Afghanistan make bright start against Ireland
Poor batting display from Ireland gives Afghanistan the upper hand in final
John Mooney helped salvage something from a disappointing opening day for Ireland
Three wickets in the final session from John Mooney helped Ireland rescue something from the opening day of their Intercontinental Cup Final against Afghanistan in Dubai on Tuesday.
Ireland were bowled out for just 187 after being put in to bat at the ICC Global Academy, with John Anderson’s 55 and 33 from Mooney the only scores of note in a poor batting display.
In his final match for Ireland, Trent Johnston bowled brilliantly with the new ball but earned no reward despite consistently beating the bat.
Mooney was the man to make the breakthrough with just his second delivery, with wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien taking a brilliant one-handed catch down the leg-side to dismiss opener Nawroz Mangal.
That catch was nothing compared to the one taken by Andrew White at third slip as he held on to Shabir Noori after he had made 29, holding on to a one-handed effort as it looked like the ball was going past him.
Mooney did all his own work for his third wicket, taking a fine return catch from the dangerous Mohammad Shezad, with Afghanistan closing on 81 for three.
The day had started badly for Ireland, with regular wicket-keeper Gary Wilson ruled out after taking ill during the night, with Niall O’Brien returning behind the stumps. Ireland also lost Tim Murtagh for the match after the Middlesex bowler had to return home due to personal reasons.
ICC InterContinental Cup Final (at ICC Global Academy, Dubai)
Day 1 of 5: Ireland 1st Inns 187 (61 ovs) (J Anderson 55, J Mooney 33; D Zadran 4-44, R Shah 3-36, S Shenwari 2-26), Afghanistan 1st Inns 81-3 (30 ovs) (S Noori 29; J Mooney 3-20).