BUMBLE AT THE TEST: England fell into Murtagh’s trap


England suffered the humiliation of being bowled out for just 85 by an Ireland team playing just their third Test match at Lord’s on Wednesday.

Back at the scene of their World Cup triumph, Joe Root’s side crumbled with little resistance, before rallying to bowl Ireland out for 207.

Sportsmail columnist David Lloyd looks back at an incredible first day of play and praises Ireland’s bottle on the big stage…


It’s probably gone unnoticed but I’ve been out of work for the last seven weeks.

I can say my garden looks magnificent and the dog knows who I am. But as soon as I headed to London, my good lady rang to say ‘Edgar’, my robot mower, was stuck in the middle of the lawn. Any advice greatly appreciated.


Begorrah! Bejaysus! The Bachelors! The Pogues! The Corrs! U2! Frank Carson! Jack Charlton! Your boys had one hell of a day.

And Michael Flatley will be dancing his little socks off to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Murtagh on the dance floor’ as Middlesex’s Tim just did what he usually does at Lord’s.


It was a straightforward decision to bat first. Then England had to get through the first session, but they chased the ball and that’s what Murtagh wanted them to do.

England played well out in front of their bodies when you have to be much tighter against a bowler who peaked at 78mph. They fell into his trap.

I was privileged to be invited to a morale-boosting, eve-of-Test Sportsmail dinner. We had a wonderful curry with Cobra, which goes down well in this weather.

The night ended with a convivial taxi ride back to base with Nasser Hussain, who uttered the immortal words, ‘I’ll get this’. He must have had a little too much to drink…

During my mini-sabbatical I’ve watched a lot of county cricket, particularly my lads at Lancashire, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

But there’s nothing like the international game to get the juices flowing and I’m reminded of the Everly Brothers reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983. As Don Everly said: ‘It’s good to be back!’ 

What a time for cricket! England winning the World Cup. Packed houses. Now this from Ireland! And a new format on the way called The Hundred.

We at Sportsmail have debated it from very different viewpoints. The verdict of Lawrence Booth was succinct: ‘It’s a load of b*******.’ I wonder if he will put that in the Wisden editor’s notes. 

Well, what a turn up! It’s an historic occasion but there were no nerves from Ireland. 

They will be so thrilled at how they settled into the game so quickly. Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling have plenty of experience here at Lord’s and they showed what could be done with sensible play. An extraordinary day. Hats off to them. 


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