Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Ireland's first day of Test cricket starts and ends with a bang

Ireland's first day of Test cricket starts and ends with a bang

Legendary Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram has slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board and his compatriots who became a part of the historic Test against Ireland at Malahide for not sporting the traditional green stripe on their sweaters on Saturday.

The International Cricket Council awarded Ireland Test status in June a year ago.

Ireland skipper William Porterfield won the toss and elected to field in front of a sizeable crowd at The Village (Malahide Cricket Club), Dublin.

And it quickly became 13/2 when Ireland's Tim Murtagh trapped debutant Imam-ul-Haq LBW with a ball that tailed back in right on the very next ball.

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.

Ireland went on to bag back-to-back wickets to make it 13-2 in what was a memorable start to their inaugural Test match. But, in hindsight, given what the forecasts had predicted, both teams, especially Ireland, would be happy with the amount of cricket that eventually took place.

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And wife Jo and kids Connor, Kian and Joel were all left a little red-faced by his celebration antics. The Welshman, however, held his nerve in the next frame, a break of 69 taking him over the line.

Boyd Rankin, the 15th man 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, had the honour of taking Ireland's first Test wicket.

Ireland: Paul Stirling, William Porterfield (c), Ed Joyce, Andrew Balbirnie, Niall O Brien (wk), Kevin O Brien, Gary Wilson, Stuart Thompson, Tyrone Kane, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin.

After Pakistan had lost their openers in consecutive deliveries in the opening session, Asad Shafiq and Haris Sohail had stabilized the innings with some slow progress.

Pakistan rebuilt and managed to not lose a wicket before the lunch break.

Pakistan would have expected more from Babar Azam (14) who couldn't hang on with Shafiq for longer than nine overs before nicking off to Murtagh. Batting on 60, Shafiq hit a Rankin short-ball straight into the hands of square-leg as Pakistan went from 71-2 to 159-6.

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

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