Ireland bowlers impress on Test debut against Pakistan

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Murtagh and Boyd Rankin, who previously played a Test match for England, opened the bowling, with Kane, Stuart Thompson and Kevin O'Brien providing the first change options.

Ireland's staggering 144-year wait for Test cricket was a memorable one to say the least after two Irish players smashed into Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq in the opening ball of the match, leaving him dazed and confused on the floor.

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. Non-striker Imam-ul-Haq, like Faheem making his Test debut, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and Kane in a heavy collision as he scrambled to complete the run.

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.


Babar Azam (14), pushing hard at a Murtagh delivery that left him off the pitch, was well-held by Paul Stirling at second slip.

Imam is the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq and his inclusion in the squad provoked allegations of nepotism.

Ireland belatedly made their historic Test debut following a first-day wash out, but could only limit Pakistan to 268-6 before the rain returned on Saturday. Azhar lobbed to Ireland captain Will Porterfield at second slip and his opening partner was then trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh.

Murtagh got the full treatment from his team-mates and there was nearly a third wicket next ball, but Stuart Thompson was wide of the stumps where a direct hit would have seen the end of Haris Sohail, who was well out of his crease backing up. The hosts got off to a bright start as they reduced Pakistan to 13 for 2 after 8.1 overs.


Pakistan, 67-2 at lunch, lost their third wicket soon afterwards when Haris (31) was caught in the gully by Porterfield off Thompson.

Shafiq went on to complete a 107-ball fifty when he pulled Rankin for a single.

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

For Ireland, the new ball - four overs away - will offer some succour as they look to take the last four wickets they need.


The match will now be a four-day Test with follow-on imposed on the teams to be of 150 runs rather than 200. Full money is also refunded to the spectators who buy tickets for the yesterday's play.

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