Tim Murtagh
Tim Murtagh hit an unbeaten half-century

Tim Murtagh and George Dockrell led a brilliant rearguard to push Ireland to 172-all out on the opening day of their one-off Test against Afghanistan in Dehradun on Friday. (Scorecard)

Murtagh recorded a maiden Test fifty to remain unbeaten on 54 while Dockrell was the last man out on 39. The pair lifted Ireland from the depths of 85/9 through their 87-run association for the 10th wicket while frustrating Afghanistan.

The second session began with Ireland tottering at 69/7 and left-arm spinner Waqar Salamkheil picked up two wickets in Adny McBrine (3) and James Cameron-Dow (9) in quick succession.

It was then that No. 8 Dockrell was joined by No. 11 Murtagh and the duo steadily built up a partnership to lift the gloom surrounding their first innings after captain William Porterfield opted to bat first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.

Murtagh became the first No. 11 batsman to record a half-century since July 2014 when India’s Mohammed Shami and England’s James Anderson struck fifties apiece in the Nottingham Test.

He struck four fours and two sixes in his 75-ball innings and drew loud applause from the Irish dressing room upon reaching the landmark. Dockrell battled for 100 deliveries for his 39 runs which also featured six fours.

Yamin Ahmadzai (3/41) ended his team’s wait for the final wicket when he induced an edge from Dockrell to have him out caught behind in the 60th over following which the tea break was taken.

Mohammad Nabi also picked up three wickets while Rashid Khan (2/20) and Salamkheil (2/35) contributed with two wickets each.

Brief Scores: Ireland 172- all out (Tim Murtagh 54*, George Dockrell 39; Mohammad Nabi 3/36, Yamin Ahmadzai 3/41) vs Afghanistan