For Pakistan, the debutants - Faheem Ashraf and Imam-ul-Haq played a vital role in the match. Abbas picked nine wickets in the Test and Amir looks in good shape. However, Pakistan's top order still looks unsettled and their catching has to improve. They go to England for a 2-Test series next. Ireland, on the other hand, will have to wait for a long time before they play their next Test. They will be locking horns with India in a 2-match T20I series here in Dublin in June. We'll be back for all that. It was a pleasure to cover this historic Test. Hope you folks enjoyed it. Until next time, it's goodbye from Abhinand Raghavendran, Varun Dikshit and Venkatesh..
After a washout on day one, we witnessed two young Pakistani lower-order batsmen bailing their team out of trouble on day two. When the hosts were bundled out for a cheap score on day three, a one-sided affair was expected with Pakistan enforcing the follow-on for the first time in 16 years. But, Ireland, playing their first-ever Test had other plans. The fifty partnership between Joyce and Porterfield set the platform and yesterday, it was Kevin O' Brien's show, who recorded a remarkable maiden Test ton ensured that his team had something to bowl at. It was a spirited bowling performance from the Ireland in the fourth innings, but they had too little to defend.
Sarfraz Ahmed: "Batting was very difficult here, a great knock from Imam and Babar Azam. We dropped a couple of catches. They played very well especially Kevin O'Brien and also Thompson who had a good partnership. Credit to my bowlers and also the batsmen. Babar and Imam have the potential. Hopefully, they play well in the future too. We need this kind of performances. We are ready, hopefully we do well in England as well."
William Porterfield: It would have made a very interesting game, if we would have gone close to the 200 run mark. We have played some very good cricket in this game and we can take a lot out of this game. We put up a really good fight in the whole game. If we would have been able to break the partnership after lunch, we would have had a chance. The boys played really well throughout the game and I could not have asked them for anything better. From follow-on to getting ourselves in a winning position was a very good effort. We talked about just winning the next session, we lost 4 wickets in the morning yesterday and that pegged us back. Kevin played an outstanding innings and he got us out of the bad situation along with Thompson and Kane. I am looking forward to the T20 series against India, we have some very good cricket to look forward to in the summer.
Kevin O' Brien, Player of the Match: "If the morning session could have been slightly better for us then we could have pushed for a win. It was disappointing for us not to get more runs. I tried to forget about yesterday, that was probably the toughest part as there was lot of attention from the media and on twitter. I am not used to batting for five and a half hours. I played the situation, we needed to stick in and rotate the strike. I am renowned for slogging the ball but I played according to the game situation".
Both teams pose for a group photo. All smiles. An amazing moment! Presentations coming up.
Chasing a target of 160, Pakistan lost three wickets inside four overs with just 14 on the board. That's when Babar Azam joined Imam-ul-Haq and they weathered the storm and thereby settled the nerves as they went to lunch without losing any wickets. Immediately after the break, Murtagh found the outside edge of Azam, but Andrew Balbirnie put it down at slip. How costly was that? Well, Babar Azam added 50 more runs to take his team towards the victory line. Imam-ul-Haq, on debut, was calm and didn't take any undue risks. The 22-year-old, Inzamam's nephew, fittingly hit the winning runs.
15:45 Local Time, 14:45 GMT, 20:15 IST: Imam-ul-Haq removes the helmet, goes down on his feet and kisses the turf. The debutant gets hugged by his batting partner - Shadab Khan. Smiles in the Pakistan camp. Ireland can keep their heads high. They competed exceptionally well in their maiden Test. Now both teams exchange handshakes. A well-fought Test, played in the right spirit.
Shadab Khan, right handed bat, comes to the crease
S Thompson to Sarfraz, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Tyrone Kane [3.0-0-11-0] is back into the attack
Sarfraz Ahmed, right handed bat, comes to the crease
S Thompson to Imam-ul-Haq, THAT'S OUT!! Run Out!!
Third umpire called. Run-out check. Babar Azam is short. OUT is flashed on the screen.
Tim Murtagh [13.0-2-49-2] is back into the attack
Grey clouds hovering over the stadium.
Stuart Thompson [3.0-1-9-0] is back into the attack
Smile on the face of Mickey Arthur
Boyd Rankin [8.0-1-37-1] is back into the attack
Tyrone Kane, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
The keeper is up to the stumps and there's a short cover in place too. Babar Azam has been regularly walking down the pitch
Welcome back. This session in all likeliness is going to decide the fate of the match. The players take their respective positions. 108 runs versus 7 wickets. Three slips in place. Here we go..
13:01 Local Time, 12:01 GMT, 17:31 IST: Umpire Nigel Llong takes off the bails to mark the end of a fabulous session of Test cricket. Who says Test cricket is dying! It is truly alive. We have witnessed four scintillating days of Test cricket in this match and the pendulum has swung from one side to another and all three results are still possible. Pakistan wrapped up the Ireland batsmen in a flash today and then Ireland, almost in revenge mood sent back Pakistan's top three batsmen equally quickly. Post lunch session should determine the outcome of the match, join us on the other side of the break.
Stuart Thompson, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Wow, the T20 League is etched in my mind in a way such that 17 runs seems like a poor powerplay score to me...
Babar Azam, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Murtagh to Shafiq, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Asad Shafiq, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rankin to Haris Sohail, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Boyd Rankin, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Haris Sohail, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Murtagh to Azhar Ali, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq are at the crease. Azhar Ali is on strike. Murtagh will open the attack