Ireland trouble Pakistan on Test debut

Warren Deutrom

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.

Murtagh, Rankin and Stuart Thomson bagged two wickets each and reduced Pakistan to 159 for 6 at one stage, and looked in a serious threat of getting bowled out by the end of day's play. Babar Azam had hit three nice boundaries in his 14 as Pakistan went past 100 before Murtagh moved one away and caught the edge through to his Middlesex team-mate Stirling at second slip.

Former England worldwide Rankin had the honour of taking Ireland's first-ever Test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the grounds of Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin.

After a washout on Friday, Ireland, the 11th nation to compete in the longest format, finally took to the field on Saturday and claimed their first two wickets in successive deliveries having won the toss.

However, it is the first occasion since 2000 for any team to make its test debut.

But Shadab Khan (52 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (61no) excelled before play stopped again to put a dampener on another soggy day for Ireland.

The opening day's play was rained off meaning that the clash between Ireland and Pakistan at Malahide Castle was delayed until Saturday, which cost Cricket Ireland a pricey £66,000.


With Haris Sohail (31) and Shafiq at the crease, Pakistan rebuilt and did not lose another wicket before lunch.

Merrion all-rounder Kane was quickly to his feet, but Imam, a nephew of Inzaman-ul-Haq - a man not known for his running between the wickets - required lengthy treatment after injuring his neck in the collision.

Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a freakish start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery. The latter become the fastest half-centurion for Pakistan on debut, bringing up his 50 off only 52 balls.

Imam (7) went the very next ball, to Murtagh, struck on the kneeroll and given out lbw to leave Pakistan at 2-13.

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

The wickets of Shafiq (62) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (20) left Pakistan in all sorts at 159 for 6 and their last two recognized batsmen at the crease.

Faheem blasted his way to 61 off just 69 balls while Shadab showed that he has to be considered an allrounder.

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