Cricket

Historic Last Wicket Stand Gives Ireland Fighting Chance In Dehradun

Historic Last Wicket Stand Gives Ireland Fighting Chance In Dehradun

Having failed to qualify for this summer's ICC Cricket World Cup, Irish cricket fans would be forgiven for being a bit crestfallen in 2019.

Facing Afghanistan this weekend in a one-off test match in Dehradun, the first two days played out what has become an all-too-familiar narrative of late.

With Afghanistan putting the final nail in the Irish World Cup qualifying coffin twelve months ago, the two sides have encountered each other a fair bit since.

The Afghans ran riot during their tour of the North back in August, picking up both T20 and ODI series victories over our boys in the process.

At the end of last month, Ireland were whitewashed again by their Asian counterparts in the shortened form of the game, before attaining some payback last weekend when denying the Phil Simmons coached side another ODI series victory, tieing things up at 2-2 on Sunday.

Afghanistan, maybe predictably at this stage, enjoyed much of the dominance of days one and two of this weekend's test match back at the Doon Sports Club, taking a 142 run lead after both teams had posted first-innings totals.

And look, they very may well win this one too. If Ireland should fall again, however, they'll have done so whilst accomplishing a seldom seen cricketing feat.

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On only two previous occasions has the same match thrown up a side capable of not one, but two tenth wicket partnerships of 50 runs or more. Unsurprisingly, it was Australia both times, in Adelaide in 1895 and Trent Bridge in 2013.

But make room Alf Stewart and scooch over Skippy - there are some new boys in town!

After George Dockrell and Tim Murtagh held out for 20 overs on Friday, tagging on 87 runs, Murtagh has been back at it this morning in India, combining with South African born James Cameron-Dow for a stand of 58.

Pure and beautiful Irish ignorance from the Londoner on Paddy's Day! Great to see!

At stumps, Ireland lead by 118 runs, with the Afghans sitting on a second innings score of 29/1 going into Day Four.

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Aaron Strain

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