Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf celebrates with Pakistan’s Shadab Khan (L) after reaching his half century during play on day two of Ireland’s inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin on May 12, 2018. Pakistan were 268 for six after losing the toss when bad light and then rain forced an early close to the second day of Ireland’s inaugural Test at Malahide on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Not even a spirited late-order recovery by Pakistan could dent Ireland’s pride as their men’s side finally made a long-awaited Test debut on Saturday. There was a huge sense of anti-climax when Friday’s scheduled opening day of this stand-alone match at Dublin’s Malahide ground was washed out without a ball bowled.
But when Ireland captain William Porterfield won the toss, on a sunny Saturday morning beneath blue skies, his side officially became only the 11th nation in the 141-year history of men’s Test cricket. And having waited more than a century for Ireland’s first Test wicket, two then came along at once as new-ball duo Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh struck with successive deliveries to leave Pakistan 13 for two.
Despite a fine fifty from top-order batsman Asad Shafiq, Pakistan continued to lose wickets before an unbeaten seventh-wicket partnership of 109 between Shadab Khan (52 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (61 not out) turned the tide to leave the tourists 268 for six when bad light and a heavy downpour led to an early close. “They got away from us a little at the end, with edges flying over gully, over slip,” said Ireland’s Gary Wilson, blocked at first slip when diving wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien missed a chance to catch Test debutant Faheem when the left-hander was on 36.
“Then one went between Niall and myself so it could have a very different end to the day. We could have been right on top if those had gone to hand.”
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