Afghanistan claimed their first ever victory in Test cricket on Monday, beating fellow newcomers Ireland in what captain Asghar Afghan hailed as a historic day for the war-torn country. Playing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, Afghanistan needed only 118 runs to complete formalities on Day 4. The 'home team' did this in fine style, putting up a solid partnership before losing two quick wickets at the very end. Speaking after the match, winning captain Afghan said, "It's a historic day for Afghanistan, for our team and our people."
Afghanistan and Ireland both achieved full member status of the International Cricket Council in 2017, becoming only the 11th and 12th teams to play the long format of the sport beloved of purists.
Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat scored fifties as Afghanistan chased down 147 to beat Ireland by seven wickets on day four of the one-off game in the north Indian city of Dehradun.
"We have been playing for a while, we have been playing first-class cricket, so we have that composure. The bowlers were very good, Rashid (Khan), Yamin (Ahmadzai)," he added.
Afghanistan were steered to their target by a 139-run partnership between Shah, who made 76, and debutant Janat, who hit an unbeaten 65.
Shah, a top-order batsman, registered his second fifty of the match after making 98 in Afghanistan's first innings score of 314.
With three needed to win, Afghanistan lost Shah and then Mohammad Nabi in successive deliveries before Hashmatullah Shahidi came to the crease and hit the winning boundary.
"I want to congratulate all the lads in the team, they have been absolutely brilliant," said Afghan.
"We have got a few games before the World Cup and we want to make every opportunity count," the captain added.