Afghanistan move closer to Test cricket with Ireland win
With the victory by 172 runs, Afghanistan moved a step closer to the opportunity of securing Test cricket and claimed the full 20 points on offer after skipper Asghar Stanikzai won the toss and elected to bat in their fifth game of the tournament.
Unbeaten centuries from captain Ashgar Stanikzai and wicket-keeper Afsar Zazai helped Afghanistan post a formidable first-innings total of 537 for eight declared.
Stanikzai and Afsar Zazi contributed 139 and 103 runs respectively. Similarly, Shahzad Mohammad scored 75 runs, Nasir Jamal 73 and Rahmat Shah 46.
When Ireland started batting, they lost first wicket at only six runs to Mohammad Nabi. However, resuming their first innings on 170 for 7, John Anderson scored an unbeaten 61 from 175 balls.
He shared a 43 runs stand with Andrew McBrine (18) for the 8th wicket and 41 for the last with Peter Chase (18) as Ireland added 91 to their overnight total taking the innings beyond the scheduled lunch break.
Nabi proved to the main destroyer, taking 6 wickets for 40 runs as Ireland were skittled for just 104 in the second innings. Rashid Khan took three for 44 to finish like Nabi with a match haul of eight wickets.
Both Afghanistan and Ireland have two matches left to play in the tournament and the team which leads the final rankings then set to play the lowest-ranked Test side - which is currently Zimbabwe - in 2018 from which the winner would earn Test status.
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