Ireland will take a 122-run lead into day two of the one-off Test with England at Lord’s after 20 wickets fell on Wednesday. There was a feel-good factor surrounding England following their success in the 50-over World Cup less than two weeks ago and much was expected of opener Jason Roy, who was making his Test debut off the back of his impressive displays with the white ball.
England supporters did not have to wait long to see Roy at the crease, as the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first, but the Surrey star was quickly dismissed for just five off the bowling of Tim Murtagh. That was a sign of what was to come for England, as they were bowled out for just 85, with Joe Denly (23), Sam Curran (18) and the host’s other Test debutant Olly Stone (19) proving to be the only players to make double figures.
Murtagh, who is no stranger to Lord’s as he plays his county cricket for Middlesex, was the star of the show for Ireland, as he ended with figures of 5-13. Ireland’s response was steady, with Andrew Balbirnie (55) making the only half-century of the day, but they also lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually dismissed for 207, although that was still a healthy lead of 122 runs.
Stone, Curran and Stuart Broad all took three wickets apiece for England, who had to return to the crease for the start of their second innings, as there was still one over left in the day’s play. Captain Joe Root sent Jack Leach out as a nightwatchman alongside Rory Burns and he successfully negotiated the final six balls of the day, but England know they have a lot of work to do on Thursday if they are to avoid an embarrassing defeat in what is their final Test before the start of the Ashes.