Paceman Yamin Ahmadzai and off-spinner Mohammed Nabi took three wickets each to rattle the opposition batting after Ireland elected to bat first.
Paceman Yamin Ahmadzai and off-spinner Mohammed Nabi took three wickets each to rattle the opposition batting after Ireland elected to bat first.

Afghanistan bowlers had their say on the opening day of the one-off Test against Ireland at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Dehradun, bowling out Ireland for 172, before the batsmen ended the day at a healthy 90/2 on Friday.

Number 11 Tim Murtagh hit a defiant half-century to lift Ireland after Afghanistan spinners wreaked havoc.

Murtagh, who remained unbeaten at 54, and George Dockrell, who made 39, put together an 87-run 10th-wicket stand to give Ireland a respectable outcome after they were left reeling at 85-9.

Paceman Yamin Ahmadzai and off-spinner Mohammed Nabi took three wickets each to rattle the opposition batting after Ireland elected to bat first.

Opener Paul Stirling gave the team a brisk start with his 26 but Ireland’s batting collapsed to 69-7 at lunch.

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

But Murtagh, a right-arm fast bowler who bats left-handed, registered his 11th first-class fifty to get a standing ovation from the Afghanistan dressing room.

In reply, Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad made a quick-fire 40 off 64 balls. Afghanistan lost opener Ihsanullah for seven to spinner James Cameron-Dow in the 13th over but Shehzad and Rahmat Shah took Afghanistan past the 50-run mark. Cameron-Dow had his second victim of the day when Shahzad hit one straight back at the bowler.

Shah (22*) and experienced Hashmatullah Shahidi (13*) then saw off the day without any trouble.

Ireland had won the toss and opted to bat as the handed out debuts for five players – James McCollum, Stuart Poynter, Dockrell, Andy McBrine and Cameron-Dow. Afghanistan fielded three debutants – Ihsanullah, wicketkeeper Ikram Ali Khil and spinner Salamkheil.

Both sides are playing their second Test after making their five-day debut last year.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 90/2 (Mohammad Shahzad 40; James Cameron-Dow 2/35) trail Ireland 172 (Tim Murtagh 51, George Dockrell 39; Mohammad Nabi 3/36)