Ireland Test debut ends in defeat

Ireland Test debut ends in defeat

A fourth-wicket partnership of 126 effectively settled the issue, despite a late run-out featuring Andy Balbirnie and bowler Stuart Thompson, and a wicket for Thompson who will be considered one of the finds of the week for Ireland coach Graham Ford.

Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam were tasked with rebuilding the Pakistan innings and ensuring their side avoided an ignominious defeat.

The sun came out on day two and after receiving their caps from chair of selectors, Andrew White, Ireland got off to a flying start as they had Pakistan's frail looking batting lineup 159-6 and looked like they might whittle them out for less than 200.

But there would be no encore from O'Brien. He has a tale to tell of Malahide, too, having seemingly been knocked unconscious going for a single from the first ball of the match.

A thick edge winged its way straight into the grateful hands of Haris Sohail waiting in the slip cordon and Pakistan could hardly believe their great fortune as suddenly they were within touching distance of finishing off this memorable Irish innings.

This was O'Brien's first global century since he scored the fastest-ever World Cup hundred, off just 50 balls, in Ireland's stunning win over England at Bangalore seven years ago.

Overall, the display was full of positives and although it wasn't flawless over the five days, Ireland showed that they can absolutely compete in Test cricket at a high level. But I can't fault anyone'. "Hopefully now we've put ourselves in a good position to try and go ahead and win it".

Hopes of an unlikely home victory were raised on the final day when the tourists, chasing 160, crashed to 3-14, with Tim Murtagh producing an absolute jaffa to get Asad Shafiq for the third wicket.

"It was one of those sort of games, where you find it hard not to look at the little opportunities here and there but the lads acquitted themselves well".

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The breakthrough buoyed the bowlers and sure enough, Boyd Rankin needed less than two overs from the Castle End to stamp his size 12s on proceedings as Sohail clipped a low effort to gully, where Ed Joyce was waiting to make an excellent catch.

Starting the day on 319 for seven with Kevin O'Brien resuming on 118, Ireland were only able to add 20 runs to their overnight total to set Pakistan a target of 160.

The shock was very much on the cards.

Ireland earned respect and admiration alike throughout the cricket world, missing out on a historic victory against Pakistan today in Malahide.

After Ireland's roaring start with the ball on the final day, Azam got together with Imam-ul-Haq to take the visitors to 52-3 at lunch. Babar Azam was with him on 9.

Amir, who helped Essex win English cricket's first-class County Championship past year, burst onto the world scene as a teenager and at 18 was the youngest bowler to the landmark of 50 Test wickets.

"The biggest thing is the way we fought back in the second innings and that showed the character that we have".

"I think it's very good for Pakistan as a team to chase this on the fifth day".

Welcome to Test cricket Ireland, what a shame it took so long. It was our first Test match and it was tough on the first day, we struggled a bit with the emotions.

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