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Captain Andy Balbirnie guides Ireland to historic Test victory over Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi

Andy Balbirnie's unbeaten 58 helped Ireland seal a historic first Test win as they held their nerve to beat Afghanistan by six wickets in Abu Dhabi.

Ireland, granted Test status in 2017, looked in danger of missing out on their breakthrough victory at the eighth attempt after slumping to 13 for three and then 39 for four while chasing a modest second-innings target of 111.

But opener Balbirnie shared an unbeaten 72-run fifth-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker (27 not out) to steer Ireland home in the 32nd over on day three of the standalone Test.

Afghanistan had earlier resumed their second innings on 134 for three, but after skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was lbw to Mark Adair for 55, the hosts lost their last six wickets for 78 runs as they were all out for 218.

Adair followed up his maiden five-wicket haul in the first innings with three for 56, while Barry McCarthy took three for 48.

Ireland then lost three wickets inside the first five overs in reply, with opener Peter Moore and Curtis Campher bowled by Naveed Zadran for ducks before Harry Tector was dismissed by Nijat Masood for two.

When Paul Stirling was caught by Rahmat Shah at first slip off Zia-ur-Rehman, Ireland teetered on 39 for four.

But Balbirnie and number six Tucker kept calm amid the storm and nudged Ireland closer to their target, with the latter clipping Zadran for the winning single to spark wild celebrations among the Irish contingent at the Tolerance Oval.

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