Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Rain and Pakistan rally dampen Ireland's Test bow

Irish hopes intact as bad weather derails Test debut Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain
Tamara Craig | 12 May, 2018, 21:33

Rain washed out the whole of Friday's scheduled first day but a day later Malahide was bathed in sunshine, with grey clouds replaced by sunny blue skies as Ireland, from the moment of the toss, officially became the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket.

Ireland captain William Porterfield won the aforementioned toss and made a decision to put his side in to bowl and field first, before throwing the ball to Tim Murtagh to enjoy the privilege of bowling the first ever Test delivery.

Azhar Ali faced the first ball of the match from Tim Murtagh and kept out a yorker before calling his opening partner through for a single.

Pakistan team is in good form as it won the tour match against Northamptonshire with 9 wickets.

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.

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

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.

Rankin, who had taken one wicket in his lone Test appearance for England against Australia at Sydney in 2014 before switching allegiance, had the honour of claiming Ireland's maiden scalp at this level when an uncertain Azhar (four) edged to Porterfield at second slip.

Chris Paul makes a conference final
Game 6 of that series, if necessary, would be Friday in Philadelphia, with a potential Game 7 scheduled for Sunday back in Boston. This one is going to be a tough, uphill battle but you know the series victor is likely a heavy favorite in the NBA Finals.

Ireland were awarded Test status past year by the ICC and it was confirmed in October that Pakistan would be the first opponents for the new boys.

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

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

Imam was lbw for seven to a Murtagh delivery that came back into him.

Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.

The teams went to lunch without a ball bowled in the grounds of Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin.

When Stirling did come on, a well-set Faheem launched the part-time spinner over long-on for six.

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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