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Pakistan arrive on a major high for Ireland's first ever Test match


Standing tall: Imam ul-Haq
Standing tall: Imam ul-Haq

By Ian Callender

The Pakistan squad fly to Dublin this morning in good heart after an impressive warm-up ahead of the one-off Test match against Ireland.

A nine-wicket victory over Northamptonshire was completed halfway through the fourth and final day at the County Ground with undefeated half centuries for Imam ul-Haq and Haris Sohail as they chased down 134 in just 27 overs.

Also in form ahead of the Malahide clash, which starts on Friday, is teenage leg spinner Shadab Khan, who had match figures of 10-157 as Northants were bowled out for 259 and 301. In between, Pakistan amassed 428 with experienced Asad Shafiq finishing 186 not out. Ireland can expect to be facing all three in their inaugural Test.

Tim Murtagh will also fly in today after completing his county commitments yesterday.

Civil Service North were the first winners in the Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup yesterday with professional Andre Malan producing one of the best ever bowling spells in the shortest format.

The South African took three wickets in his four overs at a cost of just one run as Armagh were restricted to 81 for nine in their 20 overs. Indeed, 77 of the runs came in just 13 overs because Graham McCarter was almost as accurate, with figures of 1-3.

With CSN skipper James Kennedy scoring an unbeaten 46 from 44 balls and Mark Ellison a run-a-ball 35, the home team won by nine wickets.

Gallagher Challenge Cup Preliminary Rd

Pollock Park: Lurgan 76 (35 overs, L Moore 4-18, D McCormick 3-15) Cregagh 78-2 (12.5 overs, J Moore 34, A Bingham 2-18). Cregagh won by 8 wickets and are at home to Instonians in the first round.

Upritchard Park: Bangor 213-9 Laurelvale

Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup

Stormont: Armagh 81-9 (20 overs, A Hoey 23; A Malan 3-1, A Wright 3-21) Civil Service North 83-1 (13.5 overs, J Kennedy 46 not out, M Ellison 35 not out). CSN won by 9 wickets. The Lawn: Waringstown 103 (19.4 overs, A Dennison 35, G Thompson 22; J Shannon 4-14, Nik Smith 2-23) Inst.

Instonians 105-3 (12.5 overs, S Getkate 48 not out, O Metcalfe 23).

Instonians won by 7 wickets.

Laurelvale 113. Bangor won by 100 runs and are home to Downpatrick in next round

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