Ireland fail to create history in maiden Test; Pakistan win by 5 wickets

Ireland failed to emulate Australia’s feat of winning their maiden Test match. Pakistan beat Ireland by 5 wickets at Malahide.

Ireland became the 11th nation to play Test cricket when they played Pakistan at Dublin’s Malahide at the Village in front of a near capacity crowd. The five-day Test was reduced to four days after the first day was completely washed out. When the sun finally did shine, Ireland won the toss and opted to bowl. After four interesting days of Test cricket which once again reinforced belief in the longest format, Pakistan emerged triumphant by five wickets. Despite the result, Ireland have made a convincing start and can go further in red ball cricket.

Pakistan had alarm bells ringing early on with Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq walking back to single digits at The Village. Boyd Rankin with the milestone moment of becoming Ireland’s first wicket-taker in Test cricket. Asad Shafiq (62) and Faheem Ashraf (83) solidified Pakistan’s run tally later to take the visitors to 310/9 before they opted to declare under gloomy conditions and put Ireland under the pressure.
That strategy worked out perfectly and Ireland were in tatters at 7/4 before being bowled out for 130 runs thanks to Kevin O’Brien’s pivotal 40 runs. The 180 run lead allowed Pakistan to enforce follow-on for the first time in 16 years.
In the second innings, Ireland started better with William Porterfield and Ed Joyce putting together 69 runs for the opening wicket. But with the side reduced to 157/6, Ireland needed a strong effort to hand a competitive target. Up stepped O’Brien to become Ireland’s first Test centurion. His battling knock under seamer friendly conditions pushed the hosts to 339 runs and handed Pakistan a 160 run target.

At one stage, Ireland could sniff a win. Or at least an opportunity to push Pakistan to the brink. Wickets of Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq had Pakistan under serious concern at 14/3. But Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam steadied the ship to take Pakistan to win.
With the defeat, Ireland failed to emulate Australia’s feat of winning their maiden Test match. Australia had played and won their first Test match against England in 1877.
How teams did in their first Test match:
Australia: Beat England by 45 runs (1877)
England: Lost to Australia by 45 runs (1877). First win: Second week, 2nd Test
South Africa: Lost to England by 8 wickets (1889). First win: 7 years, 12 Tests
West Indies: Lost to England by innings and 58 runs (1928). First win: 2 years, 6 Tests
New Zealand: Lost to England by 8 wickets (1930). First win: 26 years, 45 Tests
India: Lost to England by 158 runs (1932). First win: 20 years, 25 Tests
Pakistan: Lost to India by innings and 70 runs. First win: 1 week, 2 Tests
Sri Lanka: Lost to England by 7 wickets (1982). First win: 3 years, 14 Tests
Zimbabwe: Drew with India. First win: 3 years, 11 Tests
Bangladesh: Lost to India by 9 wickets. First win: 5 years, 35 Tests
On June 14, India play Afghanistan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in what will be Afghanistan’s first-ever Test.