Ireland threatening to pull off upset win against Pakistan

Kevin O'Brien slammed the first Test hundred for Ireland

Pakistan chased 160 runs target with the loss of five wickets in their second innings.

A top-notch 74 run knock of opener Imamul Haq off 121 balls and middle-order batsman Babar Azam's 59 runs innings sealed win for the Sarfaraz-led visiting side.

Imam strode off unbeaten on 74 but it was Kevin O'Brien who picked up the man of the match award, with the added bonus of forever being the first name of Ireland's Test match roll of honour board.

Babar was run out 50 runs later thanks to a mix-up with Imam, with the score on 142, and though skipper Sarfraz Ahmed followed soon after for 8 it was too little too late for Ireland, and Shadab Khan ended on 8* to help Pakistan over the line.

But come stumps on Monday's fourth day, Ireland were 319 for seven - a lead of 139 runs, with Kevin O'Brien 118 not out.

Abbas wrapped up the innings, and his second five-for in Tests, when he bowled Rankin (6) and Tyrone Kane (14) off inside-edges - but it was then Ireland's pacemen who came to the fore.

With Ireland lying 160 runs behind, Pakistan elected to enforce the follow-on for the first time in their history and make Ireland bat again.

The visitors, who will take on England in a two-Test series starting on 24 May, were left reeling by Murtagh and Rankin's opening spell.

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West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has expressed his desire to carry his good form for the Hammers into next season. He said: We showed clearly we were playing to win the match.

"To get up to close to 350 showed what we've got in the changing room and the passion that we have for playing our cricket". However, Pakistan continued to bat consistently and the partnership between Imam and Babar Azam set up the favourites for the victory.

Becoming just the fourth batsman to score a century in his country's maiden Test, Kevin O'Brien was deservedly adjudged Man of the Match.

From there, they dragged themselves back into the match and played their way into contention going into the final day against a Test nation stalwart as Pakistan.

2002 - For the first time in 16 years, Pakistan enforced a follow-on in Test cricket.

Hopes of an unlikely home victory were raised on the final day when the tourists, chasing 160, crashed to 3-14, with Tim Murtagh producing an absolute jaffa to get Asad Shafiq for the third wicket.

Ireland can be extremely proud and their display gave a basis to compete on equal terms and they certainly do not look like the new boys of Test cricket. There were 11 caps being handed out, we had all our family and friends here and with all the build up to the game there were a lot of emotions for every lad, so to go out and start how we did was fantastic. It was our first Test match and it was tough on the first day, we struggled a bit with the emotions.

The performance against Pakistan was full of positives, and although the future test match against India will provide a completely different game and possible eye-opener on test cricket - the blocks are there for Ireland to produce a competitive Test cricket team.

Welcome to Test cricket Ireland, what a shame it took so long.

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