Ireland strike twice in two balls for first Test wickets

Dublin (AFP) –


Ireland took their first wickets in men's Test cricket as they reduced Pakistan to 13 for two with successive deliveries on the second day at Malahide on Saturday.

Boyd Rankin, who had previously taken one wicket in a lone Test appearance for England before switching back, made the breakthrough in Ireland's inaugural Test.

With the last ball of the eighth over, Rankin had Azhar Ali out for four runs, edging tentatively to Ireland captain William Porterfield at second slip.

And, from the very next ball, 13 for one became 13 for two when left-hander Imam-ul-Haq, who was also making his Test debut, was leg before for seven to a Tim Murtagh delivery that came back into the 22-year-old nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Rain washed out the whole of Friday's first day but, after Ireland captain William Porterfield won the toss under sunny blue skies on Saturday, the game got off to a dramatic start.

Non-striker Imam was injured off the first ball of the match when he collided with wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and fielder Tyrone Kane when completing a single, with the batsman, flat out on the turf, needing several minutes' treatment before he could face his first ball in Test cricket.