The first Test of the English summer began yesterday, and a historic moment for Ireland, as it was their first Test against England and their first Test at Lords.
It was a frenetic day that saw 20 wickets fall.
By the close of Day 1, the second innings had already started, but crucially for Ireland, they had a priceless first innings lead.
After Joe Root won the toss and decided to bat, England found themselves 43-7 at one stage, having lost 4 wickets for one run.
Verteran Tim Murtagh and debutant Mark Adair ripped through the English top order with figures of 5-13 and 3-38, respectively.
Murtagh will forever have his name on the Lord’s Honour’s Board. What a moment for him.
England, inside 24 overs of play, on the first morning of the Test match, were bowled out for 85. Only three of their players, Joe Denly (23), Sam Curran (18) & Olly Stone (19) made double figures.
They were simply outdone by good bowling as was evidenced by the fact that Murtagh pitched 69% of his deliveries on a good line and length. What is incredible about this number is that fast bowlers, on average, bowl a good line and length 34% of the time.
Just goes to show that you don’t have to have extreme pace or aggression to be a quality Test bowler. You just need to bowl in the right areas, consistently.
Still amazes me how often world class players forget the basics, if you do the right things consistently, you’ll be rewarded.
Ireland made an excellent start to their innings after lunch, having erased the deficit in the middle session for the loss of only two wickets, the openers, Porterfield (14) & McCollum (19).
The experienced pair of Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling stood in a fantastic 87 run partnership, which was broken in the final session of the day.
England clawed their way back into the Test by bowling Ireland out in the evening session for 207. Andy Balbirnie top-scoring with his second Test half-century.
Although Ireland were bowled out, having that valuable 122 run lead will ensure they ended Day 1 the happier team.
After the highs of the Cricket World Cup victory, England were swiftly brought back down to Earth after one day of Test Cricket.
No-one ever said Test Cricket was easy.
Well played Tim Murtagh, and well played Ireland.