Mooney's career-best bowling figures put Ireland back on track

Wed, Dec 11, 2013 4:32 PM

Mooney's career-best bowling figures put Ireland back on track
John Mooney produced career-best bowling figures of five for 45 as Ireland snatched the initiative back from Afghanistan on the second day of the five-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013 final at ICC Cricket Academy Oval 1 on Wednesday.

Mooney's maiden five-wicket haul, George Dockrell's three for 52 and Trent Johnston?s two for 50 helped Ireland dismiss Afghanistan for 182 to grab a slender five-run first innings- lead at the close of play on day two.

Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien, who had earlier accounted for five batsmen behind the wickets, then put on 106 runs for an unfinished third wicket partnership to take Ireland to 159 for two at the close of play. Three-time former champion Ireland, chasing a unique record of winning three ICC events of three different formats in one season, now leads the defending champion by 164 runs with eight second innings' wickets and three days in the match remaining.

Afghanistan had earlier resumed its first innings at 81 for three in reply to Ireland's 187, and lost its last seven wickets for 66 runs to be bowled out for 182.

Mooney, who claimed all three Afghanistan wickets to fall on Tuesday, added the scalps of overnight batsman Rahmat Shah (20) and Samiullah Shenwari (five) to finish with impressive figures of 14-3-45-5.

Dockrell snapped up the wickets of Asghar Stanikzai (41), Afsar Zazai (2) and Dawlat Zadran (0) to take his tally of tournament wickets to 36, while Johnston dismissed Mohammad Nabi (42) and Mirwais Ashraf (14).

Afghanistan's innings had only two partnerships of note. For the fourth wicket, Rahmat and Asghar put on 57 runs, while Nabi and Mirwais featured in a 42-run seventh wicket partnership.

After coming to the crease with a five-run lead, Ireland lost Paul Stirling (seven) and William Porterfield (34) with the scoreboard reading 53 for two. Joyce and O'Brien carried on the good work done by their bowlers by adding 106 runs for an unfinished third-wicket partnership to take the score to 159 for two at stumps.

Joyce was in sparkling form and has so far slapped 13 fours in a 132-ball 72 not out with his 78th career half-century coming from 78 balls with 11 fours, while O'Brien followed up his excellent performance with the gloves to return unbeaten on 40, which came from 105 balls and included two fours.

Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Nabi picked up a wicket each.

Scores in brief:

Ireland 187 all out, 61 overs (John Anderson 55, John Mooney 33; Dawlat Zadran 4-44, Rahmat Shah 3-36, Samiullah Shenwari 2-26) and 159-2, 46 overs (Ed Joyce 74 not out, Niall O?Brien 40 not out, William Porterfield 34)
Afghanistan 182 all out, 77.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 42, Asghar Stanikzai 41, Shabir Noori 29, Rahmat Shah 20; John Mooney 5-45, George Dockrell 3-52, Trent Johnston 2-50)

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