Ireland fell an antagonising 30 runs short of avoiding a follow-on. If they had to escape that then they would have had a decent chance of drawing the test match. Now even though they ended at 64/0 they are staring at the bottom of a deep well of defeat. They will have to bat the whole of the fourth day if they have to avoid defeat. They are still short by 116 runs. They may have to get close to 450 runs and bat on if they have to get anywhere. I think that Ireland just capitulated under the nervousness of their first test match.
Then again we may be getting into a situation where the prediction of Kevin Pieterson will come true. He essentially said that there would be about five test playing countries left. I personally would hate it to happen but there is a strong case for a two-tier test system. There are 12 countries with test status. They will be divided into two. All countries within a group play each other home and away in a period of three and a half years. Then there would be a relegation/promotion system. Countries will be free to play additional countries if they so desire.
I really hoped that By the end of the day I would continue to sing “When Irish eyes are smiling. Now it feels more like “Fields of Athenry.”
“Low lie, The Fields Of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing,
Its so lonely round the Fields of Athenry”