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.


Bayern eager to stop Super Cup becoming virus hotbed

Updated 23 September 2020

Bayern eager to stop Super Cup becoming virus hotbed

  • Up to 20,000 spectators would be allowed by UEFA into Budapest’s Puskas Arena in a piloting project to test the return of fans into stadiums
  • Bayern legend Rummenigge anticipates “less than a thousand” Bayern fans will actually make the journey and only around 500 Sevilla fans are expected

BERLIN: Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists the German giants want to prevent Thursday’s UEFA Super Cup showdown in Budapest turning into a super spreader event due to a high Covid-19 infection rate in the Hungarian capital.
On Monday, Bavaria premier Markus Soeder warned against the fixture becoming a “football-Ischgl,” referring to the Austrian ski resort where thousands of holidaymakers were infected with the virus at the beginning of the pandemic in Europe.
“I really get a stomach ache when it comes to the Super Cup” Soeder added of Bayern’s game against Europa League holders Sevilla in a coronavirus red zone.
Rummenigge echoed Soeder’s comments on Wednesday, insisting Bayern Munich have “every interest in ensuring that no Ischgl of football takes place” in Budapest.
“I think everyone’s stomachs are churning. The game will take place in a city with a rate of infection of over 100 (per 100,000 inhabitants), which is twice as high as that in Munich,” Rummenigge told broadcaster ZDF.
“That has to be taken seriously.”
Up to 20,000 spectators would be allowed by UEFA into Budapest’s Puskas Arena in a piloting project to test the return of fans into stadiums.
However, Budapest’s mayor Gergely Karacsony wants the game played without fans.
“If I had the legal means to decide that, I would let the game take place behind closed doors,” he told Hungarian newspaper Nepszava.
The Hungarian FA (MLSZ) released a statement Wednesday saying the “Puskas Arena will be safer than any other place in the country.”
The MLSZ pointed out that Sevilla and Bayern fans can only enter the stadium after “strict health checks,” will be kept seperate and “will not meet with Hungarian fans.”
Rummenigge anticipates “less than a thousand” Bayern fans will actually make the journey and only around 500 Sevilla fans are expected.
“We have a great interest that they come back healthy and that nobody in Budapest gets infected,” emphasised Rummenigge.
He has promised a “serious and disciplined” approach with both Bayern and Sevilla offering traveling fans Covid-19 tests.
The Bayern chief also pointed out that to “all those who say that you really have to be extremely careful with the subject. We are.”
Bayern initially had an allocation of 4,500 tickets but hundreds of fans opted not to travel after the German government declared Budapest a risk zone.
European champions Bayern are also flying to Budapest with a small delegation of officials after being heavily criticized when a group of senior figures sat bunched together in the stands for Friday’s 8-0 rout of Schalke.
Rummenigge was among the group not wearing masks and seated close together in the VIP stand for the opening game of the new Bundesliga season.
“At the next game we will keep the desired distance and wear masks, no problem,” said the 64-year-old.