Three reasons why Ireland were competitive in their inaugural Test against Pakistan

Kevin O'Brien rose to the occasion again to give Ireland a chance of victory

AT stumps on day 4, they were on 319 for 7.

Fear that as soon as Ireland lost one wicket, another might follow quickly were proved correct as 69 for one became 69 for two, with Andrew Balbirnie lbw to Mohammad Abbas for nought for the second time in the match as he completed a pair.

No blushes ultimately for Pakistan but they were forced to work very hard following a spirited comeback from Ireland's cricketeers who enjoyed their maiden test despite their defeat today in Malahide.

But Thompson's single off all-rounder Faheem meant Pakistan would have to bat again, while Kevin O'Brien was looking increasingly assured.

This, however, was Pakistan, arguably world cricket's most celebrated bottlers of low chases and no strangers to a panicky batting collapse - the target of 160 right in the sweet spot of low enough to appear easy but just high enough to be a challenge.

It was not to be, of course, however, Porterfield was taking many positives from the five-day experience, and while Kevin O'Brien was awarded the man of the match for his maiden century and a fine 40 in the first innings, the captain felt that every man on the team contributed to the overall performance.

But Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam shared a 126-run fourth wicket stand as Pakistan battled to their winning target of 160.

As it was, Pakistan had debutant Imam-ul-Haq to thank as he steadied the ship after the visitors slumped to 14 for three before lunch on the fifth day.

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Murtagh and Rankin, along with Stuart Thompson and Kane, kept up the pace and chased the edges of both Babar and Imam relentlessly. It was a worrying sign for Pakistan, who next play a warm-up match against Leicestershire (May 19-20) before facing England in a two-Test series, with back-to-back fixtures at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5).

The now 26-year-old Amir's cricket career nearly came to an end following his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal during a 2010 Test against England at Lord's. Pakistan have a lot of good young players coming up, and the chance been provided to these young lads in their young careers is giving Pakistan cricket a bright future. By then, Azam had scored 59 and ended any hopes of a Ireland victory.

Wisden ranks the innings that won the match the second best in cricket history. Despite the loss, the hosts managed to impress all with their first outing in Test cricket.

It's a fantastic start to test cricket and an incredible display, seeing Ireland gravitate to test cricket.

It was yet another unforgettable memory for Kevin's parents, Brendan and Camilla, who were also in Bangalore on the night that their youngest son broke World Cup scoring records and English hearts in the 2011 World Cup.

What were your highlights from Ireland's first ever Test match?

Alastair Cook: Ex-England captain should bat at three or not play - Nick Compton (BBC Sport) Ex-England captain Alastair Cook should bat at number three in the Test side or not play, according to former team-mate Nick Compton.

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