Ireland’s first ever Test match ended in defeat as Sarfraz Ahmed’s men clinched victory by five wickets. Ireland put up a great fight in their second innings as Kevin O’Brien scored his maiden Test century and Steve Thompson a half century but it was not to be as Pakistan chased down 160 on the final day losing only five wickets.
The match was fascinating as the game swung both ways with both teams ahead at stages and looking like they could win it at one stage or another. Ireland put Pakistan in to bat on day one of this fascinating Test match in Malahide but had to wait to make their debut as the rain threatened to ruin events. 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. However, it was not to be as they went on to declare on 310-9. The experienced head of Tim Murtagh was the top wicket taker, ending with figures of 4-45 from his 25 overs leaving him with an economy of just 1.80 per over.
Ireland crumbled to 130 all out in their first attempt at batting in a Test match and it could have been worse if it weren’t for man of the match, Kevin O’Brien top scoring with 40 and Surrey’s Gary Wilson supporting him on 33no, it could have been so much worse. With Ireland lying 160 runs behind, Pakistan elected to enforce the follow-on for the first time in their history and make Ireland bat again. Ireland held up well to start with as openers, William Porterfield and Ed Joyce, put on 64 at the close of day three. However, it was not to last as they were bowled out early on day four and lost four quick wickets in succession. However, O’Brien stood firm at the crease and would not be budged as he scored Ireland’s first ever test century. He was joined at the crease by Steve Thompson for the majority of the day. When he got out, young Tyrone Kane came to the crease and proved an able partner for O’Brien and supported him, getting 14 runs in 96 balls to drive their tally up to 339 leaving Pakistan to chase 160.
The Irish side took three wickets early on and looked like they might cause an upset but Pakistan recovered thanks to a partnership between Baba Azam and Iman-Ul-Haq to ruin Ireland’s dream of winning their maiden Test match.
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