Rahmat, bowlers take Afghanistan closer to win
Kenya 162 and 93 for 8 (Baras 2-7, Shirzad 2-14) lead Afghanistan 234 (Rahmat 144, Aga 5-46) by 21 runs
Afghanistan took firm control of the Intercontinental match against Kenya in Dubai after a maiden century from Rahmat Shah and quick wickets by their bowlers. With two days left, they are now in touching distance of a win with Kenya only 21 runs ahead with their last two wickets remaining.
Sixteen wickets had fallen on the first day and 12 went down on the second, most of them in quick succession. But the difference between the situation of the two teams was due to a 122-run stand for the seventh wicket between Rahmat and Mohammad Nasim Baras. Rahmat, who had only one half-century in first-class cricket before this match, did the bulk of the scoring and went past the 100-mark for the first time in his career. He got ample support from Baras who played out 125 deliveries for his 32 in the partnership.
Once the stand was broken, the remaining batsmen didn't survive for long. Rahmat was the last batsman to be dismissed after scoring 144, that included five sixes, but his innings had ensured an important 72-run lead.
Kenya's second innings started the same way as their first: they lost their first two wickets within the first four overs and never recovered from that position. Their innings never really got going as the Afghanistan bowlers made regular strikes to put the team within sight of a huge win. Collins Obuya was the top-scorer in the innings with only 16 as four bowlers picked up a couple of wickets each.