Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Rain and Pakistan rally dampen Ireland's Test bow

Rain and Pakistan rally dampen Ireland's Test bow

Bad light saw the players leave the field late in the afternoon and after a thunderclap and a heavy downpour 20 minutes later, play was abandoned for the day.

The century stand for the seventh wicket helped Pakistan shift the initiative, which rested with Ireland for most parts of the day, in their favour.

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. 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.

Rain washed out the whole of Friday's scheduled first day but 24 hours later, this idyllic village ground was bathed in sunshine, as Ireland - from the moment of the toss - officially became the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket.

Ireland's historic first Test wicket was actually Rankin's second in Tests though, his first came in his solitary England Test appearance against Australia in Sydney, during the 2013/14 Ashes.

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

Rankin eventually tempted Shafiq to pull to square leg on 62, giving him, Murtagh and Stuart Thompson two wickets apiece. Thompson had more time than he thought and could have settled himself, but after all the excitement that went before he could be forgiven for firing in the ball.

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

The pair looked well set to push on in the extended second session but Thompson brought the crowds rushing back to their seats when he struck with the last ball of the second over after lunch, when Haris was out to a poor shot as Porterfield reached forward to take the catch at gully. Azhar lobbed to Ireland captain Will Porterfield at second slip and his opening partner was then trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh.

That left Pakistan 13 for one off the last ball of the eighth over.

Shadab and Ashraf stepped up either side of tea, though, and plundered 15 boundaries between them that put Pakistan in a strong position.

Only 76 overs of play was possible on the second day.

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