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Friday, July 26, 2019

Ireland manages to lose at Lords

Not sure whether this is bad advertisement for Test Cricket or a good one at that ! ~ yet Ireland would rue their chances for ever !!

England who recently won the ODI Cricket World Cup 2019  are playing Ireland in a Test at Lords.  20 wickets fell on day one – Ireland too were all out for 207 but lead by 122 runs.  Barely a week since England enjoyed one of the most triumphant days in their international history, they were pulled down to earth by an Ireland side making their first Test appearance at Lord's. On the ground where England were crowned World Cup winners, applause quickly turned to gasps as Tim Murtagh claimed the quickest five-for - in terms of deliveries bowled - in the history of Test cricket on this ground.  England bowled out for 85.. .. .. 23.4 - Overs in which England were bowled out against Ireland.
England skittled out made all the news ~ but the champion side has made amends.. .. coming back strongly.

Indian cricket lovers would still remember that Test at Karachi in 2006 – and that sensational first over by Irfan Pathan exhibiting great swing bowling.  Pathan made Salman Butt struggle in his first 3 and off the 4th got a leading edge to Rahul Dravid; then the dangerous Younis Khan was caught plumb in front – LBW in Pakistan ! ~ then Yousuf Youhana (Mohammad Yousuf) was bowled through the gate by a big inswinger.. .. India rocking – Irfan Pathan – a hatrick

At Lords – England were baffled – and some blamed the pitch too – Ireland having bowled out England for 85 and taking first innings lead too could not complete over the finish line.  Ireland had been set just 182 to win after Stuart Thompson struck with the first ball of the morning. But in gloomy conditions, Woakes and Broad bowled with great control and gained sharp movement to dismiss them for the lowest total in the history of Tests on this ground (the previous lowest was 42 made by India against England in 1974) and in the fewest number of deliveries (94).   It is the seventh lowest total in Test history and the lowest anywhere since South Africa were bowled out for 36 in Melbourne in 1932. Woakes finished with 6 for 17 - his Test-best figures - in completing the third five-for of his Test career; all three have come at Lord's.

While Ireland looked every inch the equal of England for much of this game, in the defining moments the extra experience and quality showed. Sensing Ireland's nervousness in gloomy conditions, Broad and Woakes seemed to raise their game in a manner they struggled to achieve in the first innings. Supported by some fine catching in the cordon, England will know the final margin of victory - and the fact that it was achieved in just seven sessions - does not fully reflect the competitive nature of the entire match.

The total of 38 by Ireland is the   seventh lowest in overall Test cricket history and lowest in the last 64 years. Eighth of the ten lowest totals in Tests have come against England. 94 Balls for which Ireland's innings lasted, is the joint second-shortest innings in Tests. The only shorter innings was 75 balls by South Africa at Edgbaston in 1924.

In Cricketing history only 4 times Teams have won   after making a first-innings score less than England's 85 in this Test. All the four instances occurred more than 100 years ago. The only other instance in the last 100 years of a team getting all out for less than 100 and winning a Test is Pakistan (99) against England at Dubai in 2012.

Chris Woakes had career best figures of 6/17 making it   the cheapest six-wicket haul in Tests at Lord's. Woakes has got 24 wickets in four Tests at Lord's at an average of 9.75. In the last Test at Lord's, he scored his maiden Test century, against India.  

If you still remember that Karachi Test of Feb 2006 despite Pathan hattrick,Pak managed 245 in their first; restricted India to 238 – made 599/7 decl and bowled India out for 265 – a big win by 341 runs in a match where there were 0/3 !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th July 2019.

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