Shadab and Faheem revive Pakistan in Ireland’s inaugural Test

Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf celebrates with Pakistan’s Shadab Khan, left, after reaching his half century during play on day two of Ireland’s inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin on May 12, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 May 2018

Shadab and Faheem revive Pakistan in Ireland’s inaugural Test

  • Ireland became the 11th nation to play men’s Test cricket
  • Ireland won the toss and opted to field first

DUBLIN: Shadab Khan and debutant Faheem Ashraf both scored maiden Test fifties as Pakistan fought back in Ireland’s inaugural Test match in Dublin on Saturday.
Pakistan were 268 for six when bad light and then rain brought the second day at Malahide to a premature close.
Shadab, in just his second Test, was 52 not out and left-hander Faheem 61 not out, with their unbroken seventh-wicket stand so far worth 109 runs after they had come together at 159 for six.
Pakistan, sent into bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield, lost two wickets in successive balls to be 13 for two, but concerns that Ireland would pay for doing without a specialist spinner were eventually proved to be well-founded.
Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh led Ireland’s attack with two wickets for 33 runs from 17 overs, with Boyd Rankin taking two for 58 in 17 overs.
Ireland, from the moment of the toss, officially became the 11th nation to play men’s Test cricket.
There was drama at an initially sun-drenched Malahide right from Saturday’s first ball of this stand-alone match.
Azhar Ali dug out a Murtagh delivery and called for a quick legside single.
Non-striker Imam-ul-Haq, like Faheem making his Test debut, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien and Kane in a heavy collision as he scrambled to complete the run.
The 22-year-old was left flat on the ground and needed several minutes’ treatment on the field, but he recovered to face the second ball of the match, with Imam playing and missing.
Imam, the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, scored a hundred on his one-day international debut against Sri Lanka last year.
The left-hander, who came into this match following fifties in Pakistan’s two warm-up fixtures, against Kent and Northamptonshire, square-drove Murtagh for a stylish four.
But it did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike on a pitch offering some sideways movement.
Rankin, the 15th man ever, and the first since Kepler Wessels (Australia and South Africa) 25 years ago, to play Test cricket for two nations after making a lone appearance for England in 2014, had an uncertain Azhar (four) edging to Porterfield at second slip.
That left Pakistan 13 for one off the last ball of the eighth over.
Barely had the crowd’s cheers subsided, then Pakistan were 13 for two off the very next ball, with Imam lbw for seven to a Murtagh delivery that came back into him.
After a few near run-outs, Pakistan’s third-wicket duo settled in.
Shafiq square-cut Kane for four, with left-hander Haris Sohail glancing Stuart Thompson for a legside boundary.
Pakistan, 67 for two at lunch, lost their third wicket soon afterwards when Haris was caught in the gully by Porterfield off Thompson.
Babar Azam (14), pushing hard at a Murtagh delivery that left him off the pitch, was well-held by Paul Stirling at second slip.
Shafiq went on to complete a 107-ball fifty when he pulled Rankin for a single.
But with the towering Rankin, bowling from around the wicket, a similar shot proved Shafiq’s undoing when he found Andrew Balbirnie at square leg.
And when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) was caught by Stirling in the slips off Thompson, the tourists were 159 for six.
But Shadab and Faheem turned the tide in style.
Faheem, however, did have a break when, on 36, he edged Rankin only for a diving Niall O’Brien to miss the catch and give the obscured Gary Wilson at first slip no chance of taking the ball.
Duly reprieved, he went to fifty in just 52 balls, including seven fours, with Shadab following him to the landmark in 89 balls.
When Stirling did come on, a well-set Faheem launched the part-time spinner over long-on for six.
Bad light saw the players leave the field at 5:27pm local time (1627 GMT) and 20 minutes later, after a thunderclap and a heavy downpour, play was abandoned for the day.

FASTFACTS

Debutant Imam-ul-Haq is the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq.


Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

Updated 27 November 2020

Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

  • Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
  • Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix

NEW DELHI: Top doctors have warned elite runners are taking a major health risk by competing in Sunday’s New Delhi half-marathon in the midst of a major coronavirus outbreak and soaring air pollution.
Women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei from Kenya and Ethiopia’s two-time men’s winner Andamlak Belihu are among the 49 elite athletes running the 21-kilometer (13.1 mile) race, while thousands of amateurs are taking part virtually.
Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
But with New Delhi recording more than 500,000 virus cases, and air quality in the world’s most polluted capital hovering between ‘unhealthy’ and ‘hazardous’, health experts said the athletes should think twice.
“It will be suicidal for runners to run the race this time. We have such high levels of pollution, we have the risk of coronavirus,” Arvind Kumar, founder trustee of the Lung Care Foundation, told AFP.
“With the presence of this twin threat if people are still running despite knowing everything, well, I have no words to express my anguish.”
“Whether you are an international elite runner or you are a small boy from a village, the damaging potential of a damaging agent remains the same,” said the doctor.
Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the country’s top research body, told AFP that “in an ideal situation” the race should not be run.
“Because of high levels of air pollution, exercising outside in this weather sometimes can lead to aggravation of underlying lung problems,” he said.
“Even if you are an elite runner the air pollution would still affect your lung.”
Normally thousands of amateurs would also take part, but because of the coronavirus they have been told to run their chosen route between Wednesday and Sunday and chart their time on an app.
Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix.
This year, the Indian capital is also a major concern in the battle against the coronavirus. India is the world’s second worst-hit country behind the United States, with about 9.3 million cases.
The city is considering imposing a night-time curfew because of the rising number of cases, according to media reports.
Kosgei, who is visiting India for the first time, acknowledged her concerns about traveling for the race.
“We have definitely been affected by Covid-19. I had to convince my parents and family back home to allow me to visit Delhi for the half-marathon,” she said.
“The virus has affected most of the sporting events. But it is important for us to take care of ourselves.”
As in other countries, nearly all sport in India has been canceled.
After repeated delays, the Indian Premier League cricket went ahead in the United Arab Emirates and the Indian Super League football is being held in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa.