Ireland's Very First Ball In Test Cricket Was A Dramatic One

Umpires Illingworth and Llong carry out an inspection but there was little prospect of play and Ireland will hope to make their bow today instead

As luck would have it, Pakistan staged the second fight back, and this time they really did show stomach for the fight as Shadab and Ashraf stitched together an unbeaten 109-run stand for the seventh-wicket before the rain arrived and curtailed played by eleven overs.

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.

Ul-Haq, nephew of legendary Pakistan captain Inzamam, did not appear to suffer too many after-effects although it did take him 16 balls to get off the mark before he drove Murtagh stylishly for four through the off side.

Earlier, Ireland had a first ball in test cricket to remember when Azhar took a single off Murtagh.

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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.

The 22-year-old left-hander was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes´ treatment on the field.

After the entire first day's play was washed out, including the toss, Ireland won the toss and elected to field first on account of overhead conditions.

The opening day was completely wiped out by bad weather on Friday.

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Pakistan's team includes leg spinner Shadab Khan, who took 10 wickets in a warm-up win over Northamptonshire.

That left Pakistan 13 for one off the last ball of the eighth over. Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.

Pakistan, 67 for two at lunch, lost their third wicket soon afterwards when Haris was caught in the gully by Porterfield off Thompson. Faheem, however, did have a break when, on 36, he edged Rankin only for a diving Niall O'Brien to miss the catch and give the obscured Gary Wilson at first slip no chance of taking the ball.

Bowling from the Dublin Road end, Murtagh was getting some early movement off a pitch that was less green than expected, and a credit to Malahide head groundsman Philip Frost and his team.

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