Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Ireland struggling to avoid heavy loss in maiden cricket test

Ireland struggling to avoid heavy loss in maiden cricket test

Ireland are now in the midst of a historic Test against Pakistan and after a frustrating rain-delay which washed out the opening day's play, they have finally got a taste of what playing cricket's longest format at worldwide level is like.

"We are working on that, and hopefully we can come up with something".

However, Amir's injury has once again alleviated concerns about his long-term future in five-day cricket, with the bowling coach admitting that they need to manage the pacer's workload across three formats of the game.

Former England one-day global Joyce, at 39 the oldest Test debutant since Australia's Bryce McGain made his bow aged 36 in 2009, cashed in with some elegant shots including a cover-driven boundary off Mohammad Abbas.

The minnows, playing in the longest format for the first time, were reduced to an embarrasing 7-4 after Pakistan declared on 310-9, Mohammad Abbas leading the way with 4-44.

Amir has played a total of 31 Tests and bagged 97 wickets since making a return to global cricket, however, it seems that the non-stop involvement in all formats might have burdened him.

"Unfortunately, he came back after five years (out) and since he came back he has played every format for us", said Mahmood, himself a former Pakistan pace bowling all-rounder.

Meanwhile Mahmood was clear Pakistan did not want Amir, who has taken 95 wickets in 30 matches before this match, concentrating exclusively on limited-overs cricket as a fitness measure.

"But for him, it´s a concern for us and hopefully we will manage his workload in the future".

"He has got a chronic knee problem which has slightly flared up.Hopefully, he will be okay tomorrow to bowl for us".

"We want him to play Test cricket because he is our No.1 bowler and we want him to run in and bowl for us".

With Pakistan resuming on 268/6, the hosts might have harboured hopes of bowling the visitors out for under 300 with a few quick scalps, as it was they were denied even the satisfaction of bowling them all out, Sarfraz Ahmed declaring on 310/9 half an hour before the lunch break.

When the lunch break came, Ireland had faced 6.1 overs and were 5/3, Mohammad Abbas trapping both Joyce and Andrew Balbirnie lbw and Mohammad Amir removing William Porterfield's off stump with an absolute ripper that was simply too good for Ireland's skipper.

"You never know with the weather here (in Ireland), said Mahmood".

Given the way things had gone for them earlier in the day, the tourists would no doubt have had high hopes of making some serious inroads into Ireland's batting lineup before the close of play, and in reality they mainly had themselves to blame for not doing so. "But tomorrow is a new day so we can come out fresher".

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