Rain and Pakistan rally dampen Ireland's Test bow

On a mixed first day of Test cricket for Ireland, Boyd Rankin's impressive display with the ball was offset by a Pakistan rally.

Imam-ul-Haq collides with a pair of Ireland players in an early flashpoint   -  Getty Images

Ireland belatedly made their historic Test debut following a first-day wash out, but could only limit Pakistan to 268-6 before the rain returned on Saturday.

A downpour prevented any play on Friday, making the rookie hosts wait another 24 hours before starting their Test careers on an entertaining day in Dublin.

Boyd Rankin (2-58), already a Test international with England, took the historic first wicket as Ireland began on the front foot and it was the same man who removed the troublesome Asad Shafiq (62) to slow the recovering tourists.

But Shadab Khan (52 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (61no) excelled before play stopped again to put a dampener on another soggy day for Ireland.

Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a bizarre start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery.

Imam quickly recovered, but the two Pakistan batsmen soon departed in consecutive balls. Azhar lobbed to Ireland captain Will Porterfield at second slip and his opening partner was then trapped lbw by Tim Murtagh.

The hosts' momentum waned before lunch and Haris Sohail (31) and Shafiq put on 58 for the third wicket, until the former gifted Porterfield another catch early in the second session.

Shafiq kept plugging away but, after Babar Azam (14) edged to second slip, he was finally dismissed, pulling to Andy Balbirnie. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (20) soon bowed out, too.

Shadab and Ashraf stepped up either side of tea, though, and plundered 15 boundaries between them that put Pakistan in a strong position.

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