LONDON – England crashed back to earth after their World Cup triumph as they were skittled for 85 on a humiliating opening morning of their four-day test against Ireland at Lord's on Wednesday.
Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat under blue skies but the morning belonged to Ireland, and in particular Tim Murtagh who ripped through the England order to claim an astonishing five for 13 in nine overs.
It is the first time England have been bowled out before lunch at Lord's on the opening morning and their lowest test innings at home since 1997 against Australia.
Murtagh, who plays his cricket for Middlesex, took lethal advantage of a green-tinged wicket and some bog-standard England batting to give Ireland a dream start to what is only their third test and first at Lord's.
When Stuart Broad walked out with the hosts teetering on 43 for seven England had lost six wickets for seven runs with test debutant Mark Adair also helping himself to two wickets.
With the Ashes series starting against Australia next week, England handed a test debut to Jason Roy as they continue to seek the solution to their fragile top order.
There was a buzz around the ground for the start even if it was a calmer atmosphere than the frenzied one of 10 days ago when England won an unforgettable World Cup final nail-biter against New Zealand at Lord's.
White-ball specialist Roy, sensational throughout the World Cup, looked like a fish out of water against Ireland's impressive opening bowlers and had already had one let-off when Adair had him plumb lbw off a no ball.
His reprieve was short-lived and in Murtagh's second over Roy (5) edged to Paul Stirling to take a low catch at slip.
Joe Denly looked reasonably assured on his way to 23, but in the 10th over Adair shaped a ball back into his pads to claim his first test wicket. Cue an astonishing collapse.
In the next over opener Rory Burns, who had scratched around for six, played loosely at a full off-stump delivery by Murtagh and edged to Gary Wilson.
With Root and Jonny Bairstow at the wicket an England fightback was expected, but never materialised.
Root (2) played across a straight one from Adair and was struck on both pads and not even a review could spare him.
Murtagh then bowled Jonny Bairstow for a duck and two balls later removed Chris Woakes, who also departed without scoring, lbw with a ball that nipped back off the seam.
The 38-year-old Murtagh then completed his five-wicket haul as Moeen Ali (0) nicked through to Wilson – putting his name on the Lord's honours board.
A brief flurry by Sam Curran drew ironic cheers from the stunned crowd but the carnage continued as Broad (3) edged Boyd Rankin to the safe hands of Wilson.
Curran was snaffled for 18 at short leg to leave England teetering on 67-9 and Ireland wrapped it up just before lunch as Adair dismissed debutant Olly Stone (19).Reuters