England embarrassed by Ireland as hosts bowled out for 85 at Lord's after winning toss

England’s Ashes preparations took a damaging blow against Ireland as they were bowled out for 85 at Lord’s.

Joe Root’s charges won the toss and opted to bat on a scorching hot day in North London, but Tim Murtagh’s clinical accuracy with the ball proved too much for them.

The 37-year-old bowler, on his home ground, took care of openers Jason Roy and Rory Burns before gutting the middle order.

It left the hosts - without several first-team players including the injured James Anderson, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes - rocking as they were dispatched before lunch.

England entered the four-day Test against their neighbours looking to lock down that elusive guaranteed opener.

Ireland's Tim Murtagh was in rampant form on Wednesday at Lord's. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Bairstow was bowled after attempting a bold shot off the in-form bowler. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Roy, fresh from demolishing opponents en route to World Cup glory, would have been eager for runs to cement his place in the longer form side.

Those hopes, though, were dented when he edged Murtagh behind for just five, and England’s old demons returned when Joe Denly was trapped LBW by Mark Adair.

The loss of two wickets for 36 runs soon became three when Burns edged behind off Murtagh.

Root, so often England’s anchor, might have expected to steady the ship, but a canny review for LBW off Adair reaped dividends for Ireland - sending him back for just two runs.

Murtagh, with a taste of blood from his opening two wickets, wanted more - and the opponents’ middle-order was firmly in his sights.

Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali all came and left in the space of five deliveries from the Irishman - with none of them registering a run as 42-3 became 43-7.

The wicket which started that particular rut - Bairstow wildly attacking a shot and being bowled - was perhaps symptomatic of the shorter-form mindset England may still be stuck in.

Sam Curran (18) and Olly Stone (19) both managed to help the tail wag but neither could substantially halt the rampage Ireland were on as the Middlesex star finished with figures of 5-13 off nine overs.

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