Ireland Test off to dramatic start as Pakistan´s Imam injured first ball

DUBLIN:Ireland´s inaugural men´s Test got off to a dramatic start on Saturday when Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq was injured on the first ball.

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Azhar Ali dug out a single off the opening delivery from Tim Murtagh and called for a quick legside single.

Non-striker Imam, in scrambling to complete the run, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O´Brien and Tyrone Kane in a heavy collision.

The 22-year-old left-hander was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes´ treatment on the field.

But he recovered and faced his first ball, the second of the match, from Murtagh with Imam, who had had a cold press applied to the back of his neck, playing and missing before he saw out the remainder of the over at a sunny Malahide.

Imam is the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq and his inclusion in the squad provoked allegations of nepotism.

But Imam, who hit a hundred on his one-day international debut against Sri Lanka last year, made fifties against both Kent and Northamptonshire in Pakistan´s two warm-up matches.

Rain washed out the whole of Friday´s scheduled first day but a day later grey clouds had been replaced by sunny blue skies as Ireland, from the moment of the toss, officially became the 11th nation to play men´s Test cricket.

The coin fell in favour of Ireland captain William Porterfield and he elected to field in this one-off match, with the teams lining up for national anthems before play started at 11:00am local time (1000 GMT).

AFP

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