Rankin, the former England worldwide and only Irish player with test experience, had the honor of Ireland's first test wicket when Azhar Ali (4) edged him to second slip in the eighth over.
Ireland took two wickets in two balls as their inaugural men's Test finally got going at Malahide on Saturday.
Azhar Ali (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (7) were sent in to bat before a freaky start saw the latter involved in a nasty collision with both Tyrone Kane and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien following the very first delivery.
Ali's batting partner Ul-Haq, who just so happened to be making his Test debut for Pakistan, then bolted down the pitch in the other direction.
Legendary Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram has slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board and his compatriots who became a part of the historic Test against Ireland at Malahide for not sporting the traditional green stripe on their sweaters on Saturday.
Rain washed out the whole of Friday's scheduled first day but 24 hours later, this idyllic village ground was bathed in sunshine, as Ireland - from the moment of the toss - officially became the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket.
William Porterfield's decision was rewarded nearly immediately as Rankin and Murtagh, among the more senior members in the side, picked up a wicket each to break Pakistan down to 13 for 2 inside the first ten overs.
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The nephew of former Pakistan captain Inzaman-ul-Haq, who played in that famous defeat to Ireland at the 2007 World Cup, got back to his feet after five minutes of medical attention and set about building a partnership with fellow opener Azhar Ali.
Imam quickly recovered, but the two Pakistan batsmen soon departed in consecutive balls.
Haris Sohail was 28 not out and Asad Shafiq 22 not out.
Murtagh, Rankin and Stuart Thomson bagged two wickets each and reduced Pakistan to 159 for 6 at one stage, and looked in a serious threat of getting bowled out by the end of day's play.
That left Pakistan 13 for one off the last ball of the eighth over.
But their figures then took a thrashing from Ashraf and Khan.
The coin fell in favour of Ireland captain William Porterfield and he elected to field in this one-off match, with the teams lining up for national anthems before play started at 11:00am local time (1000 GMT).