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Ireland six-fastest to record maiden Test win, goes past giants India, New Zealand, South Africa

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New Delhi | March 1, 2024 11:55:59 PM IST
They say statistics don't lie and, in the process of scripting a historic maiden Test win on Friday, Ireland dwarfed cricketing giants India and New Zealand in terms of the number of games they took to get off the mark in the game's longest and toughest format.

Riding on a composed unbeaten 58 from skipper Andrew Balbirne and a good hand from young batting partner Lorcan Tucker, the Irishmen recovered from initial hiccups to ace a tricky chase, setting off wild celebrations in their dressing room and the stands.

After being reduced to 13/3 chasing a modest target, Balbirne settled nerves in the Irish dugout as he mixed caution with aggression to take his team over the line and register their first Test win in just eight matches.

Significantly, however, the Irishmen have featured in only six Tests over a period of six years since being cleared to play the red-ball format in 2018.

With the win against the doughty Afghans on Friday, Ireland became the sixth-fastest team to win their first match in red-ball cricket, leap-frogging India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and many other established Test-playing countries in the process.

Led by Dave Gregory, Australia made their Test debut in 1877 and clinched their first win in the only format back in the day, defeating arch-rivals England by 45 runs.

In the same Ashes series, England bounced back and won the second Test to record their first victory in the red-ball format in only their second match.

Just like the Three Lions, Asian cricketing giants Pakistan, too, took just two matches to open their account in red-ball cricket.

Making their Test debut against bitter cricketing foes India in Delhi way back in 1952, a match that featured yesteryear stalwarts such as Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar and Pahlan (Polly) Ratanji Umrigar, among others, Pakistan fell to a loss by an innings and 70 runs.

The Indians were led by Lala Amarnath in that series.

In the second match of the series, however, Pakistan made a stirring comeback with skipper Abdul Kardar and his team turning the tables on the hosts in Lucknow and recording its first win in the red-ball format by an innings and 43 runs.

Significantly, India's win by an innings in the opening was also their first in the red-ball format, coming after 25 matches.

India made their debut in this format with the one-off Test against England at the 'Home of Cricket'--Lords--in 1932.

With the likes of CK Nayudu, Amar Singh, Nazir Ali and Naoomal Jeoomal leading the line for India, the visitors fought hard for an outright win but were aced by a more seasoned and experienced England.

Though India lost their debut Test by 158 runs, it has since recorded many wins to master the game's longest format and establish themselves as a formidable force in red-ball cricket.

Crowned champions of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC), New Zealand took 45 matches to win their first Test.

South Africa got their maiden win in the longest format after featuring in 12 matches. (ANI)

 
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