Afghanistan claim first Test win with victory over Ireland

Winners are grinners, the Afghanistan team celebrate their first ever Test win. (AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Afghanistan claim first Test win with victory over Ireland

  • Asghar Afghan's men beat Irish by seven wickets in only their second Test.
  • Rahmat Shah's second half century eases side over the 147-run target

Afghanistan notched a historic maiden win in only its second Test match when it defeated Ireland by seven wickets in the one-off Test.
Needing 118 runs, Rahmat Shah scored his second half century of the match and Ihsanullah Janat made 50 in his debut test as Afghanistan reached 149 for three just before lunch on the fourth day.
“It was our dream to play test cricket and today we won a test match so I am very happy for Afghanistan and its people,” Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan said.
“I want to give credit to the bowlers, especially Rashid Khan, Waqar (Salamkheil), Yamin (Ahmadzai) and (Mohammad) Nabi because the wicket was good for batting.”
Leg spinner Rashid claimed the match haul of seven for 102 and played the Test match while nursing his injured spinning finger.
It was only the second test match for both countries since gaining test status in 2017. Afghanistan lost its inaugural test against India last year before Pakistan went on to beat Ireland.
Man-of-the-match Shah, who missed out on the century in the first innings before falling for 98, played another splendid knock of 76 with 13 fours before he got stumped when Afghanistan required only three runs for victory.
Janat was equally good in scoring an unbeaten 65 off 129 balls as both batsmen dominated Ireland bowling with attacking shots during their 139-run match-winning stand.
Ireland had an early opportunity to break the stand but Shah was dropped on 19 by Stuart Thompson in left-arm spinner George Dockrell’s second over of the day after Afghanistan resumed on 29-1.
Although Mohammad Nabi missing Afghanistan’s winning moment on the field when he got run out, Hashmatullah Shahidi got the winning runs when he pulled James Cameron-Dow to the square leg fence off his first delivery.
Ireland captain William Porterfield saw his team’s first-innings effort of 172 as the prime reason for the defeat as Afghanistan replied strongly with 314.
“In any multi-day game, we had to capitalize on the first innings. If we’d done how we’d done in the second innings then, it could have been a completely different game,” Porterfield said.
Ireland fought back in the second innings by scoring 288, thanks largely to the last-wicket half century stand between Cameron-Dow and Tim Murtagh that set up Afghanistan’s target of 147 runs.
“Credit to Afghanistan, they outplayed us ... and once Afghanistan got past us in the first innings, it was always going to be hard,” Porterfield said.


Princess becomes first Saudi woman to head sports club

Updated 22 July 2019
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Princess becomes first Saudi woman to head sports club

  • Princess Nourah thanked her hosts for the hospitality and outlined her ambitions for the team’s future

RIYADH: Princess Nourah bint Saad has officially become the first Saudi woman to be president of a sports club. Italian news outlet Corriere Della Sera reported recently that the princess had successfully acquired the Umbrian football club Spoleto.

Speaking at a press conference, the princess thanked her hosts for the hospitality and outlined her ambitions for the team’s future. 

“Football is a family passion, and Italian football is followed all over the world. This is why I chose to invest in Umbria,” she said. 

Princess Nourah chose the team after considering several aspects. “Spoleto is a small, amateur football organization where it is possible to work with the aim of growing and aiming for promotion. But we cannot fail to consider the value and beauty of the city of Spoleto, which is famous throughout the world.” Spoleto is a member of Serie D of the Italian non-professional football association, Lega Nazionale Dilettanti.  The association represents more than 12,000 football players and 400 football teams across Italy and is considered the fourth-ranked league in the country. Under the princess’s presidency, the team aims to ascend to Serie C in the near future, and further in the long term.

Spoleto announced that they have formally registered for the Excellence Umbria 2019/2020 championship and the Regional Junior Championship 2019/2020.

This purchase marks the Saudi royal family’s second venture into sports club ownership. Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad co-owns English Premier League football club Sheffield United.