London: Tim Murtagh took five wickets on his Lord’s home ground before lunch on the first day as Ireland made a sensational start in their first-ever Test against England by bowling out the home side for 85 on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Murtagh, who plays at the ground for Middlesex, finished with five wickets for 13 runs in nine overs after England captain Joe Root had won the toss.
Only three England batsmen made it into double figures - Joe Denly (23), Olly Stone (19) and Sam Curran (18) - in an innings that was finished inside 24 overs.
But of those only Denly is a top-order batsman, with fast bowler Stone making his Test debut.
This was the third time in three years that England, who have long struggled with their top-order batting, had lost all 10 wickets in a session having not done so previously since 1938.
It was also their lowest score in a home Test innings since they were dismissed for 77 by Australia at Lord’s in 1997 and came hot on the heels of their 77 all out away to the West Indies in Barbados in January.
This match was only scheduled for a maximum of four days rather than the usual five alloted to a Test but now the prospect of play on Saturday was far from certain.
On a ground where they won the World Cup just over a week ago, England were in deep trouble despite Root’s insistence they did not want to “sleepwalk” into the match ahead of the five-Test Ashes series, starting next week.
A green-tinged pitch promised to offer Ireland’s quicks some assistance but few could have foreseen the flurry of England wickets that followed, with Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes all out for nought on a sunny day.
Test debutant Jason Roy, the latest batsman to be given a chance at filling England’s problem position of opener, had made just five when he might have been lbw to Test debutant Mark Adair, only for a no-ball to be called by the umpires.
But five was all the World Cup-winner made, with the admirable Murtagh, far from express pace but remorselessly attacking the top of off stump, squaring Roy up as the Surrey batsman edged a low catch to Paul Stirling at first slip.
Denly offered a degree of resistance before he became Adair’s maiden Test wicket, lbw going across his stumps.
Rory Burns, Roy’s Surrey teammate, saw his first Test innings on home soil end on six when he nicked the medium-pacer Murtagh low to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson, with England now 36-3.
Adair then captured the prize wicket of Root, plumb lbw for two to a ball that would have hit middle stump, although Ireland had to first review umpire Aleem Dar’s original not out decision.
The cascade of wickets continued as 42-4 quickly became 42-5, with Jonny Bairstow bowled for a duck off an inside edge by Murtagh as he attempted a booming drive in a desperate bid to hit England out of trouble.
Woakes then became Murtagh’s fourth victim, lbw on umpire’s call before the veteran seamer ensured he would have a place on the honours board for all those who take five wickets in a Test innings at Lord’s when he had Moeen caught behind, with England seven down inside 15 overs.
Stuart Broad was then brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Wilson off fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who played one Test for England and Curran’s game innings ended when the left-arm seamer was well-held at short leg by James McCollum off Adair, who finished with 3-32.
Stone, in at 58-8, stylishly drove three fours in four balls of Stuart Thompson before he was bowled by Adair to complete a stunning morning’s play.
England (1st Innings)
R. Burns c Wilson b Murtagh 6
J. Roy c Stirling b Murtagh 5
J. Denly lbw b Adair 23
J. Root lbw b Adair 2
J. Bairstow b Murtagh 0
M. Ali c Wilson b Murtagh 0
C. Woakes lbw b Murtagh 0
S. Curran c McCollum b Rankin 18
S. Broad c Wilson b Rankin 3
O. Stone b Adair 19
J. Leach not out 1
Extras (lb5, nb2, w1) 8
Total (all out, 23.4 overs, 127 mins) 85
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Roy), 2-36 (Denly), 3-36 (Burns), 4-42 (Root), 5-42 (Bairstow), 6-42 (Woakes), 7-43 (Moeen), 8-58 (Broad), 9-67 (Curran), 10-85 (Stone)
Bowling: Murtagh 9-2-13-5; Adair 7.4-1-32-3 (1nb, 1w); Thompson 4-1-30-0 (1nb); Rankin 3-1-5-Ireland: To bat.