Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain

Ireland and Pakistan locked in battle on Saturday

Shadab, in just his second Test, was 52 not out and left-hander Faheem 61 not out, with their unbroken seventh-wicket stand so far worth 109 runs after they had come together at 159 for six.

Delivered by Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh, Pakistan opener Azhar Ali took a single off it but in the process, opening partner Iman ul-Haq was injured.

Murtagh hurled in the opening ball to Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali, who got the briefest of touches, before making a run for the opposite stumps.

An unbeaten century partnership between newcomer Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan switched the momentum to Pakistan after Ireland made a credible start to its inaugural cricket test on Saturday.

Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a freaky start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery.

Rain washed out the whole of Friday's scheduled first day but a day later grey clouds had been replaced by sunny blue skies as Ireland, from the moment of the toss, officially became the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket.

Ul-Haq, nephew of legendary Pakistan captain Inzamam, did not appear to suffer too many after-effects although it did take him 16 balls to get off the mark before he drove Murtagh stylishly for four through the off side.

The 22-year-old was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes' treatment on the field, but he recovered to face the second ball of the match, with Imam playing and missing.

Pakistan team is in good form as it won the tour match against Northamptonshire with 9 wickets.

That left Pakistan 13 for one off the last ball of the eighth over.

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

Rankin eventually tempted Shafiq to pull to square leg on 62, giving him, Murtagh and Stuart Thompson two wickets apiece.

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.

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