Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Ireland vs Pakistan: Opening day washout costs hosts 75000 euros

Ireland vs Pakistan: Opening day washout costs hosts 75000 euros

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.

Ali's batting partner Ul-Haq, who just so happened to be making his Test debut for Pakistan, then bolted down the pitch in the other direction.

Diving to make his crease as Tyrone Kane tried to throw down the stumps, Imam - nephew of Pakistan great Inzamam - collided with the onrushing wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien.

The youngster, 22, was left wounded on the floor, but he eventually managed to regain his focus and continue.

An unbeaten century partnership between newcomer Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan switched the momentum to Pakistan after Ireland made a credible start to its inaugural cricket test on Saturday.

Ireland's first day of play in Test cricket started and ended with a bang with a dramatic first delivery opening affairs and a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning ending play at Malahide with Pakistan having firmly taken the upper hand.

Pace bowlers Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin and Stuart Thompson all took two wickets apiece.

Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh led Ireland's attack with two wickets for 33 runs from 17 overs, with Boyd Rankin taking two for 58 in 17 overs.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a day makes and, boy, has it been worth the wait as Ireland make their historic first foray in Test cricket under glorious blue skies at Malahide, winning the toss and electing to field against Pakistan. The second time was in a 71st over in which Ashraf plundered seamer Boyd Rankin for four boundaries to rush to his maiden half-century in 52 balls.

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.

Pakistan reached lunch on 2-67 on Saturday after Ireland had a first ball in Test cricket to remember in Dublin.

Pakistan's team includes leg spinner Shadab Khan, who took 10 wickets in a warm-up win over Northamptonshire. The seventh-ranked Test side in the world fought back through Haris Sohail's 31 and Asad Shafiq's 68.

But with the towering Rankin, bowling from around the wicket, a similar shot proved Shafiq's undoing when he found Andrew Balbirnie at square leg. And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were 159 for six.

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