Out, Out, Out! Ireland serve up cricket Test match special against England

Tim Murtagh tears through England’s batting order as hosts skittled for just 85 runs

Jonathan Bairstow of England is bowled by Tim Murtagh of Ireland during day one of the Test match at Lord’s. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

At a time of tension in Anglo-Irish relations, it’s easy to recall Margaret Thatcher’s OUT, OUT, OUT proclamation.

On the morning a new Tory PM took up the job that was once the Iron Lady’s, Ireland’s cricketers stunned their hosts with a string of OUTs - 10 in all - as England collapsed to all out for just 85 seven minutes before lunch on the first day of the Test match at Lord’s.

The demolition was down to a brilliant display of accurate swing bowling, mainly delivered by Tim Murtagh, who had played most of his professional career on this ground with Middlesex, backed up by exciting young all-rounder Mark Adair and veteran Boyd Rankin.

Tim Murtagh of Ireland celebrates the wicket of Chris Woakes. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

The 38-year-old Murtagh bowled nine overs and took five wickets for 13 runs, the best bowling on the first morning at the Home of Cricket since Tom Richardson took 6 for 39 against Australia in 1896.


Murtagh’s milestone of five wickets in the first session has only been achieved 10 times before in 142 years of Tests, and is the first since 2008.

England won the toss and decided to bat, a decision that Joe Root soon regretted.

Murtagh made the breakthrough in the third over, finding Jason Roy's edge, which Paul Stirling snapped up inches from the turf. Ireland's fielding was superb, with nothing missed and two excellent catches snapped up by Gary Wilson.

Mark Adair trapped Joe Denly and Root leg before wicket, before Murtagh blew away the middle order to leave England reeling on 43 for 7 in the 15th over.

A packed ground was gripped by the drama, and the large contingent wearing green showed their delight.

The opening bowlers took a deserved rest, and the pressure was eased for England by a nervous spell from Stuart Thompson. Rankin was on the money, however, and cut the recovery short.

It was left to Adair, returning from the Pavilion End, to shatter debutant Olly Stone’s stumps and send England to lunch reeling.