ANI Photo | “We let ourselves down”: Afghan skipper Shahidi praises Irish pacers after loss in one-off Test

After seeing familiar foes Ireland script a historic maiden Test win in Abu Dhabi, Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi on Friday showered praise on pacers in the rival camp, acknowledging that they bowled ‘very well’.
Addressing the press at the post-match presentation, Shahidi accepted that they let themselves down while batting on day one.
He added that the pitch at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi “wasn’t good for batting”.
However, counting the positives for the Afghans, he added that Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Naveed Zadran came up with good performances with the bat and ball against the Irishmen.
Congratulating the Irishmen on winning their first-ever Test match, six years after being recognised as a Test-playing nation, said, “I think the first day, when we were batting, we let ourselves down. Irish seamers were bowling very well… but we threw our wickets away. The conditions weren’t good for batting. From day one, the ball was seaming. Their bowlers were also very disciplined, and bowled in the right areas. We have some positives. Gurbaz was very positive on debut. Naveed had had a good Test against Sri Lanka, and in this match also he did very well. Zia had a five-for [too]. [The first win] is always special, and I congratulate them. We move forward, and learn”, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Balbirnie’s 58* and Lorcan Tucker’s run-a-ball 27* helped the Irishmen make history, as they recorded their first-ever win in red-ball cricket.
Settling Irish nerves after the team was reduced 13/3 chasing a modest target of 111, skipper Andrew Balbirnie mixed caution with controlled aggression as he helped his team get over the line.
Leading the chase for the Irish, Balbirnie found an able hand in young middle-order batsman Lorcan Tucker, who stuck around with the skipper to take the team home. (ANI)

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