Mark Adair’s Ireland heroics has dad feeling proud

Ireland's Mark Adair celebrates with his team mates after England's Joe Denly gets out by lbw during day one of the Specsavers Test Series match at Lord's. Photo credit: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire
Ireland's Mark Adair celebrates with his team mates after England's Joe Denly gets out by lbw during day one of the Specsavers Test Series match at Lord's. Photo credit: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire
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The father of Ireland debutant Mark Adair has revealed how watching his son help bowl out England for 85 brought a tear to his eye.

Adair took three for 32 as the underdogs skittled England in the opening session of their first meeting in the oldest, most prestigious format of the game.

That the 23-year-old seamer from Holywood was able to play such a major part in proceedings on his first appearance was particularly sweet for the onlooking Ricky Adair, who was overcome at witnessing the culmination of a difficult journey to the top.

Adair was on the books at Warwickshire and made his first-class bow as a teenager in 2005 only for persistent back injuries to set back his development.

“It’s hard to believe, it’s been a heck of a journey for him. I wouldn’t be lying to say it brought a bit of a tear to my eye when I saw him walk out on that pitch this morning,” he told PA.

“What young man wouldn’t want to play a Lord’s Test against England? It’s surreal, absolutely surreal.

“To be part of an Irish test team in front of a massive crowd against England is something you dream about, as parents his mother and I are living that dream.”

Adair opened his Test account by trapping Joe Denly lbw and finished the innings by bowling Olly Stone, but the most prized scalp was captain Joe Root - closing a loop that opened while he was still with Warwickshire.

“He played versus Joe a couple of years ago in a one-day match and he had a catch put down,” said Ricky.

“We talked about it at the time - ‘I could have had him’ - so I’m delighted that came back to him today.”

Ireland arrived at St John’s Wood with just two games and two defeats in their brief Test history but left having removed any doubts, should they still exist, about their worthiness to sit at the top table.

An inspired performance saw them skittle their neighbours for just 85 in the first session of Test cricket between the sides to forge a 122-run lead on day one.