Pakistan 268 for 6 (Shafiq 62, Faheem 61* Shadab 52*) v Ireland
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
After the rain, green shoots of hope. For Ireland, their bona fide first day of Test cricket could hardly have started better: two wickets inside the first hour and then four more during the afternoon to reduce Pakistan to 159 for 6. Then, however, proceedings began to turn a darker shade of green. Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf, with one previous Test between them, scored unbeaten fifties in a century stand that left Ireland ruing missed opportunities.
Ashraf, Pakistan's debutant allrounder, survived chances on 24 and 36 before raising his half-century from 52 balls; he was followed to the landmark a few minutes later by Shadab, the 19-year-old legspinner deputising for Yasir Shah. When the umpires took the players off for bad light, their partnership was worth 109 and Pakistan's position in the match was stronger that at any other point in the day.
Rain swept in soon after, washing away another 22 of the 98 scheduled overs following the complete abandonment of day one. Ireland were perhaps grateful for a chance to collect themselves and prepare to go again the morning, with the second new ball four overs away.
After the anti-climax of Friday, nothing could dampen Irish spirits as William Porterfield's team finally stepped on to the field as Test cricketers. Porterfield won the toss and Ireland soon had their first taste of success as a Test nation: both Pakistan openers removed in the space of two balls. Boyd Rankin became the first man to claim a Test wicket for Ireland (he already had one for England) when he dismissed Azhar Ali in the eighth over, squaring up Pakistan's senior batsman for a catch to Porterfield slip.
Azhar's partner, Imam-ul-Haq, was almost removed from action without having faced a ball on debut - a hefty collision with Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane after Azhar had called for a risky single from the first delivery of the match left Imam needing medical attention amid fears he might have suffered concussion. He was able to continue but did not make it out of single figures, trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh after a searching examination by the experienced Middlesex seamer.
Pakistan were 13 for 2 and that could have been 13 for 3 from the very next delivery, but Stuart Thompson, fielding at cover, was unable to hit the stumps at the non-striker's end with Haris Sohail stranded down the pitch.
Asad Shafiq was the man who sent Haris back and it was his half-century that pushed Ireland back during the first half of the day. Shafiq played several crisp shots as he looked to stamp his mark at No. 4, having moved up the order after the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan last year, putting on 58 with Haris to steady Pakistan. Ireland's change seamers, Tyrone Kane and Thompson, found swing but lacked control as runs began to flow.
Thompson was particularly wayward to begin with, but he found his line and twice had Shafiq edging clear of the cordon. He claimed his maiden Test wicket in the second over after lunch, when Haris felt for a delivery that swung across him and steered a low catch to gully. Murtagh then struck for the second time as a Test bowler, producing a trademark outswinger to remove Babar Azam.
Another counter-thrust followed, as Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed hustled singles and filched boundaries during a 49-run stand. Sarfraz edged through the slips on 7 but was typically busy, with Rankin resorting to going round the wicket and digging the ball in short (call it "Boyd-yline" bowling); the tactic brought the breakthrough when Shafiq was tucked up trying to pull and sent a head-high catch straight to square leg.
But with Ireland sensing an opportunity to bowl Pakistan out for less than 200, Shadab and Ashraf combined to turn the innings around. Ashraf had two significant let-offs: Gary Wilson could not get his fingers under a low chance at first slip, when Murtagh nibbled the ball away, while another thick edge off Rankin evaded Wilson after Niall O'Brien dived across him. That came in an over which cost 18 as Ashraf brought up his fifty, demonstrating a penchant for lashing anything loose through the off side.
Shadab had been the more attacking to begin with but he settled down to reach his own half-century from 89 balls. Ireland had seized the moment on their historic day, but two green shoots in Pakistan's youthful line-up prevented them from seizing the initiative entirely.