Afghanistan v Ireland, Intercontinental Cup final, Dubai, 1st day December 10, 2013

Dawlat puts Afghanistan on top

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 81 for 3 (Mooney 3-26) trail Ireland 187 (Anderson 55, Dawlat 4-44) by 106 runs

Four wickets for Dawlat Zadran put Afghanistan on the front foot against Ireland after the first day's play in Dubai. Afghanistan, the Intercontinental Cup holders, dismissed Ireland for 187 after winning the toss and then reduced the deficit to little more than 100 with seven wickets still in hand before bad light forced an early close.

John Mooney, who was Ireland's second top-scorer with 33, claimed three wickets in his spell as Afghanistan closed on 81 for 3. They appeared to be in a comfortable position, at 54 for 1 inside the final hour of play, but Mooney removed opener Shabir Noori for a patient 29 and then had the dangerous Mohammad Shahzad caught and bowled two overs later.

There were no wickets for Trent Johnston, playing his final match for Ireland before retirement, and no runs either as the 39-year-old made a three-ball duck. The damage had already been done to Ireland's first innings by then, however, as pace bowler Dawlat helped reduce them to 67 for 5. Captain William Porterfield was claimed by Izatullah Dawlatzai for 1 in the second over and Dawlat then removed Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling cheaply, both caught behind.

Mooney joined No. 6 John Anderson with the score on 106 for 6 and the pair combined for 54 runs to add some respectability to the innings. Rahmat Shah, the 20-year-old legspinner who claimed his best first-class figures of 3-36, broke the stand after Anderson had recorded his half-century and Mooney fell three balls later to give Dawlat his fourth.

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  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland are undoubtedly the best sites in associates. Although Ireland beat Afghanistan in T twenty qualifier final match but the real strength of a team both in terms of bowling and batting is displayed in test cricket.Thus after this final match ,we will get to know which is the best of these two teams. I think once Afghanistan starts taking lead, they should play some shots ...we have left on more good test batsman still to bat ,Afsar Zazi who had scored 75 against Netherland .good luck Afghanistan !

  • Azooz on December 11, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Too much of swing on the wicket where it's to go for a perfect shot. Afghanistan lost early wickets today but Skipper and Mirwais on the crease and should play with patient and stand on wicket.

  • ESPN on December 11, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    best of luck for afghanistan.

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Hassan is injured but Hamza Hotak should have been played since he is the guy made to play tests..!

  • Android on December 11, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    good contest but really don't understand Afghanistan selection policy. shenwari still not in top 5 same for nabi. Ireland better team no doubt their batting is stronger but Afg has home advantage. But both team need to improve their first class cricket. Bring Ireland into 2016 and Afghanistan into 2020 in test arena. And ICC should set sight to improve the game in PNG Nepal and Namibia.

  • Bludging on December 10, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Caught some of the game on the ICC channel on youtube last night. Was impressed and both nations hopefully can continue to progress towards joining the test match nations.

    Just a small matter of creating first class cricket structures and playing depth in both nations.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    I don't get it. Why isn't Afg playing their main players? Isn't this the final of the inter-continental cup and will decide who's the best Test team at the associate level? No Hamis Hassan, Shapoor or Hotak? Those are their main wicket-takers..specially Hotak who's made to play tests

  • Joe on December 10, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Agreed Iqrar Ireland need to keep any lead below 100, batting did not look that easy today. Its easy to see why Ireland were asked to bat at the toss. Very unusual for wickets in that region as you would expect the 4th innings to have the worst batting conditions.

  • Android on December 10, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Afghanistan in a good position they shoulde lead atleast 100 runs bowlers can do their jobs best of luck Afghanistan..

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Best of luck Afghanistan!

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