Player of the Match
Player of the Match

World Cup champions England pulled back down to earth by Ireland, thanks to Tim Murtagh

Tim Murtagh leads Ireland off after his five-wicket haul Getty Images

England 0 for 0 and 85 (Murtagh 5-13) trail Ireland 207 (Balbirnie 55) by 122 runs

Barely a week since England enjoyed one of the most triumphant days in their international history, they were pulled down to earth by an Ireland side making their first Test appearance at Lord's.

On the ground where England were crowned World Cup winners, applause quickly turned to gasps as Tim Murtagh claimed the quickest five-for - in terms of deliveries bowled - in the history of Test cricket on this ground.

And if there was any danger that a return to the rhythms of Test cricket could be show-up by the drama of the finish to that World Cup final, they were soon dispelled. By lunch England had been bowled out for 85; by tea Ireland had a lead; by stumps England's second-innings was underway. No opening Test day in the long history of this grand old ground has produced as many wickets; 18 - taken in 1896 - was the previous record.

It looked, for all the world, like a batting day. The temperature passed 30 degrees and barely a cloud could be seen. Yet this Dukes ball - the 2018 version, with its more pronounced seam will be used in Test cricket this English season - keeps bowlers interested, while this surface - surprisingly green as it was - offered further encouragement.

Perhaps most pertinently, the old skills of batting - a sound defence, a knowledge of which deliveries to leave and a degree of patience - would appear to be as endangered as the rhino or giant panda. And in Murtagh, Ireland had a bowler with the skills and experience to exploit all those factors.

Murtagh is the sort of cricketer - little more than medium-paced - that has become unfashionable among England selectors. Which is odd, really, as James Anderson has evolved into something not so different. Maintaining an immaculate line and length, Murtagh gained just enough assistance to exploit the fragile techniques of the England top order to earn a place on the honour's board after he had bowled just 44 deliveries. At one stage, nagging like a tax return, he took four wickets for one run in 11 balls as England subsided from 36 for 1 to 43 for 7.

It was the first time England had been bowled out in the opening session of a Lord's Test in history but the fourth time they have lost 10 wickets in a session in three years. The other occasions were in Dhaka (in October 2016), Auckland (in March 2018) and Bridgetown (in January). Before the game in Dhaka, England had not lost 10 wickets in a session since 1938. This was also the shortest complete Test innings England have ever had (again, in terms of deliveries) at home.

It may leave Root, the England captain, ruing his decision to bat first on winning the toss. Root admitted at the time he expected the green surface to offer bowlers some assistance in the first hour, but backed his top order to navigate their way through and capitalise after lunch. He also reasoned that his two spinners - Jack Leach was included for his first Test in England - may enjoy conditions later in the game.

Whether this game progresses beyond a third day remains to be seen.

Certainly England will have to bat far better second time around if it is to do so. While Jason Roy was unfortunate to receive a fine delivery - he was drawn into poking at one that left him down the slope - he had lived dangerously until that point. He was saved from a leg-before dismissal on five as Adair had over-stepped and survived an inside edge that passed perilously close to the stumps off the same bowler on three.

Joe Denly, playing his first Test in England, produced a couple of pleasing strokes - two cover drives and a clip off his legs - but was not entirely convincing, either. He was drawn into another drive that saw an edge fly between third slip and gully for another four (he was the only man in England's top seven to hit a boundary) before Adair nipped one back to exploit a gap between bat and pad.

And that's where things grew ugly. Root was trapped leg before by another that nipped back and exploited his tendency to fall towards the off-side - William Porterfield was rewarded for reviewing the original 'not out' decision - Rory Burns was drawn into prodding at one angled across him and Jonny Bairstow was bowled as he played across a straight one.

By the time Moeen Ali edged a tentative push at one angled across him, England's five World Cup winners had contributed just seven runs between them and England had lost six wickets for the addition of seven runs in 28 deliveries.

That wicket also gave Murtagh his five-for. He is 38 in little more than a week and bowls at a pace - little more than 75 mph - which can appear sedate. But he knows these conditions well - Lord's has been his home ground for many years - and has the skill and control to exploit any assistance that may be available.

Ireland took the lead for the loss of just two wickets. And if their openers will have been disappointed with the manner of their dismissals - Porterfield pulled a long-hop to mid-wicket; James McCollum played on off his inside edge - Ireland's innings was given substance by a stand of 87 in 15 overs between Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling.

Balbirnie, in particular, timed the ball sweetly in registering Ireland's quickest half-century to date at Test level (he reached the mark in 56 balls). But such statisitics reflect equally on the quality of bowling. And while Murtagh and co. used the new ball expertly, England's seamers were guilty - not for the first time - of pitching too short and failing to make the batsmen play.

That England have any foothold at all in the game is largely due to the post-tea spells of Stuart Broad and Olly Stone. At the interval, Ireland had a lead of 42 and eight wickets in hand but so well did England bowl immediately afterwards that five wickets fell for the addition of just 17 runs.

Stone, in particular, generated sharp pace and gave notice of skills that could serve England well. Balbirnie was bowled by a beauty - angled in and straightening sharply off the pitch at a speed of 89 mph - before Gary Wilson fenced at a short one.

Once those two were out of the attack, however, Ireland's tail was able to stage something of a recovery and extend the lead well beyond a hundred. It took the return of Broad and Stone to end things, though not before Murtagh - as uncomplicated with bat as he had been with ball - had thumped four boundaries.

So, 20 wickets in the day. In years to come, you suspect people will glance at the scorecard and conclude it was a murky day on a green seamer. There was some assistance, it's true and some fine bowling, too. But, most of all, there was some pretty feeble batting.

Ireland 4th innings Partnerships

1st11WTS PorterfieldJA McCollum
2nd7A BalbirnieJA McCollum
3rd1PR StirlingJA McCollum
4th5KJ O'BrienJA McCollum
5th0KJ O'BrienGC Wilson
6th0KJ O'BrienSR Thompson
7th8SR ThompsonMR Adair
8th4SR ThompsonAR McBrine
9th0TJ MurtaghAR McBrine
10th2TJ MurtaghWB Rankin