Ireland fall short on Test debut despite Pakistan wobble

O'Brien century gives Ireland hope against Pakistan

The tourists ultimately prevailed with a degree of comfort, reaching a target of 160 thanks largely to Imam-ul-Haq's unbeaten 74 and 59 from Babar Azam.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested after stumps on Sunday that Amir's lengthy time away from the game allied to the fact he had been involved in all three global formats-Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s-since coming back had taken a toll on the swing bowler.

It was the first ball he faced.

Thompson, so long the talented under-achiever, showed why the selectors have stuck with him as he went to a half-century with his sixth boundary, a fierce pull through mid-wicket, but fell for 53 when he was beaten on the back foot and bowled by a sharp leg-spinner. Both of them combined to produce one of the best partnerships by an Irish batting duo ever.

The hosts are now poised at 319/7, with centurion Kevin O'Brien still at the crease on 118*.

Babar, cashed in to make a 61-ball fifty.

The last thing Ireland needed was to gift Pakistan a wicket via a runout and yet that is exactly how an opening stand eventually worth 69 runs ended when Joyce set off for a needlessly tight single before failing to beat Faheem Ashraf's direct hit from midwicket.

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Ireland fought back superbly, though, taking three quick wickets to bring the contest to life.

Earlier, Mohammad Abbas, benefiting from plenty of swing movement in overcast conditions, took the final three wickets of Ireland's second innings, including century-maker Kevin O'Brien.

Earlier, Kevin O'Brien created history for Ireland by scoring the nation's first Test century.

Abbas was once again the hero with the ball as he bagged a five-for in 28.3 overs, giving away 66 runs.

A magnificent rearguard hundred from Kevin O'Brien gave Ireland a lead of 139 in their maiden Test and the prospect of giving Pakistan an awkward run chase. Ireland, made to follow-on, were in danger of a heavy defeat when O'Brien, who top-scored with 40 in their first-innings 130, walked in at 95 for four on Monday.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-13, 3-14, 4-140, 5-152 Bowling: T Murtagh 16-3-55-2; B Rankin 12-1-57-1; S Thompson 11-4-31-1; T Kane 6-1-17-0.

A crestfallen O'Brien bowed his head in frustration and dropped his bat as he trudged off the field.

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