Ireland Set Cricket World Alight at Lords

It was always going to be historic but nobody could have forecast that yesterday’s first day of a first full Test match between Ireland and England at Lords would be so spectacular.

Perhaps inspired by the World class achievement of Shane Lowry at the Open, Tim Murtagh decided to carve out a record for himself when leading Ireland to an incredible first 75 minutes of action.

Within that time the country who only ten days ago had won the Cricket World Cup in One Day cricket at the same venue had benn humbled and stood on a mere 43 runs for the loss of seven wickets.

Murtagh took five of those for only 13 runs, a record never bettered in the history of the sport at its spiritual home.

England’s eventual total of 85 runs off 23.4 overs was also a record, in the worst possible sense for the team.

At the end of the day Ireland had scored 207 runs to lead by 122 and for those who thought the four day game might not extend the full distance, they were probably right but in a way they never would have imagined.

“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,” said Warren Deutrom, CEO of Cricket Ireland.

“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 per cent 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.”

The Test Match is sponsored by Specsavers, the Irish franchise of which will pul in far greater benefit than they would have thought from the exposure and Ireland’s main sponsor Turkish Airlines will also be very satisfied with the global reach of their support for the underdog team that turned over, for one day at least , the reigning Champions of the World in their own home.

 

 

The match continues today with live coverage throughout on Sky Sports.

Image Credit: Inpho.ie / Andrew Davidson

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