Pakistan recover from early setbacks against Ireland

The match against Pakistan at Malahide had to be abandoned

More than 5,000 spectators had paid to watch the historic day's play against Pakistan at Malahide but are now entitled to a full refund and, following the abandonment of Ireland's last home match against West Indies at Stormont, the compensation is not covered by CI's insurance.

Imam eventually recovered before fellow opener Azhar Ali became Ireland's first scalp at this level when he edged to slip for four runs off the bowling of Boyd Rankin, who had previously represented England.

But the 22-year-old left-hander, who hit a hundred on his one-day global debut against Sri Lanka last year, has made fifties against both Kent and Northamptonshire in Pakistan's two warm-up matches ahead of this one-off Test.

Ali's batting partner Ul-Haq, who just so happened to be making his Test debut for Pakistan, then bolted down the pitch in the other direction.

Pakistan team is in good form as it won the tour match against Northamptonshire with 9 wickets.

Ireland XI: William Porterfield, Ed Joyce, Andrew Balbirnie, Niall O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, Stuart Thompson, Tyrone Kane, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin.

There was drama at a sun-drenched Malahide even before the wickets fell, with Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq injured off the first ball of the match.

Azhar Ali dug out a Murtagh delivery and called for a quick legside single.

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Imam is the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq and his inclusion in the squad provoked allegations of nepotism.

The very next ball saw Imam trapped leg before for just 7 as Tim Murtagh got in on the act.

After a few near run-outs, Pakistan´s third-wicket duo settled in.

The wickets of Shafiq (62) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (20) left Pakistan in all sorts at 159 for 6 and their last two recognized batsmen at the crease.

Pakistan would have expected more from Babar Azam (14) who couldn't hang on with Shafiq for longer than nine overs before nicking off to Murtagh.

The match will now be a four-day Test with follow-on imposed on the teams to be of 150 runs rather than 200.

And on the nine previous occasions only Zimbabwe have managed that and, apart from the first Test when Australia beat England, are the only side to avoid losing their inaugural Test.

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