Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Ireland look to bowl out Pakistan

Irish hopes intact as bad weather derails Test debut Live Cricket Updates, Ireland vs Pakistan, One-off Test, Day 2 in Dublin
Lillian Steele | 14 May, 2018, 00:27

Ireland came to realise the realities of Test cricket after they were made to follow-on on the third day of the one-off Test against Pakistan at Malahide on Sunday.

Former England one-day worldwide Joyce, at 39 the oldest Test debutant since Australia's Bryce McGain made his bow aged 36 in 2009, cashed in with some elegant shots including a cover-driven four off Mohammad Abbas.

Azhar Ali dug out a Murtagh delivery and called for a quick legside single.

There was drama at an initially sun-drenched Malahide right from Saturday's first ball of this stand-alone match.

For Pakistan, Imam-ul-Haq and Faheem Ashraf made their test debuts.

The 22-year-old was left flat on the ground and needed treatment on the field, but the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haqrecovered to bat.

But it did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike on a pitch offering some sideways movement.

Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh led Ireland's attack with two wickets for 33 runs from 17 overs, with Boyd Rankin taking two for 58 in 17 overs.

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.

William Porterfield's decision was rewarded nearly immediately as Rankin and Murtagh, among the more senior members in the side, picked up a wicket each to break Pakistan down to 13 for 2 inside the first ten overs.

After a few near run-outs, Pakistan's third-wicket duo settled in. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir picked two wickets while Faheem Ashraf chipped in with a wicket as well. Babar Azam had made 16 when he had a dart at one outside his off stump that was claimed by Paul Stirling at second slip. Batting on 60, Shafiq hit a Rankin short-ball straight into the hands of square-leg as Pakistan went from 71-2 to 159-6. Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, was walking slowly and disconsolately towards the pavilion and Stuart Thompson, the Ireland seamer, was being mobbed by his team-mates. The best of those came when Ashraf edged a ball from Rankin that could have been taken by either wicket-keeper, Niall O'Brien, or Gary Wilson at first slip.

"We're (less than) 120 behind, we know we're going to have to bat really well but I think the two lads showed at the end there that it's definitely possible", Wilson said.

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