Rashid Khan has put Afghanistan on the cricketing map for his exploits in Twenty20 cricket and in ODIs. In Twenty20s, he has broken plenty of records, taking 237 wickets at a staggering average of 15 while in ODIs, he holds the world record for the fastest to 100 wickets, achieving it in just 44 ODIs. Rashid also holds the record for the best individual haul by an Afghanistan bowler in ODIs, taking 7/18 off just 8.4 overs in the game against West Indies at St Lucia in 2017. His haul is the fourth-best in the history of ODIs while he picked up 5/3 in a Twenty20 International against Ireland in 2017, which is the sixth-best in the history of the format.
Thus, it came as no surprise that Rashid would make an impact in Tests for Afghanistan and in the one-off Test between Afghanistan and Ireland, Rashid scripted yet more records as he became the first Afghanistan bowler to take a five-wicket haul. Day 3 of the first Test witnessed plenty of action with Ireland notching a fightback against a determined Afghanistan side.
Andrew Balbirnie smashed 82 and Kevin O’Brien, who hit a century on debut against Pakistan in Malahide continued his great run with a fifty in the second innings. Ireland had taken a lead but Rashid, battling an injured finger, broke the pain barrier and ran through the middle order to give Afghanistan the initiative. After trapping James McCollum and O’Brien LBW, Rashid got rid of Stuart Thompson (1), George Dockrell (25) and Andy McBrine (4) to end with figures of 5/82 from 34 overs. However, a 58-run stand for the final wicket between James Cameron-Dow and Tim Murtagh gave Afghanistan a tricky target of 147.
Speaking after the end of the match, Rashid did not give any excuses that his finger was injured and he fought through the pain to give Afghanistan hope. “It was tough to grip the new ball as I had a finger injury. It was tough to pitch in the right areas as I was in pain. Once the ball got older and the seam had disappeared, I could grip it more. The wicket was assisting the spinners. Any player can make an impact in Test cricket. I am feeling better now. Finger is fine and hopefully it will be better after two days. I am not making any excuses for my finger injury as this is common in the life of a sportsman. You have to do it for the team, and you have to do it for your country,” Rashid said.