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Lord’s to host England’s Test clash with Ireland

LONDON: England’s historic first Test match against Ireland will be played at Lord’s next July. Ireland made their Test debut against Pakistan at Malahide in May and in 2019 they will head to London for a four-day match against England at the home of cricket from July 24-27. It will be the first ever meeting between the two local rivals in the game’s longest format. The clash is the precursor to next year’s Ashes series between England and Australia, which begins at Edgbaston on August 1. Lord’s hosts the second Ashes…

EU’s Juncker warns Britain ‘we are all Irish’ on Brexit

STRASBOURG: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday said the EU stood firmly with Ireland in Brexit talks, just ahead of a crunch UK cabinet meeting which he said the bloc will follow closely. Juncker addressed the European Parliament at the start of a crucial week for British Prime Minister Theresa May who will gather her divided ministers on Friday to thrash out the trade ties Britain wants with the EU after Brexit. "We have been waiting for months for the White Paper of 10 Downing Street and we…

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien, Tim Murtagh storm into top 100

Kevin O’Brien, the 34-year-old Ireland all-rounder, has not only broken into the top 100 in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings for batsmen, but gone all the way up to joint No.66 following his heroics in his country’s maiden Test match. Ireland’s historic foray into Test cricket ended in a five-wicket defeat, but more than one Irish cricketer proved that they belonged at the highest level. None more so than O’Brien, who hit the most runs for the team both times of asking – 40 and 118. The century in the second innings…

Ireland open to Pakistan tour, but ‘conditions apply’

DUBLIN: Ireland are open to touring Pakistan if "all the stars align," the chief executive of men's Test cricket's newest nation has said. The Irish made their Test debut with a highly creditable five-wicket loss to Pakistan at Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin concluded Tuesday. After being made to follow-on, Ireland reduced Pakistan to 14 for three to give themselves hope of a remarkable win before their visitors managed to chase down a modest victory target of 160. The match further strengthened the cricket bonds…

Sarfraz proud of Imam and Babar as Pakistan survive Ireland scare

DUBLIN: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised the character of young batsmen Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam after they ensured his decision to enforce the follow-on in Ireland's inaugural Test did not backfire. Only three times in the 141-year history of Test cricket have a side won after following-on but when Pakistan were 14 for three, chasing a modest 160 to win on Tuesday's final day of this stand-alone match, it seemed Ireland might mark their entry into the format with a stunning success. But 22-year-old left-handed…

Ireland denied dream victory on Test debut as Imam-ul-Haq steers Pakistan home

DUBLIN: Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq saw his side to victory as Ireland's first match in men's Test cricket ended in a gallant last-day defeat by five wickets at Malahide on Tuesday. Pakistan, set a seemingly modest 160 to win, after earlier making Ireland follow-on, collapsed to 14 for three before lunch on the fifth day. But 22-year-old left-handed opener Imam, the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, responded to the pressure with 74 not out -- his maiden fifty at this…

Historic O’Brien hundred fuels Ireland comeback against Pakistan

DUBLIN: Ireland fought back during the second half of day four of their first ever Test match after a historic, career-defining century from Kevin O'Brien rescued the hosts from the brink. The red-haired veteran put on 114 runs with Stuart Thompson to not only make Pakistan bat again but also throw open a wealth of possibilities on the final day at Malahide. The home side recovered from 157/6 to end day four on 319/7, with a lead of 139 runs and three wickets remaining. This Test saw Ireland launch an exciting new…

Amir injury ‘concerns’ Pakistan

DUBLIN, Ireland: Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood admitted Pakistan were "concerned" by Mohammad Amir's early exit from the third day's play against Ireland at Malahide just over a week before the start of a Test series with England. Left-arm quick Amir went off with what Mahmood said was a recurrence of a "chronic" left knee injury after a brief spell in Test debutants Ireland's second innings after Pakistan enforced the follow-on on Sunday. It was a frustrating end to the day for Amir, with the 25-year-old having both Ed…