First-ball drama as Ireland's Test cricket debut finally begins

Ireland got their delayed first ever Test under way on day two after Friday's washout against Pakistan.

No play was possible on day one as rain lashed Malahide, leaving Cricket Ireland to refund all those who had bought tickets.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, though, and the governing body tweeted several pictures of preparations on the ground with the caption: "Sun, you're a day late!"

Ireland's first ball in Test cricket did not go according to plan, however.

Bowled by Middlesex's Tim Murtagh, Azhar Ali took a single off it but in the process of doing so, opening partner Iman Ul-Haq was injured.

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

Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq down injured. Pic: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Thankfully, after a brief delay he was able to carry on.

Ireland enjoyed great success once play got fully under way.

Former England international Boyd Rankin had the honour of taking their first ever Test wicket, Azhar edging him to second slip.

Imam went the very next ball, to Murtagh, struck on the kneeroll and given out leg-before, leaving Pakistan 13 for two.

With Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq at the crease, Pakistan rebuilt thereafter and would not lose another wicket before lunch.

The first session ended with the tourists on 67 for two, Sohail having made 28 and Shafiq 22.

- PA


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