In Depth

85 all out: reactions as Ireland humiliate England on day one of Lord’s Test

World Cup winners embarrassed by Test cricket’s new boys - just a week before the Ashes start against Australia

England vs. Ireland Test match, day one
  • Where: Lord’s, London 
  • England first innings: 85 all out  
  • Ireland first innings: 207 all out 
  • England second innings: 0-0 (1.0 overs) 
  • England trail Ireland by 122 runs with ten wickets remaining

From the awesome to the awful in ten bewildering days - that best sums up the fortunes of the England cricket team. 

Crowned world champions at Lord’s a week last Sunday, England offered up one of the most embarrassing performances in their long Test history as they were skittled out for just 85 by Ireland. 

That’s right, not India, but Ireland, the new boys on the Test cricket block who have only played two previous Test matches, both of which they lost.

Yet on one of the most shambolic days in English history, the hosts were dismissed in a single session, thanks, in large part, to a superb display from 37-year-old Irish seamer Tim Murtagh.

As a veteran of the Middlesex squad, Murtagh knows very well the nooks and crannies of Lord’s, and his figures of 5-13 have earned him a place on the stadium’s cherished honours’ board.

Stunned

As well as Murtagh bowled, however, the English batting was pathetic. Joe Denley top-scored with 23, and the next best knock came from debutant Olly Stone - batting at No.10 - who cracked a quickfire 19 as the tail threatened to take England into the giddy heights of three figures. 

In the end they fell short, although 85 was more than most of the stunned home crowd expected when the scoreboard showed 43-7.

England fight back

Ireland began their first innings confidently enough, reaching 132-2, with a half-century from Andy Balbirnie the foundations on which they were compiling a formidable total. 

But England at last summoned up some spirit in the later afternoon as Stone and veteran Stuart Broad initiated a collapse that reduced Ireland to 207 all out. 

Stone finished with impressive figures of 3-29 while Broad also took three wickets.

England then showed steely resolve in getting through one over without loss before the close. They now trail Ireland by 122 and the more optimistic fans will tell themselves that surely England can’t bat any worse on day two. 

The more pessimistic ones, however, will tell themselves that when it comes to English cricket anything is possible.

Today’s play at Lord’s starts at 11am (BST) and is live on Sky Sports.

Reactions to day one of the Lord’s Test

Ireland star Tim Murtagh: “It was pretty surreal at lunch. If you’d have given us a lead of 100 on the first innings, we’d have snapped your hand off.” 

Former England captain Mike Atherton: “I have enormous sympathies for these guys. It can’t be easy to follow what happened on that unbelievable day at Lord’s and such a gruelling, long World Cup.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “Let’s be honest, it’s an embarrassment - you’re at the home of cricket, in a Test against Ireland and you’re all out for 85, there is no other word to describe it.”

Former England captain Nasser Hussain: “Time and again, we’ve seen the Test batting line-up struggle... How often do we end up examining their technical failings? On a day like this, those failings were plain for everyone to see.”

BBC cricket’s Jonathan Agnew: “Instead of settling questions that linger over their chances of regaining the Ashes, England were blown away… there was a momentum to be taken from the World Cup into the contest with Australia. That has now stalled.”

The Sun: “Midsummer Murtagh: England embarrassed by Ireland as world champions flop 85 ALL OUT.”

Newspaper headlines

Today’s back pages: Ireland commit a ‘midsummer Murtagh’ at Lord’s

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