ANI Photo | “We have to win the first session…”: Afghanistan’s Shahidi ahead of Day 3 of Ireland Test

Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi believes if Afghanistan are able to win the first session of Day 3, the game will be wide open after they were on the back foot throughout the opening day of the one-off Test against Ireland.
Afghanistan bounced back at the Tolerance Oval with skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz leading the charge with the bat in the final session of Day 2.
Afghanistan had an abysmal outing with the bat in the first innings after they were bowled out for 155. Only four batters were able to reach double digits.
On Day 2, Shahidi walked out to bat in the second innings in a similar situation. Afghanistan had lost two wickets on 38. He played vigilantly, dealt with the situation with patience and kept the scoreboard ticking.
“When I went in, our main guys had fallen. There was pressure, but I kept it simple. As a captain, you have to lead from the front. We have to try to win the first session. I will try my best to do something for the team. If we win the first session tomorrow, the game will be on. We have our main batsmen waiting for their turn,” Shahidi said after the day’s end.
After Noor Ali Zadran’s dismissal, Gurbaz came in and steadied the sinking ship. Shahidi showered praise on the 22-year-old and stated that their partnership would be a crucial factor.
“Gurbaz is a class player, and he has a lot of shots. I just told him to keep it simple, and that ‘if you play the defensive shots well, they will give the loose ball’. Tomorrow is a big day for us. It is windy, and conditions aren’t easy for batting. The important thing is how Gurbaz and I start tomorrow,” Shahidi added.
Afghanistan ended the day with a score of 134/3 with a slender lead of 26 runs. (ANI)

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