Tim Murtagh rips through hapless England for a five-for as Ireland take charge

Ireland's Tim Murtagh reacts after England's first innings, in which he took five wickets at the home of cricket Lord's in his country's first Test against England. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 24 July 2019

Tim Murtagh rips through hapless England for a five-for as Ireland take charge

  • Tim Murtagh, who is 37 years old, took a stunning five for 13 in nine overs
  • Ireland then consolidated their position by making 207 in reply

LONDON: Ireland ended England’s World Cup honeymoon in dramatic style on Wednesday, bowling out the host nation for a derisory 85 on the first day at Lord’s as they eyed one of the biggest shocks in Test history.
Tim Murtagh, who is 37 years old, took a stunning five for 13 in nine overs on a ground where he plays for Middlesex.
Ireland then consolidated their position by making 207 in reply for a first-innings lead of 122.
When they were all out, there was still time for one more over and England felt compelled to have nightwatchman Jack Leach, rather than a specialist batsman, face Murtagh.
Leach somehow survived a maiden and England closed on nought for nought in their second innings.
Appropriately, it was tailender Murtagh who took Ireland into a hundred-run lead in their first Test against England after the visitors suffered a slump of their own when he pulled veteran paceman Stuart Broad for four.
In making 16, Murtagh scored more runs than he conceded while the fact 20 wickets fell broke a first-day record of 18 for a Lord’s Test that had stood since 1896.
Ten days after England won the World Cup at the ‘home of cricket’ against New Zealand and a week ahead of the Ashes, Ireland exposed their batting fragility in brutal fashion.
Just three England batsmen made it into double figures — Joe Denly, who top-scored with 23, debutant Olly Stone and Sam Curran — in an innings that was over inside 24 overs on a baking day in London.
It was the fourth time in 34 Tests that England had lost all 10 wickets in a session — a worrying sign ahead of the five-Test series against Australia.
Murtagh’s ability was no secret but his superb return was the stuff of schoolboy fiction.
The seamer, who recently took his 800th first-class wicket, gave a classic demonstration of his skill after England captain Joe Root won the toss and batted on an emerald green pitch prepared by Irish groundsman Karl McDermott.
“I’m not quite sure what’s happened in the last two hours,” an elated Murtagh told Sky Sports during the lunch interval. “It’s a fantastic first session for us.”
“I should know how to bowl on this ground — I’ve been here long enough,” added Murtagh, a Middlesex player for more than a decade.
The home side were soon in deep trouble despite Root’s insistence they did not want to “sleepwalk” into this four-day match ahead of the Ashes.
Test debutant Jason Roy, fresh from his World Cup heroics, fell for five when Murtagh, short of express pace but remorselessly accurate, squared him up with first slip Paul Stirling holding the ensuing edge.
Debutant Mark Adair (3-32) had his first Test wicket when Denly was leg before wicket and he also captured the prize scalp of Root, plumb lbw for two.
When Jonny Bairstow was bowled for a duck — one of three noughts in the England innings — off an inside edge by Murtagh as he attempted a booming drive, England were 42-5.
And when Murtagh had Moeen Ali caught behind for a duck, the seamer had a place on the honors board for all those who take five wickets in a Test innings at Lord’s.
Stone drove three fours in four balls from Stuart Thompson before he was bowled by Adair to end a stunning morning’s play.
Ireland made a steady start before captain William Porterfield, hit on the head by a Stone bouncer, pulled Curran to midwicket on 14.
But Andrew Balbirnie had a reprieve when, on 10, he edged Broad between Bairstow and first slip Root for a chance that belonged to the wicketkeeper.
Stirling had made 17 when Root, compounding a miserable day for the captain, dropped a slip catch off the unlucky Broad, leading the attack in the absence of the injured James Anderson.
Balbirnie rubbed salt into England’s wounds with a 56-ball fifty that included nine fours.
At tea, Ireland were 132-2 but they lost four wickets for nine runs, with Balbirnie bowled for 55 by Stone who, in common with Broad and Curran, took three wickets.
“Tim bowled well, he showed the length to bowl on this pitch,” said Stone, who took 3-29.

Anthony Joshua wins Clash on the Dunes in Saudi Arabia on points against Andy Ruiz Jr.

Updated 08 December 2019

Anthony Joshua wins Clash on the Dunes in Saudi Arabia on points against Andy Ruiz Jr.

  • British boxer won by a unanimous decision
  • New champion thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the fight

RIYADH: Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight title belts after a points decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. in the Clash on the Dunes on Sunday morning in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The British boxer won by a unanimous decision from the judges after outboxing Ruiz Jr., especially in the later rounds.

In the first heavyweight title fight to be held in the Middle East, Joshua dominated a self-proclaimed "overweight" Ruiz Jr. over 12 solid, but largely uninspiring, rounds to win back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, and avengeget revenge for his shock upset by his Mexican-American opponent six months ago in New York.

“Sometimes simplicity is genius. I was outclassing the champion,” Joshua said.

“I am used to knocking people out, but last time I got hurt so I gave the man his credit. I said I would correct myself again.

“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It’s about hitting and not getting hit.

British boxer Anthony Joshua, right, regained his world heavyweight title last night in front of 30,000 fight fans in a thrilling contest at the new Diriyah arena outside Riyadh, against the Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr.  (Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing , Dave Thompson/Matchroom and Ian Walton/Matchroom)

"Sometimes with certain fighters you have to box smarter. I understand what Andy brought to the table so I had to decapitate him in a different way,” he said.

Ruiz Jr. admitted he hadn't trained well enough for the rematch and got “boxed around.”

“The partying got the best of me," he said.  “I didn’t prepare how I should have. I gained too much weight. I don’t want to give excuses, he won ... If we do a third fight, you best believe I’m going to get in shape. I’ll be in the best shape of my life.”

Joshua immediately paid tribute to his opponent after the fight, thanking the Mexican fighter and his family, Saudi Arabia for hosting and the traveling fans who made the journey to the Kingdom.