An England home match? Try telling that to Tim Murtagh.

After Joe Root made the call to bat under glorious blue skies in St. John's Wood, Irish cricket aficionados wouldn't have been too displeased at being put in to have a bowl. After all, William Porterfield had a Middlesex stalwart amongst the cards in his pack to play.

While the hosts were without their veteran opening bowler in James Anderson, in Murtagh the visitors have the man who has bowled more balls in first-class cricket at Lord's than any other player in the past 16 seasons.

Since 2004, the 37-year-old has sent 2327.5 overs down that famous Lord's slope, the bulk of them from the Nursery End, taking 296 wickets at an average of 23.62 and a strike rate of 47.1. To put that in perspective, the next closest in terms of balls bowled at the venue in the same period is Steven Finn (1572.2 overs, 194 wickets), while Anderson has 102 wickets from his 886.3 overs at the Home of Cricket, the majority of which have come in Test matches.

So it shouldn't have been a surprise that, given the chance to show his wares on the most prestigious stage, at the venue where he's plied his trade since 2006, Murtagh would be feasting on some home comforts. And that's not just talking about the dessert that he joked that he might be treating himself after taking outstanding figures of 9-2-13-5, the first five-wicket haul in Test cricket by an Irishman.

With Murtagh's record at the venue, you could perhaps forgive Jason Roy for being a bit nervous, facing a bowler so attuned to pacing in from the Nursery End. The England batsman was opening in first-class cricket for the first time since September 2015.

It only took 1.4 overs of Murtagh's spell to make that breakthrough. finding a bit of nip down that slope and kissing the edge. Fittingly, it was fellow Middlesex man Paul Stirling who took the catch at first slip, albeit in his wrists rather than his palms.

"To be honest, I thought it would take a bit longer than that if I did get there," Murtagh told Sky Sports at the lunch break. "But everything felt really good today. The ball came out nicely and just did a little bit off the wicket."

Consistency of line and length certainly paid off in his nine-over spell. According to Statsguru, 37 of his 54 deliveries were bowled at length, with 18 off those pitching outside off stump and 15 on the stumps. Of his eight full length deliveries, seven pitched outside off, and rewarded him with two wickets. CricViz said that the average percentage of balls bowled at a good line and length by a pace bowler in Test cricket is 34%. For Murtagh today, that figure was 69%.

England had no answers as Murtagh drew Rory Burns into a drive that carried through to Gary Wilson's gloves, Jonny Bairstow swung wildly to leave his stumps open, while Chris Woakes departed just two balls later after being struck on the pads. Ireland, playing just their third men's Test match, had unveiled the perfect weapon.

The chance to play two, three, four Test matches, whatever I play in my career, is I guess a bit of an added bonus at my age. I'm just kind of revelling in every day.

Mark Adair, opening the bowling from the Pavilion End on Test debut, was having an impressive morning himself, and would have claimed the opening wicket of Roy in the second over had he not overstepped. But Ireland, if you pardon the pun, had 'dialled M for Murtagh'. [No I don't: Ed]

Two balls into his eighth over, the prize of a place on the Lord's honours board was won. Moeen Ali became the third of England's World Cup heroes to go for a duck, England had lost six wickets for seven runs, Murtagh had three wickets in his last six balls and had etched his name into Irish cricket history.

"It's as special as it gets for a cricketer. I guess growing up as a kid I dreamt of being on the honours board, though not in that dressing room," Murtagh said at his end-of-day press conference. "It's a fantastic sort of feeling, walking off at lunchtime holding the ball up, having taken five wickets in that first session was as good a feeling as I've had in my career."

Had anyone scoffed at the idea that the newest Test nation could compete with the joint-oldest when they took their seats this morning, those preconceptions were well and truly dispelled within the first hour of play. At the end of the day, 20 wickets had fallen in 83 overs, and while it's yet to be seen how strong an advantage Ireland's 122-run lead will prove to be, it was one that Murtagh was delighted with.

"If you'd offered us a 120 lead at the start of the day we'd have snapped your hand off.

"If you gave us a time to play England, this would be the time we'd have chosen, coming from a massive high of winning the World Cup, and I guess with an Ashes series around the corner, there'd maybe be eyes elsewhere."

With his 38th birthday just over a week away, Murtagh knows that his Test career is unlikely to be a long one. Having grown up in South London and changed his allegiances from his country of birth to that of his Dublin-born grandfather in 2011, it's not something he'd ever expected to experience, but he's enjoying every moment of it.

"The chance to play two, three, four Test matches, whatever I play in my career, is I guess a bit of an added bonus at my age. I'm just kind of revelling in every day.

"I thought the support today was fantastic, you could hear the Irish singing, and it felt like it was a bit of a home game for us. Hopefully a few more come through the gates tomorrow and get behind us tomorrow, as we'll need that extra lift."

Whichever way the game goes from here, on a day where the mercury hit 32C at the Home of Cricket, Tim Murtagh, his team-mates and all of the travelling Irish supporters certainly enjoyed their day in the sun.