Ireland Test off to dramatic start as Pakistan's Imam injured first ball

Ireland Test off to dramatic start as Pakistan's Imam injured first ball

Rankin, who had taken one wicket in his lone Test appearance for England against Australia at Sydney in 2014 before switching allegiance, had the honour of claiming Ireland's maiden scalp at this level when an uncertain Azhar (four) edged to Porterfield at second slip.

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

Malahide witnessed a moment of history on Saturday as Boyd Rankin took Ireland's first wicket in Test cricket, dismissing Azhar Ali.

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.

The International Cricket Council awarded Ireland Test status in June a year ago, while Pakistan were then named as their first opponents in cricket's longest format. But in the process, opening partner Iman was injured.

"We acknowledged the emotions that were at play but we dealt with most of that in the huddle and getting the caps early on", Porterfield told RTE Sport after the end of play.

However, while Rankin and Tim Murtagh had troubled the Pakistan openers and runs had been hard to come by, after half an hour Ireland were still waiting for the breakthrough.

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With Haris Sohail (31) and Asad Shafiq at the crease, Pakistan did not lose another wicket before lunch.

After a brief delay, Imam was able to carry on, with no wicket lost.

It means there was no place for off-spinner Andy McBrine, nor Craig Young and James Shannon, in Ireland's XI, while Pakistan named an unchanged side from last week's warm-up game against Northamptonshire.

Duly reprieved, he went to fifty in just 52 balls, including seven fours, with Shadab following him to the landmark in 89 balls.

And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were 159 for six.

But their figures then took a thrashing from Ashraf and Khan.

Ireland will be hoping their first session in the morning will offer something similar as they look to wrap up this Pakistan innings and finally get a chance to bat in this Test match.

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