Rahmat Shah has fallen agonisingly short of becoming Afghanistan’s first Test century-maker, dismissed two runs shy of the milestone on day two of the one-off match against Ireland at Dehradun.
Shah had already become the first Afghanistan player to score a Test half-century on the second morning, completing his maiden 50 off 121 balls by pulling left-armer James Cameron-Dow's first ball for his ninth four.
He then moved to 98 from 213 deliveries in the second session and had what would have been an historic moment for Afghanistan cricket in his sights, only to be bowled by a superb delivery from quick Tim Murtagh.
His efforts, combined with Hashmatullah Shahidi’s 61, saw Afghanistan progress through the first session without losing a wicket before passing Ireland’s first-inning total of 172.
The pair extended their third-wicket stand to 89 runs by lunch, batting resolutely against both spin and seam, with their partnership only broken after the break when Shahidi was trapped lbw by Andy McBrine.
Afghanistan reached tea at 5-242, a lead of 70 runs.
Both teams are competing in only their second match since gaining Test status in 2017. Last year, Afghanistan lost their debut Test against India, while Ireland were beaten by Pakistan in their inaugural Test.