Good Test start for Ireland, but Pakistan hit back

The match against Pakistan at Malahide had to be abandoned

Boyd Rankin (2-58), already a Test worldwide with England, took the historic first wicket as Ireland began on the front foot and it was the same man who removed the troublesome Asad Shafiq (62) to slow the recovering tourists. The seventh-ranked Test side in the world fought back through Haris Sohail's 31 and Asad Shafiq's 68.

Pakistan too fielded two debutants - Imam-ul-Haq and Faheem Ashraf.

Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a weird start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery.

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.

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.

Imam-ul-Haq, who is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, will also likely make his test debut.

The left-hander, who came into this match following fifties in Pakistan's two warm-up fixtures, against Kent and Northamptonshire, square-drove Murtagh for a stylish four.

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Shortly after Ireland's first Test caps were awarded to 11 proud cricketers, many of whom have been instrumental in paving the way for this day, William Porterfield called correctly and without hesitation, opted to bowl.

The coin fell in favour of Ireland captain William Porterfield and he elected to field in this one-off match, with the teams lining up for national anthems before play started at 11:00am local time (1000 GMT). 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.

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

Porterfield used all five of his seam bowlers before lunch but it was Pakistan that carried the momentum into the break, going in on 67 for two with Haris on 28 and Shafiq 22.

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.

The International Cricket Council awarded Ireland Test status in June past year.

Ireland went on to bag back-to-back wickets to make it 13-2 in what was a memorable start to their inaugural Test match.

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