Murts Irish eyes are smiling

Some day for Murts
By London Leprechaun
July 25 2019

Fittingly, it is the London Leprechaun who tells us about Ireland's (AKA known as Middllesex) great day in the first test against England. While the report fouses on the Middlesex connections it does show a bit how England ended up in an Irish stew.

When I decided to get a ticket for the first day of the England/Ireland test match it was mainly because of the Middlesex connections in the Irish team. And I chose the first day because I wasn't sure how long the match itself might last.  Well I was right about that choice but probably not in the way, me and most others probably thought.

Making my way to Lords surrounded by green shirts and soft Irish accents I got to thinking that maybe if Ireland bowled first, just maybe something might happen for Murts.  I couldn’t hear what the captains said, but I wonder if Ireland might have thought about bowling for that reason if they had won the toss. After all playing on his home ground all he had to do was treat it like any normal Middlesex match. And as he was initially bowling to two Surrey batsmen that surely was not hard to do.  Apart from ignoring the fact that there were 20,000 people in the ground.

And maybe that was he did because just like he has done for Middlesex for so many matches at Lords he was on the money from the beginning. At Test matches they put up the bowling speeds and at less than 80mph he just bowled that perfect line and length and bit of swing, that makes batsmen have to play. With a slight green twinge on the pitch it did not take long for the first wicket. A ball moving away: a tentative waft and Stirlo - who else - snapped up the chance even it is was caught between his wrists. It could have been Middlesex v Surrey all over again. And so it continued in a mad two hours. Another Middlesex connection saw Denly play a few of the trademark cover drives that make him such an elegant player to watch. But Adair was doing his bit at the other end; Denly did not last long and then the wickets just fell.  And fell.  Even Root and Bairstow – maybe the only batsmen nailed on for the Ashes series had no answer.  Bairstow was especially fidgety, even pulling away very late, from a ball that Murtagh was in full flight to bowl and which actually  hit the wicket. He could well have been given out. Ireland used their reviews well and England lost 4 wickets for one run;  Murts day was complete.  The ground was a mix of shock and genuine pleasure for his fabulous bowling.  And not just from the Irish supporters. I am sure there were many other Middlesex supporters who had become Irish for the day.


Middlesex in the lead over England

Middlesex connections continued after Ireland looked to blow a solid opening with two careless wickets.  Some solid defence and some handsome shots from Balbinie and Stirlo (not to mention a couple of dropped catches) took Ireland into a great position, and at one point their combined scores put Middlesex in the lead over England.  But in true Middlesex fashion an interval was not good for Ireland and as England bowled a bit better, Ireland wobbled in similar fashion to England, and slowed right down. Of course, it had to be Murts who came in and played some of his trademark swipes – which took Ireland to a lead over a hundred. Nice to see him playing his usual shots and not having to worry about whether he would get us over a bonus point line.

And of course Murts had to bowl the one over left at the end of the day to night watchmen Leach which he just managed to stay safe in. Fitting that he should bowl the opening and last overs of the day. Unexpected that it was in two different innings and that Ireland got to bowl it with everyone fielding close.   And a great day for all our Middlesex connections.


pqs: qs:
Murts Irish eyes are smiling
Posted by: Middlesex till we die (IP Logged)
Date: 25/07/2019 07:32

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:07:27:14:00:31 by BarmierKev.

Re: Murts Irish eyes are smiling
Posted by: BarmierKev (IP Logged)
Date: 25/07/2019 07:49

The Middlesex connections were not lost on me including Boyd Rankin. Noted the popular press have plagiarised our Murtagh On The Dance Floor headline, although like the Mid Summer Murtagh one.

Another irony at previous days game the commentators kept going on about Surrey players missing who failed miserably here against Middlesex finest.

Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

Re: Murts Irish eyes are smiling
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 25/07/2019 07:55

Glad you had a good day, Leprachaun.

Balbirnie is an interesting one. He played in several televised matches for Middlesex, and always looked petrified walking to the crease, and you just knew he was going to fail before he faced a ball.

So what's changed? Maybe he just feels more comfortable in the Ireland dressing room. With us his chances were few and far between, so the pressure to instantly make an impact may have got to him.

What to say about Timmy? Fast bowling-sexy. Spin bowling-sexy. 75 mph put it in the right place, and see what happens- not sexy, which is why some (not us) might be mystified as to how he could do so much damage.

I remember an interview he did a few years back when he said that if you bowled at 90, but got no movement, then that wouldn't trouble world class batsmen, but the bowler who could get the ball to move slightly could cause problems to anyone, anytime.

800 first class wickets and counting proves him right.

Re: Murts Irish eyes are smiling
Posted by: MiddleToWest (IP Logged)
Date: 25/07/2019 08:32

Most of us had a pretty good idea that Dial M would pose problems from the Nursery End. I'd been telling people on Facebook that with the England top order, he'd get the first few for next to nowt to leave us 30-3. Not quite. I also said he'd be on the honours' board around 3pm. Another wrong prediction.

Jason Roy looked clueless against the moving ball, Bairstow left a massive gate yet again (and take the gloves off him and give them to a proper wicketkeeper) and Root looked out of sorts. At least Burns showed some application.

I haven't got an Irish bone in my body but I like the way they play their cricket and I was up and cheering every one of Tim's wickets.

A great day for Ireland, a humbling one for England. But England will win.

Re: Murts Irish eyes are smiling
Posted by: pantherlike (IP Logged)
Date: 25/07/2019 10:12

And it’s Dial M for English batting Murder!!!

Gotta say, I was absolutely, as I’m sure you all are too, stoked for Tim’s magnificent day in test cricket!!

Turned it on an hour in to see what was going on and blow me down - 7/58!!! (Has to be written the Aussie way...!)

Brilliant stuff!!

And then there was Balbo and Stirlo, and even Boyd Rankin....

Great day for the Middle!

Let’s see what Ireland can muster on day 2! Never easy the second time round though....

I remember in the early 90s when minnows Sri Lanka knocked us over for 216 in Hobart on a similarly green deck and took a first innings lead with 224. The Aussies declared in the second dig at about 3/550......

Doubt that will happen here?!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing