Ten days after being crowned One-Day International World Champions at Lord’s, England returned to the Home of Cricket to be blown away by Ireland for 85 in under one session on the opening day of the one-off Test that began on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Tim 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.
England captain Joe Root had won the toss and decided to bat and saw his team dismissed for 85 in just 23.4 overs with Tim Murtagh taking five wickets.
On a green pitch, the Irish medium pacers produced brilliant lines and lengths to never let England get away.
The match takes place just a week before the start of a five-Test Ashes series.
World Cup-winning opening batsman Jason Roy made his Test debut at the top of the order and fast bowler Olly Stone, in for the injured James Anderson, was also playing his first Test. And incredibly, it was the latter who had a better day with the bat than the World Cup winning opener, who was out for 5.
Rory Burns, Joe Denly and Jack Leach – one of two spinners selected by England along with Moeen Ali – were making their home debuts and none of them made any significant contributions. World Cuppers Root, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, and Chris Woakes combined for 2 runs in the middle order (with only Root getting off the mark).
It is just Ireland’s third Test following a loss at home to Pakistan in 2018 and a defeat by Afghanistan in India earlier this year.
The match is being played over four days rather than the standard five for a Test match. It is the first time England have been involved in a scheduled four-day Test since a 1971 tour of New Zealand and the first such match in England since 1947.
Here are some stats from the England collapse:
Cricket community was left stunned by the developments at Lord’s as you’d expect:
Of course there’s a Jofra Archer tweet for everything:
There was one positive for England though...