Andy Balbirnie, James McCollum make Afghanistan toil | Cricket

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Lunch Eire 172 and 124 for two (Balbirnie 73*, McCollum 35*) path Afghanistan 314 by 18 runs

It was fairly the session for Eire on the third morning in Dehradun. They misplaced only one wicket for the addition of 102 to slender down the deficit to 18. In addition they had eight wickets remaining, a lunch-time prospect they’d’ve gladly taken. But, it may’ve been a lot better had Paul Stirling not fallen sufferer to a poor lbw resolution from umpire S Ravi within the fifth over on Sunday.

The star of the morning was Andy Balbirnie. Firstly of the day, he would’ve gladly simply accepted any runs that got here his manner. He’d made a pair on Take a look at debut in opposition to Pakistan, and managed only a streaky boundary within the first innings right here.

As he walked out to 6 chirping males across the bat early in his innings, he stored enjoying and lacking, often being crushed by the skidding ball. However he fought by way of, unafraid of being made to look ugly, and cashed in as soon as he did all of the arduous work. Because the spinners bought drained, he spanked them for boundaries, utilizing the crease properly to brush and reduce, a shot that additionally raised his maiden Take a look at fifty.

Balbirnie’s father watched in pleasure from the stands and applauded together with a handful of Irish followers who’ve made the journey, waving their flag on St Patrick’s Day, thought of by many as a landmark day for Irish cricket – bear in mind the 2007 World Cup? The emotions apart, they’ll know there’s loads of arduous grind that lays forward if they’re to get considerably in entrance to problem Afghanistan’s batting would possibly.

Giving Balbirnie firm was James McCollum, one in every of Eire’s 5 debutants. Within the first innings, he chopped Rashid Khan on, failing to learn the googly. A motive was as a result of he maybe tried to learn the bowlers, notably the spinners, off the pitch. Within the second innings, he was much more assured, making an attempt to choose from the hand and utilizing his ahead stride properly to get exterior the road whereas sweeping, in order that he may take the leg-before out of the equation.

It additionally helped massively that Rashid seemed off color. Fighting an harm to his spinning finger, he did not have the identical management over the grip and subsequently the touchdown, usually bowling far too quick or too full – neither inflicting a lot bother. The googly sparingly made an look, which took away the additional dimension he brings.

The impatience and lack of consistency meant any chunk off the pitch wasn’t available both, and because the ball bought softer, run-scoring turned more and more simple. Eire managed simply 39 within the first 15 overs, however the second introduced them 63, with 9 fours, with the partnership value 91.

In the direction of the tip of the session, nevertheless, there have been encouraging indicators for left-arm wristspinner Waqar Salamkheil, who stored beating a immediately tentative McCollum, who switched off with the interval inside sniffing distance. That apart, Afghanistan’s solely second of cheer got here when Yameen Ahmadzai was rewarded for peppering the good-length space on off-stump.

A nipbacker induced a ahead push from Stirling, who till then had seemed stable and in no bother. He performed down the mistaken line, however bought a thick inside edge onto the pad. At the same time as Ravi nodded, Stirling was remarkably composed and simply merely accepted the choice and walked off. Neither he nor the 21 others on this Take a look at have the choice of utilizing the DRS, as a result of the tools is not in place, fairly clearly with the price issue having an enormous bearing.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports activities Media Ltd.

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