Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Ireland start strong but Faheem and Shadab keep Pakistan in the game

Ireland start strong but Faheem and Shadab keep Pakistan in the game

With Pakistan's entire top-order back in the pavilion before tea, the job of resurrecting the innings fell on the young shoulders of Shadab Khan and debutant Faheem Ashraf.

Once the familiarities were done, Murtagh was handed the new ball as the noise levels rose as an expectant crowd cheered him in to the crease for the first Test delivery in Ireland.

Non-striker Imam, in scrambling to complete the run, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane in a heavy collision.

However, while Rankin and Tim Murtagh had troubled the Pakistan openers and runs had been hard to come by, after half an hour Ireland were still waiting for the breakthrough.

Despite being the first team to lose their entire opening day of Test match cricket, Deutrom refused to be deflated. Inzamam-ul-Haq's nephew Imam-ul-Haq, who is the nephew of It is the inaugural test for Ireland. O'Reilly, who also works with Dublin's senior footballers, would not have expected to be dealing with an impact injury after the first ball.

Rankin, whose last Test appearance was in England's nightmare Ashes tour in 2013/2014, was mobbed by his team-mates, with celebrations in the stands just as joyous.

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.

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Imam was leg before wicket for seven to a Murtagh delivery that came back into him.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali.

The first session ended with the tourists on 67 for two, Sohail having made 28 and Shafiq 22.

Rankin had an uncertain Azhar (four) edging to Porterfield at second slip.

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

Stirling's attempt to replicate John Mooney's famous Gaelic football solo from the 2007 World Cup win over Pakistan was miscued as it shanked off his right foot, but at 159 for six, there was giddiness on the pitch as well as off.

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