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Porterfield confident of Ireland's place at Test table

AFP  |  Dublin 

was in no doubt his side deserved their elevation to Test after a thrilling debut ended in a five-wicket loss to

Hopes of a miracle at Malahide weren't just the stuff of fantasy when Pakistan, set a modest 160 to win yesterday's final day, collapsed to 14 for three before lunch at ground.

Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out) and (59) then combined to dash dreams that Ireland, the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket, would record a remarkable win.

But it was a testament to Ireland's skill and resolve that after they had been made to follow-on by visiting Sarfraz Ahmed, the game remained in the balance on the final day.

For a while, it seemed might rewrite the record books on two fronts in becoming only the fourth side to win a Test after following-on and just the second in the 141-year history of the format, following Australia's defeat of England in the inaugural 1877 Test at Melbourne, to win their debut match.

That they were in a position to do that owed much to Kevin O'Brien's impressive 118 -- just the fourth instance of a man scoring a century in his country's first Test match -- that was the cornerstone of Ireland's second innings 339.

made their reputation on the global stage with wins over Pakistan, England and West Indies, was proud of his side's entry into the

"The biggest thing was how we fought back in the second innings with the bat -- that showed the character we have," he said.

"It's something that's been talked about during big occasions, World Cups. That's always been known to be there but Test is Test for a reason, it's there in the name, you did get tested and we were after the first innings.

"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." The crowd briefly included 74-year-old front man and cricket fan, Mick Jagger, but hoped that the next generation of potential Irish cricketers would be more inspired by O'Brien's hundred.

"Hopefully in the next week or two there's going to be hundreds of little kids aspiring to be in backstreet cricket," the Irish said.

"This Test match will have gone a long way to providing the next generation of cricketers, I'm sure." - 'noise' -

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This was O'Brien's first international century since he scored the fastest-ever hundred, off just 50 balls, in Ireland's stunning win over England at seven years ago.

Yet the controversial decision to shrink in England to a 10-team tournament and Ireland's failure to come through an increasingly competitive qualifying tournament where only two spots were available means Porterfield's men will be on the outside looking in next year.

"We wouldn't have got to where we were if we didn't get those opportunities to put down a marker on the world stage," Porterfield insisted.

"That gives you an opportunity to create enough noise. To miss out by it just being a 10-team World Cup is bitterly disappointing.

"We wouldn't have had the opportunity to play a Test match today, I don't think if we hadn't been playing the last 10, 12 years at World Cups.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 09:40 IST
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