Afghanistan progresses to 157-2 against Ireland

DEHRADUN, India (AP) — Afghanistan steadily progressed to 157-2 as Rahmat Shah raised his country's first test half century on the second day of the one-off test against Ireland on Saturday.

Afghanistan now trails by just 15 runs and is on target for a meaningful first innings lead, having bowled Ireland out for 172.

Ireland did well to dry up runs in the first hour but Shah, unbeaten on 59, and Hashmatullah Shahidi (43 not out) denied Ireland a breakthrough after resuming on 90-2.

That pair had extended their third-wicket stand to 89 runs by lunch, batting resolutely against both spin and seam.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell and fast bowler Tim Murtagh allowed Afghanistan only 20 runs in the first hour, the batsmen hitting just one boundary each.

Shah completed his maiden fifty off 121 balls by pulling left-arm James Cameron-Dow's first ball for his ninth four as Afghanistan scored 47 runs in the second hour.

Both teams are competing in only their second test match since gaining test status in 2017. Last year, Afghanistan lost its debut test against India, while Ireland was beaten by Pakistan in its inaugural test.