Irish bowler stuns Pakistan star with incredible ball

Irish bowler stuns Pakistan star with incredible ball

Five balls later Pakistan were shell-shocked, the scoreboard remarkably reading 14 for three, as Murtagh took his second wicket of the day with the Ireland strike bowler sending an absolute corker down the track and straight through between bat and off stump, as Asad Shafiq was out for a solitary run. At one stage, Pakistan was reeling at 14/3 before Babar Azam (59) and Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out) started the rescue act.

Earlier, man of the match Kevin O'Brien had fallen without adding to his overnight 118 as Ireland were dismissed for a creditable 339 in their second innings.

Ireland led by 159 runs, and Pakistan - which scored 310/9 in its first innings - was patient with the chase.

Ireland went down fighing in their first ever test match.

"To get up to close to 350 showed what we've got in the changing room and the passion that we have for playing our cricket".

But after the break, Thompson upped the tempo and while O'Brien was content to nudge the singles, Thompson took 11 off an over from left-armer Rahat Ali and followed up with two more off Amir.

Imam remained unbeaten on 74 to guide Pakistan home in a chase of 160.

The 11th Test nation's optimism began to dissipate with Imam and Azam at the crease, though the former was fortunate an edge dropped short off Murtagh and the latter was nearly undone by a Rankin yorker.

Yet the controversial decision to shrink the 2019 World Cup in England to a 10-team tournament and Ireland's failure to come through an increasingly competitive qualifying tournament where only two spots were available means Porterfield's men will be on the outside looking in next year.

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However, O'Brien's incredible performance helped his side gain a foothold in the match, building a lead of 139 ahead of today's final innings. It was a worrying sign for Pakistan, who next play a warm-up match against Leicestershire (May 19-20) before facing England in a two-Test series, with back-to-back fixtures at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5) leaving little time for rest and recovery.

Now Sarfraz Ahmed, if only for a few hours perhaps, has to contemplate whether he made a wise move by becoming the first Pakistan captain to enforce a Test follow-on in 16 years.

O'Brien's circumspect batting - his 118 has come from 216 balls and contained 12 fours - has ensured Ireland stay alive at Malahide.

Ireland players after Pakistan secured a five-wicket win. Pakistan have a lot of good young players coming up, and the chance been provided to these young lads in their young careers is giving Pakistan cricket a bright future.

Ireland fought to become a Test nation, and believed that they were good enough.

The day didn't start as brightly for the Irish boys as they would've hoped.

"We want him to play Test cricket because he's our number one bowler", said Mahmood.

Only three teams have won a test after following on - England in 1894 and 1981, and India in 2001.

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