Ireland was given the Test status by International Cricket Council (ICC) and it was later decided that they will be up against Pakistan for their first ever Test match on 11th of May 2018 in Malahide. William Porterfield was decided to be Ireland’s first ever Test captain.
The excitement of cricket freaks was increasing as the day was getting closer. The first day was washed out due to rain and the Ireland cricket fans had to wait for another day for Test cricket. The match was finally resumed on the second day and history was created. There were some special moments to cherish for both nations in this Test.
Let’s have a look at what will be remembered for good:
Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf to the rescue for Pakistan
Pakistan was struggling at 159-6. The fate of Pakistan was now in the hands of the younger ones.
The young bats of Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf were brave and capable enough to carry the burden at that stage. They played sensibly and responsibly throughout their innings.
Shadab added 55 to the scoreboard from 105 balls whereas Faheem was close to his maiden century in Test cricket but was dismissed on 83, missing his well-deserved innings from just 17 runs.
They put up an unforgettable partnership of 109 runs which helped Pakistan to declare their innings at 310-9.
Pakistan enforcing follow-on after 16 years!
Ireland was bowled out on 130 in reply of Pakistan’s 310-9. Pakistan had a chance of enforcing a follow-on yet again. It is to be remembered that Pakistan hadn’t enforced any team to follow-on in the last 16 years.
They last enforced a follow-on on New Zealand when they were playing against them at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore in 2002.
And here it is finally, Pakistan has enforced a follow-on on Ireland after 16 long years and has made the historical Test more remarkable. Courtesy of Muhammad Abbas catastrophic bowling. Picking up 4 wickets for 44 runs as he damaged the newly Test playing member very acutely.
Ireland fans have something to cheer about for their lives.
“And that’s it! It’s 100 for Kevin O’Brien! The hero of Bangalore is the maestro of Malahide!”
From walking to the crease thinking of saving his side from humiliation to becoming the first Irishman to score a Test 100, Kevin O’Brien brought some smiles on the faces of his countrymen and made them proud.
He achieved this milestone on the fourth-day of the inaugural Test of Ireland. He flawlessly stroked the ball and it didn’t seem as if he was playing Test cricket for the first time.
Known for his big hitting and fearless shots, O’Brien scored 118 from 217 balls to scare the Pakistani side. In his innings, he was supported by Stuart Thompson. Together they added 114 runs to the Irish innings.
Imam-ul-Haq’s match-saving knock
“And it is Imam-ul-Haq who gets to the two runs that wins this Test match.”
Ireland registered a target of 160 and Pakistan had the whole day to chase it down. A spectacular bowling performance almost prevented Pakistan’s easy win when they were 3 down for 14 runs.
The debutant opener, Imam-ul-Haq was joined by Babar Azam. Where they had a match-winning 4th wicket stand of 126 runs. Imam was unbeaten on 74*. Imam also stroked the winning shot to make Pakistan victorious on Irish soil by 5 wickets.
The inaugural Test of Ireland was memorable in many ways for cricket fanatics. From Pakistan enforcing the follow-on to Kevin O’Brien thrashing Pakistani bowlers all over the park, it will be remembered for ages.