Ireland start strong but Faheem and Shadab keep Pakistan in the game

Irish hopes intact as bad weather derails Test debut

The Irish captain William Porterfield won the toss and opted to bowl first expecting to trouble the Pakistan batsmen with early swing.

Due to washed out first day, it is now a four-day match.

And Porterfield had made just three when Azhar Ali fumbled a routine catch at third slip.

Amir came off late in the final session because of a left knee problem and will be assessed.

"We're confident, we can take a huge amount of confidence".

Former England one-day global Joyce, at 39 the oldest Test debutant since Australia's Bryce McGain made his bow aged 36 in 2009, cashed in with some elegant shots including a cover-driven boundary off Abbas.

Abbas struck twice in a 30-minute spell before lunch to leave Ireland five for three after Sarfraz's well-timed declaration.

Former England one-day global Joyce, arguably Ireland´s greatest batsman and at 39 the oldest Test debutant since Australia´s Bryce McGain made his bow aged 36 in 2009, appeared to be a victim of the fact the Decision Review System was not being used in this match because Cricket Ireland had decided they could not afford the cost for a one-off game.

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

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Rankin, the former England worldwide 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. The best of those came when Ashraf edged a ball from Rankin that could have been taken by either wicket-keeper, Niall O'Brien, or Gary Wilson at first slip.

Veteran opener Ed Joyce was lbw to Mohammad Abbas for four before fellow opener Andrew Balbirnie, who might have been run out for a duck, was lbw to the paceman for nought.

As Ireland limped past fifty, leg-spinner Shadab Khan got into the act, picking two wickets in one over to leave hosts uncertain of getting past 100.

Earlier, Ireland finished 31 runs shy of the follow-on avoidance mark of 161.

This was the first time Pakistan had enforced the follow-on in a Test in 16 years since they beat New Zealand by an innings and 324 runs at Lahore in 2002.

And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed fell for 20, the tourists were 159 for six.

Pakistan´s Faheem Ashraf celebrates with Pakistan´s Shadab Khan (L) after reaching his half-century during play on day two of Ireland´s inaugural test match against Pakistan.

And he displayed some lower-order resistance, despite being unable to play many of his regular strokes, to ensure the Irish moved beyond the lowest score ever recorded by a team in their first Test innings.

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