Cricbuzz Staff •
Stuart Thompson bagged three wickets © Getty
It was a day of toil for Ireland with Afghanistan raking up an imposing lead but the Irish had their moments, especially in the second half of the day when they limited the hosts’ total to 314 after they were 198 for 2 at one stage.
Stuart Thompson, who finished as the chief wicket-taker of the innings with a three-wicket haul, was happy with his team’s effort on the field on Saturday (March 16) and mentioned that there’s enough time left in the Test for Ireland to try and get back into the game.
“I’m happy to wrap up the innings today for Ireland. It was a pretty tough day for us but getting back in the game was crucial for us. We didn’t take any wickets in the first session but we knew if we stuck to our tasks then the wickets would come in clusters and they did, so it’s really good to finish off the innings like that,” Thompson said after the second day’s play at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun.
“It was good early on when I got into a bit of rhythm and got a good long spell. It was hard work out there for the seamers as the wicket didn’t offer us very much but we knew if we kept going with tight lines and good lengths we’d get our rewards eventually. It was all about keeping their runs down – we didn’t score enough runs in the first innings, so it was about us keeping their run rate down and then going bang, bang with the wickets,” he added.
Starting their second innings with a 142-run deficit, Ireland have a lot of catching up to do and they have already lost their skipper William Porterfield without scoring. Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling saw through a tricky period without further damage but they’ll have their work cut out on Day 3.
Thompson was hopeful of the duo continuing the good work and stressed on the need for partnerships in order for Ireland to stage a comeback.
“There’s still three days left of Test cricket in this game, and a lot of time to bat. If we can put on some big partnerships – the two lads tonight looked pretty set – so if they can kick on and we bat for long periods of time then we can go past them and try and get a big lead,” Thompson said.