Afghanistan v Ireland, Intercontinental Cup final, Dubai, 3rd day December 12, 2013

Ireland five wickets away from title

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 182 and 136 for 5 (Shahzad 39, Dockrell 3-28) need 211 runs to beat Ireland 187 (Anderson 55, Zadran 4-44) and 341 (N O'Brien 87, Nabi 4-38)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ireland are five wickets away from regaining the ICC Intercontinental Cup in Dubai, having set defending champions Afghanistan a stiff target and then reducing them to 136 for 5 in the chase. Left-arm spinner George Dockrell struck three blows to leave Afghanistan struggling, still 211 short of the target at the end of the third day.

Ireland were 159 for 2 in their second innings at the start of play, with Ed Joyce on 74 and Niall O'Brien on 40, but their 110-run stand ended in the first over, when Joyce was bowled for 78. O'Brien and Andrew White almost took Ireland to 250 with their partnership of 81, but once White fell for 39, Ireland lost three more wickets for 24 runs, including O'Brien for 87.

Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston chipped in with useful scores before Mohammad Nabi took the last three wickets to finish with 4 for 38. Ireland had posted 341, leaving Afghanistan to chase 346 for victory.

Afghanistan lost their opener Shabir Noori to Johnston in the first over of the chase before Nawroz Mangal and Mohammad Shahzad steadied the innings. Their stand, however, added only 57 runs - John Mooney broke it - after which Dockrell took three wickets in the space of 10 runs to reduce Afghanistan to 85 for 5. Nabi and Rahmat Shah put on an unbeaten stand of 51, but the task ahead of them on the fourth day was a tough one.

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  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Good Nabi and Rahmat shah but i wiish that Mohammad shezad and nowroz mangal play like them I really appreciated them for their hard work

  • Tony on December 13, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Well, these are two much better nations compared to some Zim, Ban, and even WI or NZ. They should have given test status to final of the trophy,

  • Bludging on December 13, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Have followed this match with interest via ICC's youtube feed. Both teams are impressive considering they are not fully pro first class players. Ireland in particular could probably hold their own in the County championship four day competition.

    If the domestic structures of a domestic first class competition is put in place in both these nations they could be worthy test nations. Ireland should be fine, the Afghans just need peace and stability and they are shoe ins.

    Keep it up Ireland and Afghanistan.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @CricketChat Apart from the hat-trick of ICup titles he helped win in 2005-09?

    Trent doesn't need anything to show for all he's given to the Irish Cricket cause, but yes, ANOTHER title would be the icing on the cake.

    Don't go DT, play the T20 world cup!

  • Joe on December 12, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    Think Afghanistan showed there their lack of experience in this format today, but really good composure shown by Nabi and Rahmat Shah, Nabi playing a real captains innings. The real test will be the 1st hour in the morning and then the new ball, but if they can see that through Afghanistan are not out of this yet given the depth of their batting. From the Ireland point of view John Anderson and his leggies look like something that cricket Ireland could do well to invest in some coaching for. He looked a bit ragged at this level but he got decent turn and bounce, with some high quality coaching such investment could reap rewards for Ireland. He looks to have the temperament to bat in this format and if he could back that up with useful Leg spin he would be a real asset to the team.

  • Steve on December 12, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Should be just formalities for Ireland from this point in the match. Johnston, after all, is on the verge of getting the only missing title from his cup board.

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