Pakistan 310/9 decl. (Faheem Ashraf 83, Asad Shafiq 62; Tim Murtagh 4-45, Stuart Thompson 3-62) & 160/5 (Imam-ul-Haq 74*; Tim Murtagh 2-27) beat Ireland 130 (Kevin O'Brien 40; Mohammad Abbas 3-44, Shadab Khan 3-31) & 339 (Kevin O'Brien 118, Stuart Thompson 53; Mohammad Abbas 5-66, Mohammad Amir 3-63) by 5 wickets.
In the end, Ireland were beaten in their maiden Test, suffering the same fate as eight of the other ten members of cricket's most exclusive club. Imam-ul-Haq, the debutant opener, and Babar Azam fashioned the significant partnership Pakistan needed to avert disaster after they had slipped to 14 for 3 chasing 160. But that hardly begins to tell the story of Malahide.
Although Ireland only managed to added 20 runs to their overnight 319/ 7, they had everyone in the ground - and many far beyond - dreaming of a victory worthy of folklore when Tim Murtagh and Boyd Rankin plucked out 3 wickets in the first five overs of Pakistan's chase.
Pakistan, haunted by recent failures when set a small-but-testing target, knew they were being set up as the falls guys. Having dismissed Ireland for 130 first time around, it was galling enough that they had managed to pass 300, led by O'Brien's historic innings. Now Pakistan were in trouble on a green seamer against green opponents (in Test terms), with their two most-experienced batsmen back in the dressing room.
Instead, the youngsters stood up. Imam played an innings of calm authority to record his maiden half-century, characterised by composure and sound shot selection. The fourth-wicket stand between Imam and Babar, eventually worth 126, steered Pakistan away from calamity and to a win on the final day.
To read full article: http://v.duta.us/uZgarwAA