Pakistan 193-6 at tea as Ireland starts life in test cricket

The match against Pakistan at Malahide had to be abandoned

The match against Pakistan at Malahide had to be abandonedCHARLES MCQUILLAN GETTY IMAGES

Pakistan began again and put together a decent partnership as Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq got the visitors moving, taking their total to 62 for two at lunch.

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.

An expectant crowd of nearly 6,000 filled the temporary stands in anticipation of witnessing a piece of sporting history, with Tim Murtagh, the Middlesex seamer, delivering the historic first ball - and it wasn't without drama.

Murtagh had two for 30 in 14 overs, Rankin two for 33 in 14 and Thompson a slightly more expensive two for 47 in 13, with Ireland opting against including a specialist spinner in their XI.

The left-hander, who came into this match following fifties in Pakistan's two warm-up fixtures, against Kent and Northamptonshire, square-drove Murtagh for a stylish four.

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali fended it into the legside and called for a quick single, but in scrambling through, debutant Imam-ul-Haq was clattered accidentally by Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane.

Rankin will go down as Ireland's first ever wicket taker in this format as Aznar Ali's slight edge travelled straight into the hands of the ever reliable William Porterfield, before Murtagh trapped novice Ul-Haq lbw for just seven runs.

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

Rankin, who had taken one wicket in his lone Test appearance for England against Australia at Sydney in 2014 before switching allegiance, had the honour of claiming Ireland's maiden scalp at this level when an uncertain Azhar (four) edged to Porterfield at second slip. The latter become the fastest half-centurion for Pakistan on debut, bringing up his 50 off only 52 balls.

After a brief delay, Imam was able to carry on, with no wicket lost.

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.

Shafiq, however, was starting to open up his body and take on the bowlers, dispatching the ball to all areas of the Malahide oval, his half century following soon after.

Bad light saw the players leave the field at 5:27pm local time (1627 GMT) and 20 minutes later, after a thunderclap and a heavy downpour, play was abandoned for the day.

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