Friday, 16 November, 2018

Pakistan 193-6 at tea as Ireland starts life in test cricket

Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain Pakistan VS Ireland Test: Match Begins Today, First Day was Washed Out
Jennie Wade | 13 May, 2018, 02:03

An expectant crowd of nearly 6,000 filled the temporary stands in anticipation of witnessing a piece of sporting history, with Tim Murtagh, the Middlesex seamer, delivering the historic first ball - and it wasn't without drama.

Fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who achieved his Test ambition for England in 2014 and returned to Ireland in 2016, is part of the golden generation of Irish cricketers who have been rewarded with places in the first Test squad.

Ireland left out spinner Andy McBrine, with Stuart Thompson completing an all-pace attack led by Boyd Rankin, who played one Test for England before requalifying, and experienced Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh.

The hosts finally made their long-awaited entrance into the Test arena after an opening day washout at Malahide Cricket Club near Dublin.

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali was squared up by a Rankin delivery and edged one to his Irish counterpart at slips.

Diving to make his crease as Tyrone Kane tried to throw down the stumps, Imam - nephew of Pakistan great Inzamam - collided with the onrushing wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien.

The 22-year-old was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes' treatment on the field, but he recovered to face the second ball of the match, with Imam playing and missing.

Ali's batting partner Ul-Haq, who just so happened to be making his Test debut for Pakistan, then bolted down the pitch in the other direction.

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Imam (7) went the very next ball, to Murtagh, struck on the kneeroll and given out lbw to leave Pakistan at 2-13.

But it did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike.

Pakistan team is in good form as it won the tour match against Northamptonshire with 9 wickets. Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.

Shafiq moved to a 107-ball 50 in the afternoon session as his side reached 135-4.

Pakistan, 67 for two at lunch, lost their third wicket soon afterwards when Haris was caught in the gully by Porterfield off Thompson.

But with the towering Rankin, bowling from around the wicket, a similar shot proved Shafiq's undoing when he found Andrew Balbirnie at square leg.

And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were struggling at 159-6.

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