Plumb and there goes Ireland's final review! Ireland take the lead past 100 as Afghanistan lose their last review - all in the hands of the umpires now! McCarthy plays back to Zia-Ur-Rahman and 'walks' before the lbw is given, easy one that for umpire Kettleborough. New ball taken immediately it is available but the first day pace and bounce seems to have gone from the pitch somewhat. Andy McBrine goes on the attack but skies to mid-off and the Ireland innings ends with the lead 108. It's Adair again who gets the breakthrough in the second innings - courtesy of a stunning catch low down at gully by Moor. Adair has another and it's the huge wicket of Rahmat Shah. Little bit of away movement and easy catch for Lorcan Tucker - Ireland ecstatic. The hosts fighting back as Noor Ali and Hashmatullah chip away with a 3rd wicket stand. Spin hasn't worked so far - time for Craig Young. McBrine switches ends and almost has immediate success as umpires call saves Noor Ali from an lbw review. Another review but again no joy as Young to Hashmatullah Shahidi was going over. Poor review - always looked high. Stand passes 50 as Afghans close in on parity. The return of McCarthy does the trick as he gets one to rear at Noor Ali who gives simple catch to Adair at gully. Ireland needed that. Can they get a few more in the last half hour of the day? Gurbaz hits Andy McBrine and Barry McCarthy for sixes and they are now in the lead. Day ends with Afghans 26 ahead and 7 wickets in hand. Ireland still slightly on top but not much in it with a nervy chase on a wearing pitch on the cards.
Test: Afghanistan lost to Ireland by 6 wickets (Day 3)
Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi, 1 March.
Afghanistan 155 & 218 (75.4 overs: Hashmatullah Shahidi 55, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 46, Noor Ali 32, Naveed Zadran 25; Craig Young 3-24, Barry McCarthy 3-48, Mark Adair 3-56, Theo van Woerkom 1-43)
Ireland 263 & 111/4 (31.3 overs: Andy Balbirnie 58*, Lorcan Tucker 27*; Naveed Zadran 2-31)
Winners Ireland (ACB)
Great start by Ireland as Mark Adair traps Hashmatullah lbw with one that nips back, quickly followed by one from Barry McCarthy that comes back a long way. Huge roar of delight from the Pembroke man. Boy, did he enjoy that. They are keeping it tight with runs hard to come by. Stubborn 6th wicket stand ended by Young as Janat chips to Balbirnie at midwicket. Seamers continue to impress having taken all 17 wickets so far. The lead is 65 with just four wickets left, Make that 3 wickets left as a beauty from Young sends the off stump of Gurbaz cartwheeling. That's lunch with Ireland in complete control bowling 26 overs in the morning session taking four wickets for the addition of 48 runs, the lead just 74. McCarthy and Adair resume after the break, 200 raised before Van Woerkom takes the ball and one turns to find the edge of Rahman's bat, straight to Balbirnie at second slip, an Irish spinner finally has a wicket. McCarthy yorks an uncomfortable looking Nijat and number 11 Zahir looks no better! Can Ireland finish this quickly, Zadran will surely be having a swing now with van Woekrom lobbing it up to him. He tries swinging at Craig Young and loses his off stump with the lead at 110. 'Nelson' will win it for Ireland but it will surely be a tense chase against the Afghan spinners. Moor's luck is in as Ibrahim drops him at second slip in the first over - 5/0 all extras. But he's gone in the second without scoring, a tentative push outside the line and bowled through the gate - and it's 2 in 2! An identical prod outside the line from Campher produces an identical dismissal. Nijat Masood shapes one away and Tector is given caught behind on a review, Afghanistan jubilant. Ireland go in for Tea at 36/3 needing another 75 runs for the win. Straight to spin after the break as Zia-Ur-Rahman rips the first ball away from Balbirnie, this could be torture!! Stirling survives an lbw review but edges to slip next ball. 'Spin to win' they say don't they? Few boundaries gets Ireland past halfway. Tense, but the Pembroke duo chipping away at the target as they take drinks having added 37 for the 5th wicket, needing just 35 more...There's the 50 stand and it is almost certainly a match winning one. Half century for Andy Balbirnie from 86 balls (4 fours). Ireland on the cusp of victory. Well done Ireland - fully deserved win. They played the better cricket throughout and having slipped to 39 for 4, they dug in and got a famous first Test win. Surely Mark Adair will get the Man of the Match? Irish seamers were sjmply sensational.
Test: Afghanistan v Ireland (Day 1 close)
Abu Dhabi, 28 February.
Afghanistan 155 (54.5 overs: Ibrahim Zadran 53, Karim Janat 41*, Hashmatullah Shahidi 20; Mark Adair 5-39, Curtis Campher 2-13, Craig Young 2-31, Barry McCarthy 1-28)
Ireland 100/4 (31 overs; Curtis Campher 49, Harry Tector 32*, Paul Stirling 2*; Zia-Ur-Rehman 2-13, Naveed 2-32)
Action from the Tolerance Oval (David Townsend)
Ireland lost the toss and have three debutants - Barry McCarthy, Craig Young and Theo van Woerkom. Mark Adair gets the breakthrough as Noor Ali edges a drive to Andy Balbirnie at second slip, and has a second in the same over as Rahmat Shah loses off stump. Great start at 11 for 2. However, after drinks the hosts have broken the shackles with a third wicket stand of 52 in 72 balls but nearly ended as Balbirnie drops tough chance at slip off McCarty - Hashmatullah on 19 escapes.But just one run later he is strangled down the leg side and it's a first Test wicket for Barry McCarthy. Lunch comes with honours even at 86 for 3. Great first over back from Craig Young sees him beat the bat a couple of times and an lbw shout against Zadran that was not reviewed which DRS showed would have been given OUT! Then, in just the next over a third wicket for Adair, as Gurbaz toe-ends a flat footed waft through to Tucker. Could have been five down with a review of course. Young cleans up Nasir Jamal in his second over, nipping one back to hit the top of middle stump, some shaping away and some holding their line, great bowling. Young can do nothing wrong at the moment! He claims the big wicket of Zadran glancing to a diving Tucker, strangled! Another poor decision not to review costs Adair a fourth wicket! Balbirnie burned one early on so seems reluctant to risk the second - costly mistakes. But Adair has his fourth as another loose drive pouched at second slip. Ireland rampant. Frustrating 8th wicket stand is ended by a truly awful hoik by Naveed who skies Campher to McBrine at midwicket. Two balls later and it's another for Campher with a good ball that is edged and Lorcan Tucker has a fourth catch. A perfect afternoon is completed as Mark Adair has his 5th - superb effort, he has been exceptional. Afghans lost 7 wickets for 69 in that session. Lucky escapes for Balbirnie who is dropped at slip on 0, survives a run out direct hit and almost chops on. Luck runs out as he is trapped lbw by Naveed. Played around his pad, decided to review but in vain. Now it's PJ Moor in the thick of it - bowled off a no-ball, then given out lbw but reviews successfully. His luck runs out too as he chops on off Naveed. Curtis Campher has been positive and he is unbeaten on 30 at better than a run a ball as Ireland reach 56 for 2 at drinks. 21 overs left in the day. Third wicket stand reaches 50 from 82 balls as Ireland continue to be in the ascendancy. Campher goes late in the day as he edges behind off Zia. Ireland opt for a nightwatchman Van Woerkom - with 15 minutes left in the day. Gamble doesn't work as he is bowled by a beauty from Zia. Close of play sees Ireland on 100 for 4, just 55 behind. They have had the better of the day but still a long way to go.
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