Kevin O’Brien became the fourth batsman to score a hundred in a team’s inaugural Test. © Cricket Ireland

Kevin O’Brien became the fourth batsman to score a hundred in a team’s inaugural Test. © Cricket Ireland

Ireland became the 11th Test-playing nation when they hosted Pakistan in the historic match at The Village in Malahide, Dublin on Friday (May 11). This was the first occasion when a side made their Test debut against a team other than England and India.

Although Ireland lost the match by five wickets, they didn’t go down without a fight. However, this means till date only Australia have won their inaugural Test, while Zimbabwe are the only one to draw theirs. Rest all teams have ended on the losing side.

Earlier, rain marred the opening day of the match. On Saturday, when Ireland eventually took the field for their inaugural Test, one cricketer in their side – Boyd Rankin – already had a Test under his belt. Rankin has played one Test for England, against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the 2013-14 Ashes.

Apart from Rankin, only three other cricketers have featured in a country’s inaugural Test, with already having the experience at that level. Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Amir Elahi played for India before the independence and then represented Pakistan in the country’s first Test, while John Traicos, who played three Tests for South Africa in 1970, returned to play for Zimbabwe after 22 years when they made their Test debut in 1992.

Overall, there are now 15 players who have represented two teams in Test cricket.

Test cricket for two nations

Player Team 1 Mat Team 2 Mat
Billy Midwinter Australia 8 England 4
Billy Murdoch Australia 18 England 1
JJ Ferris Australia 8 England 1
Sammy Woods Australia 3 England 3
Frank Hearne England 2 South Africa 4
Albert Trott Australia 3 England 2
Frank Mitchell England 2 South Africa 3
Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi England 3 India 3
Gul Mohammad India 8 Pakistan 1
Abdul Hafeez Kardar India 3 Pakistan 23
Amir Elahi India 1 Pakistan 5
Sammy Guillen West Indies 5 New Zealand 3
John Traicos South Africa 3 Zimbabwe 4
Kepler Wessels Australia 24 South Africa 16
Boyd Rankin England 1 Ireland 1

Rankin, who has already played One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals for both Ireland and England, became the first player to represent two teams in all three formats of the game. Others to represent two nations in more than one format are Kepler Wessels (Australia & South Africa), Ed Joyce (England & Ireland), Luke Ronchi (Australia & New Zealand), and Mark Chapman (Hong Kong & New Zealand). While Wessels featured in Tests and ODIs, the other three achieved the feat in the limited-overs formats.

Ed’s sister, Isobel Joyce, has also represented Ireland in the country’s only women’s Test, also against Pakistan in July 2000 which makes them the second brother-sister pair to have played Test cricket. The only other such pair is Australia’s Terry Alderman and his sister Denise Alderman who played 41 and seven Tests respectively.

Kevin O’Brien, who scored a brilliant 138 when Ireland were asked to follow on, became the fourth batsman to score a hundred in a team’s inaugural Test.

Hundred in team’s inaugural Test

Player Runs Opposition Venue Match Date
Charles Bannerman (Aus) 165* England Melbourne March 15, 1877
Dave Houghton (Zim) 121 India Harare October 18, 1992
Aminul Islam (Ban) 145 India Dhaka November 10, 2000
Kevin O’Brien (Ire)+ 118 Pakistan Dublin (Malahide) May 11, 2018

+: In the second innings

In fact, only three other batsmen in Test history have scored a hundred on debut with their side following on.

Hundred on Test debut with team following on

Player Runs Opposition Venue Match Date
KS Ranjitsinhji (Eng) 154* Australia Manchester July 16, 1896
Collie Smith (WI) 104 Australia Kingston March 26, 1955
Adrian Barath (WI) 104 Australia Brisbane November 26, 2009
Kevin O’Brien (Ire) 118 Pakistan Dublin (Malahide) May 11, 2018