But Imam, who hit a hundred on his one-day global debut against Sri Lanka past year, made fifties against both Kent and Northamptonshire in Pakistan's two warm-up matches.
It did not take long for Ireland to make a stunning double strike.
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Only 11 Irishmen have played Test cricket, one for Australia in the very first Test in 1877.
With Pakistan in a spot of bother at 159/6, Ashraf and Shadab came to the rescue as they amassed an unbeaten 109-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before bad light brought play to an end for the day.
At lunch, Rankin had impressive figures of one wicket for seven runs in seven overs, with Murtagh - 1-12 in seven - only marginally more expensive.
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The 19-year-old Shadab was another batsman this match to rue the absence of DRS and he walked off after facing 105 balls, including seven fours.
Ashraf was dropped twice at first slip by Gary Wilson, on 24 and 36.
But in sight of the notable feat of a hundred on Test debut, Faheem was caught behind off a lifting delivery from Stuart Thompson, having faced 115 balls, including nine fours and a six.
Some disciplined bowling from the Irish new ball attack saw two of the Pakistani openers getting out by the ninth over, leaving their side struggling at 13 for the loss of two wickets.
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Fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who achieved his Test ambition for England in 2014 and returned to Ireland in 2016, is part of the golden generation of Irish cricketers who have been rewarded with places in the first Test squad.