Ireland Test off to dramatic start as Pakistan's Imam injured first ball

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And a healthy crowd had already made their way into the 6,300-capacity stadium ahead of play and were well in situ before the teams came out for a quick blast of Ireland's Call ahead of proceedings.

On the other hand, the Pakistani cricket team will not be taking the Irish lightly, because Ireland will look to do what no side has done in 141 years: win their inaugural test match. But in the process of doing so, opening partner Iman ul-Haq was injured. The new ball pair of Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh kept the line tight and allowed only for few runs to escape in the first half an hour of play, and then a double strike off consecutive balls had the visitors reduced to 13 for 2.

Having taken their first, Ireland added a second wicket moments later as Murtagh trapped Imam-ul-Haq lbw with the first ball of the next over to leave Pakistan 13-2.

And Ireland captain William Porterfield was delighted with the start to Test cricket, aided by the fact that a lot of the emotion was dealt with before a ball was bowled.

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Pace bowlers Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin and Stuart Thompson all took two wickets apiece.

Duly reprieved, he went to fifty in just 52 balls, including seven fours, with Shadab following him to the landmark in 89 balls.

Murtagh hurled in the opening ball to Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali, who got the briefest of touches, before making a run for the opposite stumps.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali.

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Ireland were awarded Test status a year ago by the ICC and it was confirmed in October that Pakistan would be the first opponents for the new boys.

"I think the lads are both mentally drained and physically drained. We're still hugely proud and there are still four days to go".

"When you stop and think about it you don't realise how much you put yourself through building up to day one, which was washed out and then building up to today and getting out there".

The Irish were set to become the 11th nation to play cricket's longest format, yet heavy overnight showers and further light rain and strong winds in the morning prevented the five-day game from starting on time.

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