IRE vs PAK, Only Test, Day 3, Review: Superior visitors strangle hold the debutants with their swing bowling
Despite being skittled out early in the first innings, Ireland gave a better account of themselves in the second attempt.
Updated - May 14, 2018 12:08 am
Pakistan have consolidated their dominating position on the third day of the historic Test match against Ireland in Dublin. While the first day was washed out due to rain, thankfully the rain gods have stayed away for the following couple of days and the game might still finish on the fourth day itself. The hosts might have realised the hardships of the international cricket after they failed to counter the exceptional swing bowling of Pakistan. However, in their second attempt, following on, Ireland have shown much better resilience.
The opening duo of Ed Joyce and William Porterfield batted really well in the final session to defy the visitors any wicket and ended the day on 64/0 in their second innings as they still trail by 116 runs while following on. While Joyce remained unbeaten on 39, the skipper scored 23. Both would be eager to continue in the same vein on the fourth day and take the game deep as the dodgy weather might also will play its part in the game over the next couple of days.
The day started with the set duo of Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf aiming to take the score of the team past 350. But the experienced Tim Murtagh pinned the former in front of the stumps early in the morning. His partner though had some fun after that and played his shots to get some quick runs under his belt. Just when everyone thought that he will notch up a ton on his Test debut, Stuart Thompson sent him back on 83 which eventually ended the hopes of Pakistan to post a total beyond the reach of their opponents.
The conditions were overcast and it was no surprise when Sarfraz Ahmed decided to declare the innings with the score of 306 runs on the board. The last pair was still in the middle but he wanted to take the advantage of the conditions and expose the batting line-up of the home side. Murtagh proved his worth by taking four wickets in his first international experience and he was well supported by Boyd Rankin and Thompson who scalped 2 and 3 wickets respectively.
Amir and Abbas wreck havoc
Ireland got off to the worst possible start to their first ever Test innings with the bat. There was no doubt that Mohammad Amir and Co. were going to make full use of the new cherry and did what was exactly expected of them. Mohammad Abbas reaped rewards of the probing line and length first up as he sent back Ed Joyce after the ball rapped his pads. Though it was a poor decision from the umpire as it had pitched outside leg and the hosts lost the first wicket in their Test history.
Soon the same bowler scalped Andrew Balbirnie for an 8-ball duck off the delivery which was fuller in length and nipped back in after pitching. However, it was Amir who set the stage on fire with his world-class swing bowling. He set up the opposition skipper with a series of outswingers and then bowled one from wide of the crease which nipped back in sharply. Porterfield was in no position to play the shot as he had failed to pick it and could only see his off-stump going for a toss.
Soon Abbas sent back Niall O’Brien as well to leave his team reeling at 7/4 only for Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien to show some resistance. Both added 29 runs for the 5th wicket but Stirling gave away a maiden Test wicket to Faheem Ashraf in his very first over. But his partner Kevin played some wonderful shots and kept the scoreboard moving. However, he lost partners at the other end courtesy the leg-spin of Shadab. Finally he also lost his patience and was dismissed by Amit but not before scoring a well-made 40.
However, there was more resistance from the ninth wicket stand of Gary Wilson and Boyd Rankin. They frustrated the visitors for more than 13 overs and also stitiched a partnership of 34 runs to take their side past the three-figure mark which was indeed an achievement after the position they were in. Wilson was the major scorer in the stand as he played the situation cleverly and remained unbeaten until the end on 33 runs even as his team was skittled out for only 130 runs.
Pakistan 310/9dec (F Ashraf 83, A Shafiq 62, S Khan 55; T Murtagh 4/45, S Thompson 3/62)
Ireland 130 (K Brien 40, G Wilson 33*; M Abbas 4/44, S Khan 3/31) & 61/0 f/0 (Ed Joyce 39*)
State of the Match: Ireland trail by 116 runs