Ireland to make history as they make Test Cricket bow

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Ireland will head into the unknown on Friday when they play their first ever Test match.

The Emerald Isle were ranking Test status last year, and begin their journey by hosting Pakistan.

It could be a bumpy adventure, with a number of other Test nations struggling during their early years, including New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

So it’s no surprise that Graham Ford’s side are out at 12/1 to win in Malahide.

Seasoned veterans Pakistan are 8/15, and the draw looms at 15/8 with rain threatening across the five days.

The Irish are no strangers to conjuring up a surprise, however. They beat Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup, before famously defeating England in the same tournament four years later.

Ed Joyce hit a memorable century in the latter, and the 39-year-old will be hoping to shine again in what will be his own Test bow too after missing out with England.

The former Surrey hitter is 10/3 favourite to top score in Ireland’s opening innings, while skipper William Porterfield is 7/2.

As for Ireland’s attack, Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh are joint 5/2 favourites to claim the most wickets in the opening innings.

Pakistan’s experience should prevail, but they are in the somewhat unusual position of being strong favourites.

They’ve struggled in Tests lately too. Aside from a 2-1 victory over a West Indies side in crisis, Pakistan have lost three of their last four Series’, each without winning a match.

But they do boast quality and Test nous with both bat and ball.

Azhar Ali is 5/2 favourite to be their first innings top runscorer, with Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Amir each 11/4 to grab the most first innings wickets.

With a Pakistan win expected, they dominate the man of the match betting. But if a surprise is on the way, there’s 20/1 about Boyd or Joyce to win the award.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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