Ireland finally make Test debut after opening day washout against Pakistan

Robyn Valdez
May 13, 2018

The pair had so far added an unbroken 109 for the seventh wicket after Pakistan had been struggling at 159 for six after losing the toss following a total washout on Friday's first day of this stand-alone match.

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.

Azhar Ali dug out a single off the opening delivery from Tim Murtagh and called for a quick legside single.

After day one was washed out, Ireland won the toss and opted to bowl on day two against Pakistan and they started brightly.

The ball had travelled just a couple of feet from the stumps and wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and fielder Tyrone Kane both darted towards the ball while Ul-Haq, on Test debut, dived to make his ground.

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Rankin, the former England global and only Irish player with test experience, had the honour of Ireland's first test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the eighth over.

Ul-Haq, nephew of legendary Pakistan captain Inzamam, did not appear to suffer too many after-effects although it did take him 16 balls to get off the mark before he drove Murtagh stylishly for four through the off side.

But it did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike on a pitch offering some sideways movement.

After a few near run-outs, Pakistan's third-wicket duo settled in.

Imam quickly recovered, but the two Pakistan batsmen soon departed in consecutive balls.

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Shafiq began to steady the Pakistan ship and reached his 50 from 107 balls after the restart.

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.

Rankin and Thompson removed Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed respectively before Ashraf and Khan steered Pakistan to the close.

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.

Duly reprieved, he went to fifty in just 52 balls, including seven fours, with Shadab following him to the landmark in 89 balls.

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