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Shah’s ton puts Afghanistan in driver’s seat

Batsman hits 144 before Afghanistan bowlers strike, reducing Kenya to 93 for 8 on second day, leading by just 21 runs

Shah’s ton puts Afghanistan in driver’s seat - Cricket News
Ragheb Aga's five-wicket haul was the lone bright spot on an otherwise dismal day for Kenya.
Rahmat Shah’s 144 played a pivotal role in putting Afghanistan in the driver’s seat on the second day of its four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup tie against Kenya at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Monday (October 7).  

Shah’s 284-ball knock was studded with 14 boundaries and five sixes, as Afghanistan recovered from its overnight score of 69 for 6 to put up 234 and take an important 72-run lead in the first innings. Kenya ended the day at 93 for 8, leading by a mere 21 runs. 

Shah, who batted at No.3, was supported well by Mohammad Nasim Baras, the left-arm spinner, who came in at No.8. Baras made a useful 32 and helped build a partnership of 122 runs for the seventh wicket, before being caught off Collins Obuya, the captain.  

Following Baras’ departure, Shah farmed the strike well with the tail, helping Afghanistan add 49 runs for the last three wickets, while doing the bulk of the scoring himself. He was the last man dismissed, caught off Ragheb Aga’s right-arm pace bowling after Afghanistan’s innings had stretched to 90.4 overs. 

Aga ended with 5 for 46 in 16.4 overs to be the pick of Kenya’s bowlers. 

Kenya needed a strong start after conceding a reasonable lead, but its nightmare with the bat continued. By the time Kenya reduced the deficit, it had already lost seven wickets. Kenya’s top order struggled for form once again, with Obuya’s 16 the highest score in the innings so far. 

Afghanistan’s bowlers bowled well in tandem and shared honours. Izatullah Dawlatzai and Sayed Shirzad, the opening bowlers, took two wickets each as did Yamin Ahmadzai, the right-arm medium pacer, and Baras. 

Afghanistan will fancy its chances of wrapping victory on the third day, given Kenya’s meagre lead and with Shem Ngoche, the No.9 batsman, and Hiren Varaiya, the No.10 batsman, at the crease.

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