Cricket Ireland chief says fir...


Cricket Ireland chief says first day of Lord's Test shows Ireland belong on world stage

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It already appears highly unlikely that Ireland's Test with England will last the allotted four days.

On an incredible morning for the visitors at Lord's, England were bowled out for just 85-runs.

37-year old Tim Murtagh was Ireland's hero with the ball, taking 5 wickets for the loss of just 13-runs. Murtagh plies his trade in county cricket for Middlesex who play at Lord's and he feels his familiarity with his surroundings aided his showing, "I should know how to play on this ground, I've been here long enough to know how to bowl here.

"I think that was key, get it up there [in terms of length] trying to let the pitch do a bit of work, a little bit of nip both ways and a bit of swing."

After a bright start with the bat, Ireland's lower order crumbled as they were bowled out for 207 giving them a first-innings lead of 122-runs.

Andy Balbirnie top-scored for Ireland with 55-runs.

England managed one over of their second innings before the close of play, with Jack Leach sent out as a nightwatchman but Tim Murtagh bowled a maiden to finish the day.

While there's only one day's play under the players' belts, Cricket Ireland Chief Executive was fulsome in his praise for a fine day's work at the home of cricket, "What an amazing day – firstly for those eleven players that went out on the field today, and secondly for the many, many fans of Irish cricket around the world, particularly the thousands that came to Lord’s and gave the atmosphere that distinctly bubbly, Irish flavour.

"We also recognise that this is just Day One of a Test match against England with a lot of time still to play.

"However, what a day’s play like this does show is that Ireland belongs here on the world stage. We have a proud cricketing heritage and a growing playing and supporter base.

"We are also introducing new people to the sport – over recent days it has been quoted to me that around 50 percent of tickets sold to this Test have been purchased by people who have never been to a cricket match before.

"So, performance on the pitch is certainly one thing we are proud of, but growing the number of people who enjoy and ultimately embrace our wonderful game is equally as important."

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Andy Balbirnie Cricket England Ireland Lords Tim Murtagh

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