Afghanistan 314 and 29 for 1 (Ihsanullah 16*, Rahmat 11*) trail Ireland 172 and 288 (Balbirnie 82, O'Brien 56, Rashid 5-82, Ahmadzai 3-52) by 118 runs
So what should James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Co know about Ireland when England host them at Lord's in July? One: Tim Murtagh is by no means a No. 11 batsman, although he'll proudly take the No. 4 spot he occupies in the all-time list for most runs by the last man in a Test. And two: Don't relax if you've picked up nine Ireland wickets quickly. It definitely doesn't end there.
After an epic 87-run last-wicket rescue act with George Dockrell in the first innings that gave Ireland's total some amount of heft, Murtagh added 58 with James Cameron-Dow in the second to stretch Ireland's lead to 146 when, at one stage, it looked like it would be a double-digit target for Afghanistan. This after Rashid Khan had run amok, picking up Afghanistan's first Test five-for after an unimpressive show early in the day, where he struggled for consistency. His performance also dispelled doubts over a finger injury that he picked up while batting at the nets prior to the Test.
Then, with the bat, Afghanistan played right into Ireland's hands up front. Mohammad Shahzad's decision to cut out all scoring shots, even to deliveries pitched up, seemingly to play for stumps, resulted in Ireland bottling up runs and creating pressure. As it often happens when a batsmen goes into the shell, Shahzad was out to a rank bad ball, getting a faint tickle to one going down leg from Andy McBrine.
However, the good work done by their bowlers meant that Afghanistan might not have to bear the brunt of Ireland's lower-order jailbreak. They ended the third day in Dehradun on 29 for 1 after 16, needing 118 more. Not an utterly dire situation, even though strange things are known to happen on a wearing pitch.
Back to the Ireland second innings - their meltdown against Rashid and left-arm wristspinner Waqar Salamkheil, brought about by fizz on a wearing pitch, was as glaring as some debatable umpiring calls. As many as four decisions went against Ireland, three of those leading to dismissals of key batsmen Paul Stirling, Dockrell and Kevin O'Brien.
Dockrell's in particular came against the run of play, after he'd bunted the bowling for more than an hour to make 25, using his height and solid technique to add 63 for the seventh wicket with O'Brien. He was rooted to the crease, and made the mistake of playing around a quicker delivery, but replays suggested the ball might have missed leg stump.
Next was the huge scalp of O'Brien almost immediately after. He had constructed a back-to-the-wall 56, in which he shunned his natural see-ball-hit-ball game to match the situation. It was a slider, which O'Brien looked to play across and was hit on the pad. Once again, replays suggested that the point of impact was on the outer bit of leg stump. No DRS meant no review in either instance.
The two wickets came immediately after the tea interval to hurt Ireland, and much like they had lost the well-set Andy Balbirnie and James McCollum immediately after the lunch interval, it set them back by a big way.
Balbirnie displayed exquisite technique and resolve against spin to make 82, his first double-digit score in Tests after a pair on debut and 4 in the first innings here, while McCollum was rewarded for his decision to play the spinners out of the hand rather than just off the surface.
They added 104 runs to bail Ireland out from a morning wobble when they lost Stirling in the fifth over off a thick inside edge on to the pad off fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai. S Ravi gave it out and Stirling walked back calmly, not showing a hint of anger or dissent at the decision he had just received.
While a number of decisions went against Ireland, it wouldn't be fair to not laud the Afghanistan spinners. Equally commendable was the show by debutant wicketkeeper Ikram Ali Khil, whose catch off Balbirnie was outstanding. Salamkheil's flatter trajectory married with bounce off the deck resulted in questions being asked of the batsmen, and eventually resulted in wickets too.
Soon after Balbirnie came the wicket of a nervous Stuart Poynter. He glided a shortish delivery to Ihsanullah Janat, who instinctively moved low to his right to pouch an excellent catch at slip. This had Ireland slipping from 137 for 2 to 150 for 5.
The trouble didn't end there, as another umpiring error came back to hurt them when Stuart Thompson was wrongly given out caught at slip by umpire Richard Illingworth. He got outside the line to a sharp-turning legbreak that lobbed off the pad to slip. It couldn't have been lbw, as the impact clearly outside off. Later, it was clarified on the scoreboard that he had been out caught. However, replays confirmed there was no edge.
As much as these decisions may have prevented Ireland from gaining a bigger lead, they could yet make a match of this. If that happens, they will have the lower order and Balbirnie to thank big time.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo