Ireland under severe pressure in inaugural Test

14 May, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Irish hopes intact as bad weather derails Test debut

This was the first time Pakistan had enforced the follow-on in a Test in 16 years since they beat New Zealand by an innings and 324 runs at Lahore in 2002.

Earlier, debutant Faheem scored 83 and Shadab 55 as Pakistan went from their overnight total of 258/6 to declare on 310/9.

"The noise for those first couple of wickets was great, they really got behind us and that helped with the adrenaline pumping and gave us an extra spring in our steps as bowlers", said Murtagh.

Meanwhile Shafiq admitted to AFP: "It was hard conditions, especially for us".

But he recovered and faced his first ball, the second of the match, from Murtagh with Imam, who had had a cold press applied to the back of his neck, playing and missing before he saw out the remainder of the over at a sunny Malahide.

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"I didn't want to miss a chance to bat in a Test match, they just drugged me up and I got out there and got on with it".

That pressure ultimately told with the final delivery of the eighth over when Rankin had Azhar Ali all squared-up.

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.

Rankin, who had taken one wicket in his lone Test appearance for England against Australia at Sydney in 2014 before switching allegiance, had the honor of claiming Ireland's maiden scalp at this level, when an uncertain Azhar (4) edged to Porterfield at second slip.

Shafiq began to steady the Pakistan ship and reached his 50 from 107 balls after the restart.

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Having taken their first, Ireland added a second wicket moments later as Murtagh trapped Imam-ul-Haq lbw with the first ball of the next over to leave Pakistan 13-2.

Shafiq went on to complete a 107-ball fifty when he pulled Rankin for a single. 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.

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.

Ashraf was dropped twice at first slip by Gary Wilson, on 24 and 36.

At the other end, Faheem started the slower of the two but quickly changed gears as he too brought up a half-century with the partnership going beyond the 100-run mark.

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Just before stumps was called, Ashraf slammed spinner Paul Stirling over long on for the only six of the day.

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