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Mooney leads Ireland to historic triumph

Ireland beats Afghanistan by 122 runs in Intercontinental Cup final to become first team to win three ICC tournaments across three formats in a calendar year

Mooney leads Ireland to historic triumph - Cricket News
Ireland became the first team to win three ICC tournaments across three different formats in a calendar year.
John Mooney’s second five-wicket haul in the match took Ireland to a comprehensive 122-run win over Afghanistan on day four of the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, giving the side a historic triumph on Friday (December 13). Mooney took 5 for 36 as Afghanistan was dismissed for 224, giving him match figures of 10 for 81.
 
This was Ireland’s fourth title in six editions of the Intercontinental Cup, but this victory marked the first time a team has won three ICC tournaments across three different formats in the same calendar year. Ireland won the World Cricket League Championship title in the 50-over format in October and the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament in November, to go with the Intercontinental Cup title in the longer format.
 
Mooney’s right-arm medium-pace accounted for Afghanistan’s tailenders after Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi, the captain, had resisted Ireland’s bowlers well.
 
Afghanistan, who had been set a daunting 347 to win, resumed on its overnight 136 for 5 at the ICC Academy in Dubai, with the pair of Shah and Nabi at the crease. The duo had come together with Afghanistan 85 for 5, and with more than two days left in the match. They focussed on occupying the crease after George Dockrell, the left-arm spinner had taken three of the first five wickets to fall to leave Afghanistan in trouble.
 
Shah and Nabi stayed together for a further 40.2 overs on Friday, until Max Sorensen broke through to trap Nabi in front for a patient 49 off 179 balls. The sixth-wicket stand was worth 114 runs and had come off 61.4 overs, but once Nabi fell, Afghanistan’s resistance ended quickly as they slid from 199 for 5, losing their last five wickets for the addition of only 25 runs in 11.4 overs.
 
Mooney cleaned up the tail and though Shah stayed unbeaten till the end on a valiant 86 off 246 balls, the lower order fell away quickly, with the last four batsmen mustering only five runs between them.
 
Mooney, who had taken 5 for 45 in the first innings, took the last four wickets to complete a ten-wicket haul in the match and win the Man of the Match award. Dockrell didn’t add to the three wickets he had taken on Thursday, finishing with 3 for 58 in 34 overs to add to a first-innings three-wicket haul.

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