John Mooney impressed with both bat and ball but Ireland endured a tough opening day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup final against Afghanistan in Dubai.
After being put in the Irish were only able to muster 187 all out in 61 overs, John Anderson top-scoring with a gritty 55 that spanned 111 deliveries.
The 31-year-old put on 39 with Kevin O'Brien (18) for the sixth wicket and then a further 54 for the next with Mooney, who weighed in with 33. However, both he and Anderson fell with the score on 160, while Trent Johnston failed to trouble the scorers before he was bowled by Rahmat Shah.
The last-wicket pairing of Max Sorensen (13) and George Dockerell, who finished up unbeaten on 14, added some useful late runs, but the damage had been done in the morning session.
Seamer Dawlat Zadran (4-44) claimed three early wickets as Ireland - three-time winners of the competition - slumped to 67-5.
Spinner Rahmat Shah weighed in with 3-36 - including removing Anderson, who hit eight boundaries - for Afghanistan, who then found batting tough when they started their reply shortly after tea.
Mooney's medium pacers accounted for opening duo Nawroz Mangal (13) and Shabir Noori (29) as well as Mohammad Shahzad (16), leaving the score at 59-3.
Shah (12no) and Asghar Stanikzai (11no) added an unbroken 22 for the fourth wicket to see their side through to stumps.