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England slump to 43 for seven against Ireland at Lord’s

Seamer Tim Murtagh claims a five-wicket haul as England’s top order are blown away.

Tim Murtagh celebrates with his Ireland team-mates after bowling out Moeen Ali (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Tim Murtagh celebrates with his Ireland team-mates after bowling out Moeen Ali (Bradley Collyer/PA)

England’s World Cup honeymoon was gatecrashed in sensational fashion at Lord’s as Ireland reduced the hosts to an incredible 43 for seven on the first morning of the Specsavers Test.

Just 10 days after lifting the trophy in a final that instantly entered sporting folklore, Joe Root’s side were blown away by 37-year-old seamer Tim Murtagh and his rookie partner Mark Adair.

In what was widely expected to be a gentle buffer between the dizzying highs of the tournament triumph and the forthcoming Ashes series, England were instead pitched into a battle to avoid what would arguably be their most surprising Test defeat against a side who have played just twice at this level.

Root had won the toss and opted to bat first, a seemingly sound decision under sunny skies but one that would soon lead to calamity.

Jason Roy, the World Cup hero handed his red ball debut, was first to go as he set the tone for a woeful session.

The one-day opener could have been out twice before he did depart for five, toe-ending a planned leave past leg stump and then surviving a plumb lbw on account of Adair overstepping.

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

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Ireland’s Paul Stirling celebrates after catching out England’s Jason Roy (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Joe Denly and Rory Burns shared an uncertain stand of 28 before they were parted, Denly (23) lbw to debutant Adair and Burns feathering Murtagh behind for a clunky six.

The Irish surge continued as their new-ball pair relentlessly attacked the stumps at gentle pace, England repeatedly proving unable to negotiate the challenge.

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.

The ball weaved between bat and pad and wrecked the stumps, a picture postcard dismissal as Bairstow departed for nought.

Murtagh also bagged Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali for ducks, completing a stunning five-for on the pitch he has called home with Middlesex for the past 12 years.

The scorecard was a shambles, leaving Sam Curran and Stuart Broad in charge of a high-stakes rebuilding job.

PA

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