Pakistan 268-6 against Ireland at 2nd day close

Pakistan 268-6 against Ireland at 2nd day close

Rain washed out the whole of Friday's scheduled first day but a day later Malahide was bathed in sunshine, with grey clouds replaced by sunny blue skies as Ireland, from the moment of the toss, officially became the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket.

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.

Deutrom confirmed that 4,000 advance tickets have been sold for today's action and that figure is now sure to swell by walk-ups keen to witness the historic first ball bowled in a Test match in Ireland.

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.

Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a weird start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery.

Non-striker Imam, in scrambling to complete the run, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane in a heavy collision.

Imam, the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, scored a hundred on his one-day global debut against Sri Lanka past year.

Barely had the crowd's cheers subsided when Pakistan were 13-2 off the very next ball.

"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.

The tourists recovered but Asad Shafiq (62) was one of four wickets to fall after lunch to leave Pakistan 159-6.

Pakistan's team includes leg spinner Shadab Khan, who took 10 wickets in a warm-up win over Northamptonshire. Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.

Pakistan, sent into bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield, lost two wickets in successive balls on a pitch offering some sideways movement.

Shafiq went on to complete a 107-ball fifty when he pulled Rankin for a single.

Babar Azam (14), pushing hard at a Murtagh delivery that left him off the pitch, was well-held by Paul Stirling at second slip.

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