Ireland set to make Test splash when sun appears

Ireland set to make Test splash when sun appears

Ireland's building momentum was halted, however, as the Pakistan tail began to wag when Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf dug in to take the total beyond 200 at the start of the third session after tea.

Boyd Rankin (2-58), already a Test worldwide with England, took the historic first wicket as Ireland began on the front foot and it was the same man who removed the troublesome Asad Shafiq (62) to slow the recovering tourists.

But the 22-year-old left-hander, who hit a hundred on his one-day worldwide debut against Sri Lanka last year, has made fifties against both Kent and Northamptonshire in Pakistan's two warm-up matches ahead of this one-off Test.

But Pakistan, sent into bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield after rain washed out Friday's opening day, recovered to 67 for two at lunch on Saturday's second day.

"There will sadly be no play on day one of our first men's Test", Cricket Ireland tweeted yesterday.

After a brief delay, Imam was able to carry on, with no wicket lost.

In a huge scramble, Ul-Haq made a last-ditch dive towards the stumps only to collide with the Irish duo of wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and fielder Tyrone Kane.




William Porterfield's decision was rewarded nearly immediately as Rankin and Murtagh, among the more senior members in the side, picked up a wicket each to break Pakistan down to 13 for 2 inside the first ten overs.

Ireland went on to bag back-to-back wickets to make it 13-2 in what was a memorable start to their inaugural Test match.

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 when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were 159 for six.

Shafiq, however, was starting to open up his body and take on the bowlers, dispatching the ball to all areas of the Malahide oval, his half century following soon after.

"If a couple of nicks go here or there or we take a couple of those half chances then it looks like a completely different picture". Their partnership extended to 109, and Pakistan's to 268 for 6, before umpires had to call off play due to bad light.

Ireland will become the 11th nation to play a Test.

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