Pakistan 193-6 at tea as Ireland starts life in test cricket
12 May, 2018, 21:35 | Author: Lora Ball
The opening day's play was rained off meaning that the clash between Ireland and Pakistan at Malahide Castle was delayed until Saturday, which cost Cricket Ireland a pricey £66,000.
But Shadab Khan (52 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (61no) excelled before play stopped again to put a dampener on another soggy day for Ireland.
Ireland, who became only the 11th nation to play Test cricket, opted to bowl first, with Tim Murtagh handed the honour of getting his country's maiden match underway.
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.
The 22-year-old left-hander was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes' treatment on the field.
Imam-ul-Haq, who is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, will also likely make his test debut.
But Imam, who hit a hundred on his one-day worldwide debut against Sri Lanka past year, made fifties against both Kent and Northamptonshire in Pakistan's two warm-up matches.
Barely had the crowd´s cheers subsided, then Pakistan were 13 for two off the very next ball, with Imam lbw for seven to a Murtagh delivery that came back into him.
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Rankin, the former England global and only Irish player with test experience, had the honor of Ireland's first test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the eighth over.
It means there was no place for off-spinner Andy McBrine, nor Craig Young and James Shannon, in Ireland's XI, while Pakistan named an unchanged side from last week's warm-up game against Northamptonshire.
And three overs later, it was wicket number six as captain Sarfraz Ahmed went for 20 runs after playing a poor shot, edging behind where Stirling was waiting with Thompson also adding his second wicket.
After an opening day washout, Ireland took advantage of seam conditions by making Pakistan bat and reducing the visitors to 159-6 in the second session.
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Faheem, however, did have a break when, on 36, he edged Rankin only for a diving Niall O´Brien to miss the catch and give the obscured Gary Wilson at first slip no chance of taking the ball.
It is also claimed that the likes of Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC have shown interest in landing the teenager this summer. In my squad, I have some players where I would like to have better than what I have.
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