A warning – this is a proper geeks article – bringing out the real cricket tragic in me.

I had no intention of a third day at Lords, having virtually melted over the 2 days I had been there, but an offer of a ticket from my friend Nigel was too good to forgo, history could have been made at Lord’s.

I arranged for a neighbour to come into my ancient dog, Shirley and set off to London. Nigel had booked lunch at The Taverners, he hadn’t heard that due to the late start the lunch would be late, with that in mind we watched most of the session on the TV. A fairly horrifying thought for someone who doesn’t leave my seat for a moment as a rule. But, we had a very convivial lunch and there’s nothing to be done about it now.

Having been bowled out for 85 on Day 1 before bowling Ireland out for 20. They then made 303 largely thanks to Jack Leach who made 92 in a partnership of 145 with Jason Roy who made 72. That all left Ireland needing 182 to win at Lord’s in their first test match against England.

The morning of Day 3 was where the gulf in experience was apparent as Chris Woakes with 6 for 17 and Stuart Broad with 4 for 19 bowled Ireland out for just 38 in 15.4 overs. The stuff of nightmares for this Irish team, the stuff of face saving for England.

Chris Woakes will play at his home ground in the first Ashes test

Day 1 of this test match is one that will never be forgotten by Ireland and their fans, the day Tim Murtagh, a man playing his 3rd test match took 5 for 13 in 9 overs. A man who’d played in 229 First Class matches, bowling 40.078 balls, conceding 20,331 runs and taking 806 wickets at an average of 25.22. His career started at Surrey, in their Academy, before he moved across London to Middlesex in 2007, in his 12th year at Lord’s he was always likely to be a handful. How apt that his name will be etched on the Honours Board for eternity, I couldn’t have been happier for him, just shy of his 38th birthday this was a remarkable morning for him!

In contrast there was really nothing good for England to take from that first morning. A top score of 23 from Joe Denly and 2 runs between those batting 4 to 7, being 2 for Joe Root and a Duck each for Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. Bairstow’s Duck came after some very strange behaviour in the first over he faced. He was then blown away for that Duck.

England start their attempt to win back the Ashes this week, a few of their main players are back and the starting XI is

  • Rory Burns
  • Jason Roy
  • Joe Root (captain)
  • Joe Denly
  • Ben Stokes (vice-captain)
  • Jos Buttler
  • Jonny Bairstow
  • Moeen Ali
  • Chris Woakes
  • Stuart Broad
  • Jimmy Anderson

Joe Root has decided he will bat at 3 after much clamour for him to do so, a look back to England’s test matches and the fall of the first 4 wickets in 2018 – I think I’d forgotten that Moeen had a spell at 3 followed by Ben Stokes, also that Leach had opened in Sri Lanka, with different results to his effort against Ireland! Will Root at 3 make the difference people have been calling for?

  • Australia v England – Sydney, 1st innings – 28 for 1 – Stoneman, 88 for 2- Vince, 95 for 3 – Cook, 228 for 4 – Root. 2nd innings – 5 for 1 – Stoenman, 15 for 2 – Cook, 43 for 3 – Vince, 68 for 4 – Malan (Australia won by an innings and 123 runs)
  • New Zealand v England – Auckland – 1st innings – 6 for 1 – Cook, 6 for 2 – Root, 16 for 3 – Malan, 18 for 4 – Stoneman – All Out 58. 2nd innings – 6 for 1 – Cook, 94 for 2 – Stoneman, 132 for 3 – Root, 142 for 4 – Malan. (New Zealand won by an innings and 49 runs)
  • New Zealand v England – Christchurch -1st innings – 6 for 1 – Cook, 38 for 2 – Vince, 93 for 3 – Root, 94 for 4 – Malan. 2nd innings – 24 for 1 – Cook, 147 for 2 – Stoneman, 165 for 3 – Vince, 262 for 4 – Malan. (The match was Drawn)
  • England v Pakistan – Lord’s – 1st innings – 12 for 1 – Stoneman, 33 for 2 – Root, 43 for 3 – Malan, 100 for 4 – Bairstow. 2nd innings – 1 for 1 – Stoneman, 31 for 2 – Stoneman, 91 for 3 – Malan, 91 for 4 – Bairstow. (Pakistan won by 9 wickets)
  • England v Pakistan – Headingley – 1st innings – 53 for 1 – Jennings, 104 for 2 – Cook, 138 for 3 – Root, 200 for 4 – Malan. (England won by an innings and 55 runs)
  • England v India – Edgbaston – 1st innings – 26 for 1 – Cook, 98 for 2 – Jennings, 112 for 3 – Malan, 216 for 4 – Root. 2nd innings – 9 for 1 – Cook, 18 for 2 – Jennings, 39 for 3 – Root, 70 for 4 – Malan. (England won by 31 runs)
  • England v India – Lord’s – 1st innings – 28 for 1 – Jennings, 32 for 2 – Cook, 77 for 3 – Pope, 89 for 4 – Root. (England won by an innings and 159 runs)
  • England v India – Trent Bridge – 1st innings – 54 for 1 – Cook, 54 for 2 – Jennings, 75 for 3 – Pope, 86 for 4 – Root. 2nd innings – 27 for 1 – Jennings, 32 for 2 – Cook, 62 for 3 – Root, 62 for 4 – Pope. (India won by 203 runs.)
  • England v India – Ageas Bowl – 1st innings – 1 for 1 – Jennings, 15 for 2 – Root, 28 for 3 – Bairstow, 36 for 4 – Cook. 2nd innings – 24 for 1 – Cook, 33 for 2 – Moeen, 92 for 3 – Jennings, 92 for 4 – Bairstow. (England won by 60 runs)
  • England v India – The Oval – 1st innings – 60 for 1 – Jennings, 133 for 2 – Cook, 133 for 3 – Root, 134 for 4 – Bairstow. 2nd innings – 27 for 1 – Jennings, 62 for 2 – Moeen, 321 for 3 – Root, 321 for 4 – Cook. (England won by 118 runs)
  • Sri Lanka v England – Galle – 1st innings – 10 for 1 – Burns, 10 for 2 – Moeen, 72 for 3 – Root, 98 for 4 – Jennings. 2nd innings – 60 for 1 – Burns, 67 for 2 – Moeen, 74 for 3 – Root, 181 for 4 – Stokes. (England won by 211 runs)
  • Sri Lanka v England – Pallekele – 1st innings – 12 for 1 – Jennings, 49 for 2 – Stokes, 70 for 3 – Root, 94 for 4 – Root. 2nd innings – 4 for 1 – Leach, 77 for 2 – Jennings, 108 for 4 – Burns, 109 for 4 – Stokes. (England won by 57 runs)
  • Sri Lanka v England – Colombo – 1st innings – 22 for 1 – Burns, 36 for 2 – Jennings, 136 for 3 – Root, 235 for 4 – Stokes. 2nd innings – 3 fro 1 – Jennings, 20 for 2 – Burns, 35 for 3 – Bairstow, 39 for 4 – Root. (England won by 42 runs)

Of 24 innings England were 4 wickets down for under 50 3 times and 100 and under 14 times. Of the 13 matches played in 2018 England won 8, drew 1 and lost 3. They start the Ashes at Edgbaston, a ground they haven’t lost a game at for 10 years, the scene of their World Cup semi-final win against Australia – here’s hoping for a great start with that 4th wicket falling with the team on 3 figures.

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