Ireland off to flying start as inaugural Test gets underway at last

The match against Pakistan at Malahide had to be abandoned

But Shadab Khan (52 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (61no) excelled before play stopped again to put a dampener on another soggy day for Ireland.

Boyd Rankin, who had previously taken one scalp in a lone Test appearance for England before switching allegiance to his native country, was the man to provide the breakthrough, becoming Ireland's first wicket-taker in the five-day format, producing an edge to second slip to reduce Pakistan to 13/1.

There was drama at an initially sun-drenched Malahide right from Saturday´s first ball of this stand-alone match. Azhar lobbed to Ireland captain Will Porterfield at second slip and his opening partner was then trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq will make his Test debut for Pakistan in the historic red-ball fixture.

Ireland's long-awaited Test match debut was delayed by the elements yesterday, with the first day of their historic contest against Pakistan washed out.

"I don't want to go round with a massively long face projecting misery, because it isn't, we are still hugely proud, there are still four days left in the match and, who knows, in the record books it may say we took the game to the fifth day", he said.

Former England worldwide Boyd Rankin (1-7 off seven overs) had the honor of taking Ireland's first-ever test wicket with Azhar (4) edging him to second slip.

More news: Chinese Premier Calls for New Progress of China-Japan Ties

It means there was no place for off-spinner Andy McBrine, nor Craig Young and James Shannon, in Ireland's XI, while Pakistan named an unchanged side from last week's warm-up game against Northamptonshire. The century stand for the seventh wicket helped Pakistan shift the initiative, which rested with Ireland for most parts of the day, in their favour.

Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.

Barely had the crowd's cheers subsided, then Pakistan were 13 for two off the very next ball.

But with the towering Rankin, bowling from around the wicket, a similar shot proved Shafiq´s undoing when he found Andrew Balbirnie at square leg.

But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.

Ashraf was dropped twice at first slip by Gary Wilson, on 24 and 36.

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