Tim Murtagh is man of many firsts. He is the first Irishman to bowl a ball in Test cricket and achieved that feat against Pakistan in his country's inaugural Test. On Wednesday, the veteran pacer also became the first from his country to pick up a five-for in Tests on the first day of the one-off Test match against England on Wednesday.
England captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat first. Murtagh got the early breakthrough dismissing debutant Jason Roy for five. Joe Denly and Rory Burns struggled against the impressive Irish bowlers as Murtagh struck again, this time dismissing the other opener Burns for 6.
With England tottering at 42 for 4, Murtagh bowled a succession of beautes to dismiss star performers Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali in quick succession to leave the hosts in tatters at 43 for 7.
It was a brilliant bowling performance by the Irish bowlers who bowled the hosts and current World Champions in ODIs out for a paltry total of 85 in 23.4 overs. The 37-year-old Murtagh finished with amazing figures of 5 for 13 in 9 overs which included 2 maidens.
Playing in only their third Test match, Ireland bowlers produced a sensational display with the ball and were not afraid to pitch it up to the bat to exploit the swing on offer. The right-arm medium pacer Murtagh has the experience of playing 228 First-Class matches for the London-based county Middlesex and used that exposure to devastating effect at Lord's on Wednesday.
Before this match, Murtagh had taken seven wickets in two matches with best figures of 4/45 in an innings. The right -arm medium pacer was simply sensational during first day at the iconic Lords Cricket Ground in what is proving to be a strangely engaging Test match. The Irish, in reply to England's 85 were all out for 207 and had a handy lead of 122 runs going into the second day. A humongous upset is, thus, still on the cards.
In picking his five-for, Murtagh has become also become the first Irishman to register his name on the historic honors board at Lords.
Ireland lost their debut Test match against Pakistan in 2018 by five wickets. In 2019, Ireland played their 2nd Test match against Afghanistan at Dehradun and lost that match as well by 7 wickets.Published 24 Jul 2019, 23:52 IST