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Ireland Test debut ends in defeat

Ireland Test debut ends in defeat

The third-wicket partnership had only got to 25 when O'Brien was bowled, playing across the line to Amir, and when Porterfield followed for the addition of only one more run, a good diving catch to his left by the keeper, Ireland were 95-4.

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

In 2011 at Bangalore, O'Brien crunched 113 runs off 63 balls - including 13 fours and six huge sixes - as Ireland chased down a target of 328 for a famous victory. After slipping to 127-5, it seemed as if a heavy defeat was on the horizon.

6 - Kevin O'Brien is only the 6th player to win the Man of the Match award on Test debut despite being on the losing side. O'Brien's performance provided the platform for Ireland to produce the possibility of a miracle result in Malahide.

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.

And when Murtagh struck again, bowling Asad Shafiq through the gate, Ireland sensed a stunning success.

Just four balls into their chase, Pakistan saw experienced opener Azhar Ali edge Tim Murtagh to Paul Stirling at first slip.

Imam, in particular, looked at ease and was scampering between the wickets - a trait his uncle Inzamam-ul-Haq was not renowned for during his career - as Pakistan reached lunch 3-52, needing 108 more. Pakistan had to earn a win.

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Imam remained not out on 74, made from 121 balls with eight fours while Babar made 59 off 114 balls with eight boundaries.

He made up for it with a composed unbeaten half-century in the second innings to steer Pakistan to victory. Although it was nearly inevitable that the upset was too far gone, Ireland further added to a respectable scoreline and outstanding match in general producing a further outing through Stuart Thompson's dismissal of Safraz Ahmed for 8, Pakistan now at 152-5.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested after stumps on Sunday that Amir's lengthy time away from the game allied to the fact he had been involved in all three global formats-Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s-since coming back had taken a toll on the swing bowler. It was the first ball he faced. He's certainly someone who we will see more of in the future.

Fear that as soon as Ireland lost one wicket, another might follow quickly were proved correct as 69 for one became 69 for two, with Andrew Balbirnie lbw to Mohammad Abbas for nought for the second time in the match as he completed a pair. The last coming in Kingston against the Windies.

Ireland cricket team in action against Pakistan.

"I think the way they played gives great confidence to the team and will help them in the next matches as well", the wicket-keeper added.

The Irishman joins three others in having achieved a century in his country's first Test; Charles Bannerman of Australia, Dave Houghton of Zimbabwe and Animul Islam of Bangladesh are the others.


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