Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Shadab And Faheem Revive Pakistan In Ireland's Inaugural Test

Shadab And Faheem Revive Pakistan In Ireland's Inaugural Test

The opening day was completely wiped out by bad weather on Friday.

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's staggering 144-year wait for Test cricket was a memorable one to say the least after two Irish players smashed into Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq in the opening ball of the match, leaving him dazed and confused on the floor.

Rankin, the 15th man ever, and the first since Kepler Wessels (Australia and South Africa) 25 years ago, to play Test cricket for two nations after making a lone appearance for England in 2014, had an uncertain Azhar Ali (four) edging to Porterfield at second slip.

Rankin, the former England worldwide and only Irish player with test experience, had the honor of Ireland's first test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the eighth over. Babar Azam's stay barely lasted and Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan skipper, couldn't make the most of the greenhorn opposition.

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.

However, it did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike.

After a few near run-outs, Pakistan's third-wicket duo settled in.

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

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style with maiden Test fifties at the County Dublin venue.

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.

The hosts' momentum waned before lunch and Haris Sohail (31) and Shafiq put on 58 for the third wicket, until the former gifted Porterfield another catch early in the second session.

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

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

Duly reprieved, he went to fifty in just 52 balls, including seven fours, with Shadab following him to the landmark in 89 balls.

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

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