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Ireland announce 14-man squad for historic first Test against Pakistan

By Adam McKendry

Ireland have announced their first ever Test squad ahead of their meeting with cricket giants Pakistan at Malahide next Friday.

Veteran North West Warriors batsman William Porterfield will captain the Ireland side, who are playing their first Test match since being awarded Full Member Status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June of last year.

Half of the squad are made up of Northern Irish-born players, with North West Warriors quintet Porterfield, Andy McBrine, Boyd Rankin and Stuart Thompson all making the cut, as do Instonians' Nathan Smith, Northern Knights' James Shannon and Derbyshire's Gary Wilson.

Wilson is one of two county cricketers in the squad, with Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh also included.

Andrew Balbirnie comes into the game in sparkling form having slashed 126 runs from 256 deliveries across two unbeaten innings for Leinster Lightning in their recent match against the Warriors, and he is one of four Lightning members in the squad.

Ed Joyce, Tyrone Kane and Kevin O'Brien are also included from the Dublin-based team, while O'Brien's brother Niall - who plays for the North West Warriors - is also named in the squad.

Action gets underway in Malahide next Friday at 11am, with the five-day Test running until the following Tuesday.

Ireland Test squad to face Pakistan

William Porterfield (North West Warriors, captain), Andrew Balbirnie (Leinster Lightning), Ed Joyce (Leinster Lightning), Tyrone Kane (Leinster Lightning), Andy McBrine (North West Warriors), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Leinster Lightning), Niall O'Brien (North West Warriors), Boyd Rankin (North West Warriors), Nathan Smith (Instonians), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), James Shannon (Northern Knights), Stuart Thompson (North West Warriors), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire)

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