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Cricket news - Live Cricket Score: Afghanistan vs Ireland, Only Test

Rashid and Nabi rip through the middle order to leave Ireland reeling

As if Rashid's wristies and Nabi's off-breaks weren't enough, there's a certain Salamkheil - bowling some weird sort of Chinamen - too to deal with. James Cameron-Dow and Tim Murtagh do what their colleagues with fancier batting averages couldn't, eat up nearly ten overs. Alas, it could count for only 16 runs. Nevertheless, it accounts for almost 20% of what's there on the board.

12:40 IST: Welcome back. This could be over really quickly given how troubled the Irish batsmen have been feeling against any sort of spin, and Afghanistan have every form of it. Anyway, here, munch on the lunch report.

Oops, spoke too soon. It's spin again - Nabi's this time - and both of them are back in. Lunch: 69/7 (29.0 Ovs), and deep trouble.

It's come down to the experienced heads of Kevin O'Brien and Stuart Thompson to bail them out of further trouble here .. They'd need a repeat of their Dublin heroics, in fact triple of that to avoid further embarrassment.

Okay here, I am spoonfeeding you --

37-1 (Paul Stirling, 8.4)

41-2 (William Porterfield, 9.4)

41-3 (Andrew Balbirnie, 10.5)

55-4 (James McCollum, 13.1)

55-5 (Stuart Poynter, 13.3)

Yup, continue the logic - three brings ____ and ____ brings ____ . It's Rashid Khan, spinning his magic in his very first over itself.

Oh and just and fyi: Mohammad Shahzad isn't keeping wickets today, he's standing in the slips. And boy, it is quite a sight watching him chase down edges going down to the boundary.

One brings two. Two brings three. Now, now .. Ahmadzai has the last laugh, producing an absolute away-seaming ripper to get Stirling edging to the keeper. He then returns to produce an in-seaming jaffa, just as beautiful to uproot Balbirnie's off-stump. In the over between these two, Nabi too comes into the attack to strike in his very second over -- with Porterfield playing all around a straighter delivery to get trapped LBW.

Aaaand Paul Stirling, it looks like has still not come out of his one-day mode. He's smashing (no, sorry stroking) boundaries for fun. Poor Ahmadzai is at the wrong it of it all -- having four boundaries conceded in an over against his name. And to be fair, none of them were bad enough deliveries. Alas, such is the mood Stirling is in.

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad, Ihsanullah Janat, Asghar Afghan(c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil(w), Rashid Khan, Wafadar Momand, Yamin Ahmadzai, Waqar Salamkheil

Ireland (Playing XI): William Porterfield(c), Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O Brien, Stuart Thompson, George Dockrell, Stuart Poynter(w), Andy McBrine, James Cameron-Dow, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh

So, here we go - Ireland have opted to bat first. They've stuck to the Indian playing rulebook - win the toss, think, think more, AND BAT.

It's one of those days where cricket becomes so, so secondary on the back of the grim news trickling in from Christchurch. Although without a lot of heart, the show here will go on.

Yes, firsts are real special. But it's the second that promises to achieve much more if you happen to be one of these two sides. Well, Afghanistan have a lot to redeem since the carnage Shikhar Dhawan subjected them to at Bangalore. And to be fair, you cannot possibly get bowled twice in two sessions again either, surely not on your home ground. Ireland, meanwhile, were more than a handful for Pakistan, at one stage even looking like picking an unlikely win. It promises to be fun .. here's munch on the preview, and check the comm ..

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