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No Test debut glory but plenty of pride for Porterfield and Ireland.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

THERE was to be no Test debut glory for Ireland's valiant cricketers as Pakistan saw off a spirited fightback to secure a five-wicket victory at Malahide on day five yesterday afternoon.

Having slumped to 14 for three when set 160 to win, the visitors were indebted to a stand of 126 between Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out) and Babar Azam (59) on the final day of an enthralling encounter.

Ireland had been bidding to emerge victorious despite following on, which had only happened on three previous occasions in Test match history, but a miracle in Malahide proved beyond them despite Kevin O'Brien's magnificent 118 with the bat.

O'Brien was at the crease for five hours as he compiled his historic century on Monday and it was hoped that he could add to his total, but he threw away his wicket to the first ball on Tuesday morning.

With it went any realistic hopes Ireland had of forcing an unlikely draw, despite the home side starting their second innings in the field well and taking early Pakistan wickets.

While the Test match just slipped away from Ireland in the end, team captain and Donemana native William Porterfield and other local players Boyd Rankin and Andy McBrine delivered a performance full of pride which ensures the future if Irish cricket is certainly bright.

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