Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Ireland start strong but Faheem and Shadab keep Pakistan in the game

Irish hopes intact as bad weather derails Test debut Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain
Lindsey Cook | 13 May, 2018, 00:19

They had to bat 280 overs (214 in the first innings) in Harare against India to achieve that and, while Ireland should not have to bat that long if they are to claim what would be a memorable draw, with a good forecast today Boyd Rankin should finally win his second Test cap and 10 other proud players - Craig Young, Stuart Thompson and James Shannon are expected to miss out - will, finally, win their first.

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.

The Test got off to a dramatic start when Imam was injured on the first ball. 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.

They didn't have to wait long for a second as Murtagh struck next ball from the Dublin Road end, trapping Imam leg-before for seven on his Test debut with a ball that would have hit his middle stump. "Pak team unchanged from the match vs Northamptonshire", cricket commentator Zainab Abbas tweeted.

Both physios attendended him, with Ireland's Ciaran O'Reilly assisting his Pakistan counterpart.

Earlier in the day, on its official Twitter account, Ireland Cricket shared the picture of the groud: "What a day we have ahead of us!"

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The opening day's play was rained off meaning that the clash between Ireland and Pakistan at Malahide Castle was delayed until Saturday, which cost Cricket Ireland a pricey £66,000.

The first day of the historic Test was washed out on Friday, but conditions looked bright and sunny on Day 2.

Ireland was awarded Test status by the International Cricket Council last June.

All of today's ticket-holders will receive a 100% refund, the Ireland Cricket said.

The day started eventfully enough with Debutant Imam-ul-Haq almost managing to run himself out off the first Irish ball in Test cricket.

The 22-year-old was soon moving around but took some time before the physiotherapist helped him back to his feet, ready to face his first ball in Test cricket.

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