Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Pakistan recover from early setbacks against Ireland

Deutrom revealed the capacity for the match is 6,300 – it will be 8,500 for the T20s against India next month with further temporary stands erected Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain
Cary Erickson | 13 May, 2018, 01:12

Ireland's seam-dominated attack, led brilliantly by Tim Murtagh (two for 33 in 17 overs), had enjoyed moments of success throughout the day, but seemed to have run out of ideas as they awaited the new ball.

Ireland skipper William Porterfield won the toss and elected to field in front of a sizeable crowd at The Village (Malahide Cricket Club), Dublin.

Fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who achieved his Test ambition for England in 2014 and returned to Ireland in 2016, is part of the golden generation of Irish cricketers who have been rewarded with places in the first Test squad.

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

"A part of me was thinking, as we were getting to three o'clock and the rain was hammering down, "you know what, even if the skies had cleared and the umpires said we could go out for a number of overs, say at five o'clock, it would have been an underwhelming, inappropriate way to make our bow in Test cricket", he said.

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

It is a historic match for both teams and especially for Ireland. He reached his first half-century after tea, also, and he was 52 off 91 balls.

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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.

Rankin eventually tempted Shafiq to pull to square leg on 62, giving him, Murtagh and Stuart Thompson two wickets apiece.

After a few near run-outs, Pakistan's third-wicket duo settled in. The seventh-ranked Test side in the world fought back through Haris Sohail's 31 and Asad Shafiq's 68.

Pakistan, 67 for two at lunch, lost their third wicket soon afterwards when Haris was caught in the gully by Porterfield off Thompson. Azhar lobbed to Ireland captain Will Porterfield at second slip and his opening partner was then trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh.

The batsman was left stricken on the turf but after receiving several minutes of treatment from the Pakistan physio, was able to carry on.

And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were 159 for six in this stand-alone match.

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.