Ireland Test debut ends in defeat to Pakistan


But O'Brien Jr's 118 not out against Pakistan yesterday, in Ireland's inaugural Test match at Malahide, tops the lot and may well be the best individual innings of all time by an Ireland global batsman.

Haris Sohail took the catch at slip after Mohammad Abbas found the edge as O'Brien was dismissed without adding anything to his overnight score of 118.

O'Brien and Thompson not only negotiated the new-ball spell but profited in it before tea - by which point Ireland's lead was 32 - and their continued presence began to deflate Pakistan.

Abbas swiftly removed Boyd Rankin (6) and Tyrone Kane (14) to return second-innings figures of 5-66.

Fears that as soon as Ireland lost one wicket, another would follow quickly, were proved correct as 69 for one became 69 for two, with Andrew Balbirnie, for the second time in the match, was lbw to Mohammad Abbas for nought.

Cricket Ireland have said that one or two Test matches a year will probably be the limit that the Ireland side will play.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested after stumps on Sunday that Amir's lengthy time away from the game allied to the fact he had been involved in all three global formats-Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s-since coming back had taken a toll on the swing bowler.

Amir, however, repeatedly limped around the field on Monday when he was not bowling.

The tourists might have already won this match, however, had they not dropped both Ireland openers, Ed Joyce and skipper Porterfield, in single figures off Amir on Sunday.

Amir was on target for the first time on Monday when Niall O'Brien, Kevin's brother, had his stumps uprooted - a wicket greeted with the bowler's familiar arms outstretched celebration.

Amir, who walked off the pitch after hurting his left knee on day three, came back to bowl on day four and bagged three wickets to show signs of hope that he'll be fit to fire against England. His first 14 Tests saw Amir take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 runs apiece, but his 16 completed Tests since his comeback yielded 44 wickets at a more expensive average of 37.25.

Kevin O'Brien believes his latest hundred can be the springboard for a dramatic Ireland success just as his last one set up a stunning World Cup victory over England seven years ago.

He struck two fine fours off Stuart Thompson, a square cut followed by a square drive.