Test cricket has arrived and boy was it worth the wait

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On Friday, the rain did not allow any play and umpires and match referee had to call the day off.

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

Azhar Ali (4) became Rankin's first Test victim as the quick also claimed the first Test wicket for Ireland when William Porterfield caught the opener in the gully.

Ireland's long-awaited Test match debut was delayed by the elements yesterday, with the first day of their historic contest against Pakistan washed out.

Azhar Ali faced the first ball of the match from Tim Murtagh and kept out a yorker before calling his opening partner through for a single.


And what drama followed as a hurried single saw Imam-ul-Haq collide with Tyrone Kane, both players hitting the deck.

The 22-year-old left-hander was left flat on the ground and needed several minutesĀ“ treatment on the field.

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.

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.

Tim Murtagh celebrates as Ireland take their second wicket in Malahide.


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

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

Pakistan too fielded two debutants - Imam-ul-Haq and Faheem Ashraf.

Rankin and Thompson removed Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed respectively before Ashraf and Khan steered Pakistan to the close.

Bowling from the Dublin Road end, Murtagh was getting some early movement off a pitch that was less green than expected, and a credit to Malahide head groundsman Philip Frost and his team. Faheem, however, did have a break when, on 36, he edged Rankin only for a diving Niall O'Brien to miss the catch and give the obscured Gary Wilson at first slip no chance of taking the ball.


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