Ireland v Afghanistan, Intercontinental Cup, Dublin, 3rd day July 11, 2012

Bowlers tear through Afghanistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland 126 for 2 (Stirling 42) lead Afghanistan 84 (Cusack 4-31, Sorensen 4-39) by 42 runs

Max Sorensen and Alex Cusack each took four wickets to help Ireland skittle Afghanistan for 84, as their rain-hit Intercontinental Cup match finally got underway on day three. By the close, Ireland had built a 42-run lead with eight wickets in hand, giving them the opportunity to try and press for victory on the final day.

Trent Johnston also impressed with the ball, taking 2 for 7 off eight overs, as the Afghanistan batsmen struggled against the seaming ball. Only three players reached double figures - Afsar Khan, Samiullah Shenwari and Gulbodin Naib all scoring 13 - as the innings lasted just 29.1 overs.

"Once the conditions dried up and it allowed us to get out on the field, I think the bowlers set us off on the right foot," Ireland captain Kevin O'Brien said. "It was a good all-round performance

"It was always going to be if you win the toss you're going to bowl, I think that was probably the only way we were going to get a win. With the bowlers putting in a performance and now the top four putting us in a hugely strong position, it certainly is on the cards tomorrow. If we can get a full day in, maybe 60 or 70 overs at Afghanistan, we certainly would fancy our chances."

Ireland showed how to play in the conditions, with Cusack adding an unbeaten 34 batting at No. 3, to go with his 4 for 31. Naib and Karim Sadiq made the breakthroughs for Afghanistan but after Paul Stirling fell for 42, Cusack and Surrey's Gary Wilson added a further 61 runs.

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  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    not to forget that home conditions and the weather had a part to play in Afghanistan's failure and i think if ireland would have a batted first the results wouldnt have been much diffrent in thier first innings

  • Joe on July 12, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Judging by this performance, I don't think Bangladesh will find Ireland easy in fact I think they're a bit over confident and Ireland can actually win this 2-1 in the coming 3 match T20 Series next week but it depends whose up for it on the day. Sorry to say this and no disrespect, although Afghanistan can show a glimpse, they're in fact not a decent side and will deeply struggle to reach their goals on or off the field.

  • Madurai on July 12, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    @Ahmed Hussain. Jealousy? of course it is, isn't the whole world envy of BD cricket. You guys won 3 whole games out of just 70 or so tests and that against world beaters like Zim and WI, that's pretty incredible isn't it? Exactly :)

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    we should not decide by only one innings even Australia was all out for 47 last year against SA both teams were of the same level so now Afghanistan Getting All out in 84 in one innings does not mean Afghanistan is in very low level than Ireland they will come back strongly don't forget Afghanistan is the defending champion of ICUP.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    @Natesan333...Ireland better than Bangladesh? Why are you even finding that funny when you're wrong? I mean Bangladesh has a better head to head record of the two so is it jealousy? Exactly :)))

  • Andrew on July 12, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    I agree that Ireland could compete fairly well with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in tests. I think it would have a similar problem to those two teams in that consistency would be an issue. Ireland has a huge advantage in that its players get to have good first class experience in County cricket AND it can attract foreign first class journeymen into its ranks, by vitue of lenient citizenship laws and because it is a first world country (which is something Zim and Bangla can never do!). My one concern about Ireland is that most tests would be ruined by rain since the weather seems to be so bad, even in mid-summer. I would love to see more A tours between Ireland and Zim (as a Zim fan).

  • Terry on July 12, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    @Meety I'm not concerned about the exact process as long as every team and every player in the world has an opportunity to play test cricket if they are good enough. The current approach promotes teams based on political association and not team performance. If there are opportunities then the best teams will be at the top and when teams (like Kenya) struggle then they will drop down the order. If you group teams by performance in tests then teams 1-6 are close on points, teams 7&8 are close, teams 9&10 are below the scale, team 11 (Ireland) has dominated ICup (except last year), team 12 (Afgan) shows promise and teams 13-14 (Holland & Scotland) regularly do well and teams 15-20 have ups and downs. The ICC need a system where each grouping has an opportunity to play against better and worst teams. Regardless whether its T1 1-8, T2 7-14, T3 13-20 or T1 1-10, T2 9-14, T3 13-20 or even an Associate XI. At the moment of 105 teams in the world only 10 are given opportunities.

  • Martin on July 12, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Declare overnight, Ireland.

    Oh, and the Afghan bowlin is more talented, but the batting is mostly weak.

  • Prateek on July 12, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Even Bangladesh will struggle against Ireland in these Conditions........

  • Andrew on July 12, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    @Simon Power, I think a full strength Ireland side (inc Joyce, Morgan, Boyd & Dockrell) is good enough to compete with Bangladesh & Zimbabwe in a Test environment. I would imagine the first encounters, you would see Zim & Bang win, but I don't think it would take them long to start winning.

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