England vs Ireland Test match: Hosts skittled for 85 on first morning at Lord’s as Tim Murtagh takes five wickets

24 Jul

England had a morning to forget at Lord’s in their first ever Test match with Ireland as they were rolled over for 85.

The hosts returned to the scene of their World Cup triumph but were brought back down to earth with a bang and were blown away by the visitors.

Tim Murtagh did the damage and got his name on the Lord’s honours board with five for 13 as England were bowled out before lunch.

Jonny Bairstow is bowled by Tim Murtagh at Lord’s
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Only three batsmen reached double figures in England’s tale of woe, while the five World Cup winners on show mustered just seven runs between them.

The match was not only the first ever four-day Test to be played on these shores – though odds on it going that far have already receded spectacularly – it was also the first to be played between the neighbouring nations.

Mark Adair takes the wicket of Joe Denly
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Captain Joe Root, on duty while the likes of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler rested, won the toss and opted to bat first, a seemingly sound decision under sunny skies but one that would soon backfire dramatically.

Jason Roy, the World Cup hero handed his long-awaited red ball debut, was first to go as he set the tone for a woeful performance with the bat.

The one-day opener lasted just 11 balls and might have been out three times, nicking one past his leg stump then surviving a plumb lbw shout from Adair only because the bowler overstepped.

Third time proved a charm for the Irish as Murtagh snared the outside edge and Paul Stirling held on at slip.

Joe Denly led a streaky stand of 28 with Rory Burns before the pair fell in short order, the former lbw to Adair for his side’s top score of 23 and the latter feathering Murtagh after a clunky stay.

The new ball pair were hardly troubling the speed gun, settling in well below 80mph, but relentlessly attacked the stumps and generated movement through the air and off the pitch, a challenge England repeatedly proved unable to negotiate.

A huge Adair shout against Root was turned down on the field then overturned on DRS, sending the key man back for just two, before Jonny Bairstow aimed a big mow at the wily Murtagh on nought.

Tim Murtagh leads Ireland off after taking five wickets against England
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The ball weaved between bat and pad and wrecked the stumps, a picture postcard dismissal that brought leaps of joy in the field.

Murtagh also bagged Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes for ducks, caught behind and leg before, to complete his country’s first Test five-for at the ground he has called home with Middlesex for the past 12 years.

Next up was Rankin, the man who played a solitary Test for England in the 2014 Ashes before reverting to his home nation.

He became the first player to line up for and against the English since the Nawab of Pataudi did so for India in 1946.

To mark the occasion he took Stuart Broad’s edge and had Sam Curran brilliantly caught for 18 by James McCollum at short-leg.

Olly Stone hit four boundaries to avert an even more shameful total but he was last out to the returning Adair, clean bowled in an innings lasting just 23.4 overs.

England survive scare in Dublin to beat Ireland by four wickets thanks to Ben Foakes and Tom Curran

3 May

England kicked off their World Cup summer with a tense victory in Ireland, as Ben Foakes overshadowed fellow debutant Jofra Archer with a match-winning turn in Malahide.

Archer was easily the most hyped of the six first-timers on show (three in each side) but while he opened his international account with a stump-toppling yorker and regularly reached 90mph, England would have been heading home defeated were it not for Foakes’ cool-headed 61 not out.

England survived a scare in Dublin against Ireland

Chasing 199, the visitors were reduced to 66 for five when the Surrey wicketkeeper calmed things down and began the painstaking process of reeling in the target and delivering a four-wicket win with three overs to spare.

Unlike Archer, Foakes’ chances of making the World Cup are slim, with the rested duo Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow untouchable among wicketkeeper-batsmen, but his contribution was easily the definitive one.

Foakes had already made a big intervention with a contentious stumping of Andrew Balbirnie that straddled a line between inspired, opportunistic and discourteous.

Nothing in the rules spoke against his belated flick of the bails as Balbirnie’s foot lifted and if anything it offered evidence of the Surrey gloveman’s razor-sharp instincts.

Eoin Morgan walks off in his home city after being dismissed

Play began two hours late due to a sodden outfield, with the contest reduced to 45 overs a side as a result. Ireland were still dismissed 11 balls ahead of time as Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran responded to Archer’s arrival by sharing seven wickets.

The pair are among the incumbents looking over the shoulder ahead but did their best to remind the selectors of their value, combining to restrict the hosts to what had seemed a gentle total.

Archer was selected for new-ball duty but failed to land a killer blow in an initial four-over burst. Paul Stirling proved a thorn in his side, taking the Sussex man for four boundaries, including a punch through point from Archer’s very first delivery.

He did not have long to wait to be involved in his first dismissal, though, stooping to catch Stirling as Curran made the breakthrough. England, and Archer, were off and running but Ireland were about to stumble from 55 without loss to 77 for four.

Jofra Archer regularly hit 90mph for England

Plunkett, whose form has been patchy of late, prised out William Porterfield and Lorcan Tucker, while Curran needed a super take from Joe Denly to see off Kevin O’Brien.

The duo would be back later to wrap the innings up, but it was Archer’s return that captured the imagination. A rapid spell, littered with zippy bouncers, a clever slower ball and, crucially, a memorable wicket.

The target would not have shaken the away dressing room but without the chutzpah of rested openers Jason Roy and Bairstow, they started sedately.

England should have been able to absorb the loss of James Vince, brilliantly caught by George Dockrell off newcomer Josh Little, but relied on one of their two most established hands, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, to do the job. Instead the pair lasted just nine balls between them.

Ben Foakes was England’s saviour on Friday

Root was pinned lbw in trademark fashion by Tim Murtagh, relentlessly accurate and searching for minor misjudgments, before Morgan bagged a three-ball duck. Little, the teenage left-armer, did brilliantly this time, digging one in short and brushing the glove as England’s Dublin-born captain found himself cramped for room.

The moment visibly energised the men in green, whose surge continued when Dawid Malan (24) became Little’s third victim. Struggling with a muscular injury and dropped once already he nibbled outside off stump and was held one-handed by keeper Gary Wilson.

Denly, earning a first one-day cap in a decade, managed a fleeting appearance before recreating Vince’s demise. There was another short ball, another full-blooded pull and another smart catch, with Boyd Rankin and O’Brien the winning combination on this occasion.

Foakes was at the crease by now and he would ultimately ride the tension to see England home.

There were scares along the way, notably when Ireland declined to review an lbw decision against him on 37. Had they done so, Murtagh would have been celebrating again.

After David Willey added 20, Curran (47 not out) joined Surrey team-mate Foakes and the pair chiselled away 98 runs between them, turning a nervy day into a safe result.

Jofra Archer set to make England ODI debut against Ireland as he looks to stake a claim for World Cup place

2 May

Jofra Archer is one of three players set to make their England one-day international debuts on Friday.

England face Ireland in Malahide as preparations for this summer’s World Cup step up.

Jofra Archer is set to make his debut for England
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England captain Eoin Morgan confirmed that Archer, along with Dawid Malan and Ben Foakes, would play their first ODI.

The Barbados-born fast bowler, who has an English father and a British passport, has completed his three-year qualification period, meaning this is the first match he is eligible for.

The 23-year-old has the opportunity to stake a claim for a World Cup place but was not selected for the preliminary 15-man squad.

Eoin Morgan named the starting team

Morgan said: “He is exciting. I’ve played against him for quite a while now and everyone in this room has probably seen what he has done around the world in T20 franchise cricket.

“The attributes and skills he has shown there are good enough to play international cricket, it’s how he deals  with the pressures that come with it and how he performs.

“I’m looking forward to him making his debut, and Ben and Dawid as well.”

Foakes was called up late following Sam Billings’ shoulder injury, while Alex Hales was initially part of the squad for the trip to Ireland but was removed following his ban for recreational drug use.

Ben Duckett and Chris Jordan are the two players to miss out but are likely to get a chance in the T20 match against Pakistan on Sunday.