Ireland vs Pakistan 2018, Only Test - Statistical Highlights

Kevin O'Brien was unable to add to his overnight score for Ireland

Ireland seamers Tim Murtagh (2-55) and Boyd Rankin (1-57) reduced the tourists to 14-3 inside five overs as they began their chase of 160 under overcast skies in Dublin, after the home side had been dismissed for 339 earlier in the day, with Kevin O'Brien unable to add to his overnight 118.

A top-notch 74 run knock of opener Imamul Haq off 121 balls and middle-order batsman Babar Azam's 59 runs innings sealed win for the Sarfaraz-led visiting side.

The Pakistani spearhead went off just 3.2 overs into his spell on Sunday during the second innings of Ireland's inaugural Test with a recurrence of a "chronic" left knee problem.

"It's really good that these two young players in our team, Imam-ul-haq and Babar Azam, the way they played, they showed their character, confidence".

Resuming on 118, O'Brien slashed at the first ball he faced on Tuesday - a wide one from Abbas - and edged to first slip.

"This Test match will have gone a long way to providing the next generation of cricketers, I'm sure".

"To get up to close to 350 showed what we've got in the changing room and the passion that we have for playing our cricket".

His effort not just saved Ireland from an embarrassing defeat, but also gave his bowlers some runs to bowl at the visitors that in turn helped them make a match out of it.

However, debutant Imam and Babar maintained their composure to combine for 38 runs before lunch and their alliance continued well into the afternoon after the latter was dropped by Andrew Balbirnie off Murtagh on nine.

"Hopefully in the next week or two there's going to be hundreds of little kids aspiring to be Kevin O'Brien in backstreet cricket", added Porterfield.

Yet the controversial decision to shrink the 2019 World Cup in England to a 10-team tournament and Ireland's failure to come through an increasingly competitive qualifying tournament where only two spots were available means Porterfield's men will be on the outside looking in next year.

Now Sarfraz Ahmed, if only for a few hours perhaps, has to contemplate whether he made a wise move by becoming the first Pakistan captain to enforce a Test follow-on in 16 years. Unfortunately, he came back after five years [out] and since he came back he has played every format for us.

Set a target of 160 to win in the final innings, Pakistan overcame early jitters to claim a comfortable victory in the end.

Following-on, Ireland started the fourth day on 64 without loss.

The performance against Pakistan was full of positives, and although the future test match against India will provide a completely different game and possible eye-opener on test cricket - the blocks are there for Ireland to produce a competitive Test cricket team.

O'Brien was just the fourth player to reach three figures in his country's first men's Test, with Australia's Charles Bannerman, Zimbabwe's Dave Houghton and Bangladesh's Animul Islam the others.

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