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.


Kobe Bryant’s body identified among helicopter crash victims

Updated 29 January 2020

Kobe Bryant’s body identified among helicopter crash victims

  • The body was identified using fingerprints
  • Officials used drones to replicate the helicopter’s final flight path

LOS ANGELES, US: Medical examiners identified the body of NBA legend Kobe Bryant after recovering the remains of all nine people who died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles, officials said Tuesday.
Bryant’s body was officially identified along with three others using fingerprints, two days after their helicopter crashed into a rugged hillside northwest of the city.
Meanwhile federal investigators finished their inspection of the crash site, handing it over to local authorities.
“We are done on the site,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Images showed investigators earlier flying drones over the accident site and manually combing through twisted, charred wreckage of the helicopter, which was scattered over a wide area of 180 meters.
Officials also used drones to replicate the helicopter’s final, fateful flight path, Homendy said.
Earlier Tuesday, the coroner’s office confirmed all nine bodies have been retrieved from the site and “transported to the department’s forensic science center” for examination.
The bodies of pilot Ara Zobayan, baseball coach John Altobelli and Sarah Chester have also been identified.
The remaining five — including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna — have not yet been officially identified.
The death of Bryant — a five-time NBA champion for the LA Lakers and double Olympic gold medalist — has shocked the world, with tributes continuing to pour in Tuesday.
Bryant, 41, was traveling with daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when the Sikorsky S-76 slammed into a hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, northwest of LA.
The helicopter was headed to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where his daughter was set to play.
Homendy described the accident as a “high energy impact crash,” having earlier labelled the crash scene as “pretty devastating.”
Homendy said the helicopter did not have a “terrain awareness and warning system” installed. The NTSB in 2004 had recommended to federal aviation authorities that the system be required on all helicopters with six or more passenger seats, but the recommendation was not adopted, she added.
Investigators have now airlifted the helicopter’s wreckage onto trucks, which then transported it to a secure location for further examination.
An iPad, cellphone and maintenance records were found among the wreckage, along with “everything we would expect would be on the aircraft,” said Homendy.
She told journalists that the probable cause for the accident may not be confirmed for 12-18 months, when a final report will be issued.
A preliminary, fact-based report is expected in 10 days.
The other passengers on the flight — who have not yet been officially identified — have been named as Altobelli’s wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, who played basketball at the same club as Gianna.
Christina Mauser, an assistant coach of the Mamba girls’ basketball team, was also killed along with Payton Chester, Sarah’s daughter.
Mourning fans Tuesday placed bouquets of flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the gated community in Newport Beach, south of Los Angeles, where the late NBA great lived.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said a tribute to Bryant would be included in next month’s Oscars ceremony telecast.
The star, who won an Academy Award in 2018 for animated short film “Dear Basketball,” had been honored with a moment’s silence at the Oscars nominees luncheon on Monday.
A petition for the NBA logo to be redesigned with Bryant’s likeness had reached two million signatures by Tuesday afternoon.
The NBA postponed Tuesday’s Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Basketball superstar LeBron James said he was “heartbroken and devastated” over Bryant’s death in an emotional Instagram post, while also vowing to continue his friend’s championship legacy with the Lakers.
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic donned a jersey bearing Bryant’s initials and shirt numbers at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.
With the crash site becoming a pilgrimage point for fans, police on horseback and all-terrain vehicles have been brought in to secure the area.