Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain

Umpires Illingworth and Llong carry out an inspection but there was little prospect of play and Ireland will hope to make their bow today instead Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain
| 12 May, 2018, 21:34

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.

Faheem Ashraf marked his Test debut with 61 not out and teenager Shadab Khan, in only his second match at this level, also hit a maiden Test fifty to be unbeaten on 52.

Boyd Rankin, who had previously taken one scalp in a lone Test appearance for England before switching allegiance to his native country, was the man to provide the breakthrough, becoming Ireland's first wicket-taker in the five-day format, producing an edge to second slip to reduce Pakistan to 13/1.

Murtagh had two for 30 in 14 overs, Rankin two for 33 in 14 and Thompson a slightly more expensive two for 47 in 13, with Ireland opting against including a specialist spinner in their XI.

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.

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.

Debutant Imam ul-Haq (7) went the very next ball, to Tim Murtagh, struck on the knee roll and given out leg before wicket, leaving Pakistan at 13-2.


Opener Imam-ul-Haq will make his Test debut for Pakistan in the historic red-ball fixture.

Former England global Boyd Rankin (1-7 off seven overs) had the honor of taking Ireland's first-ever test wicket with Azhar (4) edging him to second slip.

The new ball never arrived as the light faded ominously, followed shortly by a raging clap of thunder, which woke the ground from that late afternoon slumber brought on by the Pakistan dominance.

Imam was lbw for seven to a Murtagh delivery that came back into him. Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris glancing Thompson for a legside boundary.

Shafiq went on to complete a 107-ball fifty when he pulled Rankin for a single. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) soon bowed out, too.

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.

Despite being the first team to lose their entire opening day of Test match cricket, Deutrom refused to be deflated.

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