Bowlers put Ireland in a strong position on day two

Bowlers put Ireland in a strong position on day two

Bowlers put Ireland in a strong position on day two

But he recovered and faced his first ball, the second of the match, from Murtagh with Imam, who had had a cold press applied to the back of his neck, playing and missing before he saw out the remainder of the over at a sunny Malahide.

While this was Ireland's first Test wicket, it wasn't Rankin's.

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali fended it into the legside and called for a quick single, but in scrambling through, debutant Imam-ul-Haq was clattered accidentally by Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane.

With it, Pakistan for the first time in 16 years enforced a follow-on.

Haris Sohail was 28 not out and Asad Shafiq 22 not out.

Boyd Rankin became the 15th player to play Test cricket for two different nations when he took the field for Ireland on Saturday.

Rankin, the former England global and only Irish player with test experience, had the honour of Ireland's first test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the eighth over.

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William Porterfield's decision was rewarded nearly immediately as Rankin and Murtagh, among the more senior members in the side, picked up a wicket each to break Pakistan down to 13 for 2 inside the first ten overs.

Pakistan rebuilt and managed to not lose a wicket before the lunch break.

Meanwhile Shafiq, in at 13 for two, was proud to play the innings Pakistan needed in the absence of retired batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

"The noise for those first couple of wickets was great, they really got behind us and that helped with the adrenaline pumping and gave us an extra spring in our steps as bowlers", said Murtagh.

Shafiq though completed a 107-ball fifty before a pull off the towering Rankin went straight to square leg.

When Safrraz Ahmed (20) also edged to the slips giving Thompson his second wicket that left Pakistan 159/6 and in serious danger of being bowled out for a sub-par score. Abbas returned to claim his fourth and Shadab finished off the innings but Wilson's unbeaten 33 was symbolic of Irish resolve - a foundation which Joyce and Porterfield built on doughtily during the evening sunshine. The second time was in a 71st over in which Ashraf plundered seamer Boyd Rankin for four boundaries to rush to his maiden half-century in 52 balls.

Ironically, 10 minutes after umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong abandoned play, the sun came out, and frustrated spectators were asking had the decision been made too soon?

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