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Afghanistan earns first innings lead points against Ireland

Replying to Ireland's score of 405, Afghanistan was bowled out for 474

Afghanistan earns first innings lead points against Ireland - Cricket News
Mohammad Shahzad scored a career-best 88.
Afghanistan collected six points for securing a 69-run first innings against Ireland as their ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10 match headed for a high scoring draw in Dambulla on Saturday.

Afghanistan, replying to Ireland's 405, was dismissed for 474 after adding 211 runs in 79 overs to its overnight score of 263-3 on the penultimate day of the four-day first-class match.

When play ended, Ireland was 35-0 and still trailing Afghanistan by 34 runs.

Mohammad Shahzad and Shabir Noori resumed their innings at the overnight scores of 60 and 44, respectively. Shahzad was the first batsman out when he was caught at the wicket off Andre Botha. Shahzad departed after scoring a career-best 88 with his 121-ball knock including 15 fours.

Together with Shabir, Shahzad added 147 runs for the third wicket. But after Shahzad returned to the dressing room at the score of 325, Shabir followed him 17 runs later when he became one of the three victims of Andrew White.

Shabir was a model of concentration and application as he spent nearly five-and-a-half at the wicket during which he received 234 balls out of which 10 were hit for fours.

With half the side back in the dressing room and Afghanistan requiring another 64 runs for the first innings lead, Mohammad Nabi and Asghar Stanikzai (39) got together to take their side past Ireland's total.

The 72-run sixth wicket partnership ended when Asghar fell to Trent Johnston but Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari (19) made Ireland toil for another 46 minutes before Samiullah returned to the hut after putting on 39 runs for the seventh wicket.

Nabi's innings finally ended when he was caught by John Mooney off White after scoring 127-ball 64 that included four fours and two sixes.

With the match likely to end in a draw, defending champion Ireland will stay in sixth spot on 12 points while Afghanistan will jump three places to share the top spot with Scotland on 29 points. While this is Afghanistan's third match, Scotland will play its third match in the tournament on Monday when it goes head to head with Kenya in Nairobi.

Scores in brief:

Ireland 405 all out, 98 overs (William Porterfield 78, John Mooney 58 not out, Gary Wilson 53, Niall O'Brien 66, Andrew White 43, Alex Cusack 39; Samiullah Shenwari 4-75, Hameed Hasan 3-91) and 35-0, 14 overs

Afghanistan 474 all out, 153.2 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 88, Shabir Noori 85, Nowroz Mangal 84, Mohammad Nabi 64, Noor Ali 53; Andrew White 4-99, Andre Botha 3-44)

Umpires - TH Wijewardena and Manmore Martinez

Live scoreboard is available at http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/match_zone/scorecard.php?matchId=32256

Forthcoming matches:

ICC INTERCONTINENTAL CUP

25-28 Jan - Kenya v Scotland, Kenya

17-20 Feb - Afghanistan v Canada, UAE

20-23 Feb - Kenya v Netherlands, Nairobi

10-13 Jun - Netherlands v Scotland, Netherlands

11-14 Aug - Scotland v Afghanistan, Scotland

11-14 Aug - Ireland v Netherlands, Ireland

21-24 Aug - Canada v Zimbabwe XI, Canada

1-4 Sep - Canada v Ireland, Canada

1-4 Sep - Netherlands v Zimbabwe XI, Netherlands

2-5 Oct - Kenya v Afghanistan, Kenya

6-9 Oct - Zimbabwe XI v Ireland, Africa

13-16 Oct - Zimbabwe XI v Scotland, Africa

25-29 Nov - FINAL (five days), UAE


ICC INTERCONTINENTAL SHIELD

20-23 Jan - UAE v Uganda, UAE

2-5 Apr - Namibia v Bermuda, Namibia

5-8 Jul - Bermuda v UAE, Bermuda

18-21 Sep - Uganda v Namibia, Uganda

25-28 Nov - FINAL, UAE

The exact venues for these fixtures have not yet been finalised.

The latest points table for the tournament so far can be found at http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php

There will be a total of US$250,000 in prize money for the Associate and Affiliate teams taking part in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with US$100,000 for the winners and US$40,000 for the runners-up.

Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event then evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.

This year's format include seven teams (Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland and Zimbabwe XI), while the new competition, the ICC Intercontinental Shield, involves the four teams below that, namely Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in all three events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider, Canada in the 2006-07 event and Namibia in 2007-08.

Go to http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php to find out more.

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