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England Dominate Ireland In One-off Test

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England Dominate Ireland In One-off Test

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Ben Duckett showcased a brilliant display of batting prowess, scoring an unbeaten fifty and propelling England closer to a first-innings lead over Ireland in the Ashes warm-up Test at Lord’s. The match, which spanned four days instead of the customary five, witnessed England finishing the day at 152-1 in response to Ireland’s total of 172 all out, trailing by a mere 30 runs. Duckett, making his debut Test appearance on home soil, remained not out at 60 as the sun-drenched afternoon at the iconic ‘Home of Cricket’ drew to a close.

Partnering with Zak Crawley, who scored a brisk 56, Duckett contributed to an impressive opening stand of 109 runs. Crawley’s fifty came off just 39 balls and included an array of 10 boundaries. At the end of play, Ollie Pope remained unbeaten on 29. Prior to this outstanding partnership, veteran English bowler Stuart Broad had put on a remarkable display, securing his first five-wicket haul in a Test at Lord’s in the past decade.

Broad’s early onslaught reduced Ireland to a precarious 19-3, claiming the wickets of Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector, both without scoring a run. Ireland, still in search of their maiden victory at the Test level and playing only their seventh Test match, found solace in Paul Stirling’s quickfire 30, which sparked a recovery. James McCollum, the resolute opener, top-scored with 36 runs.

Broad’s impressive figures of 5-51 from 17 overs, coupled with left-arm spinner Jack Leach’s contribution of 3-35 from 14 overs, ensured that Ireland faced a daunting challenge. However, debutant fast bowler Josh Tongue failed to secure a wicket. Ireland’s bowlers struggled to contain the aggressive English batsmen, with fast bowler Josh Little, a standout performer in the T20 Indian Premier League, being rested ahead of their upcoming 50-over World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.


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The visitors came close to missing the sole opportunity England presented to them on the first day. Debutant paceman Fionn Hand managed to hold onto a caught and bowled chance from Crawley’s checked drive on the second attempt. Crawley, who had narrowly avoided getting dismissed by inside edges multiple times, could consider himself fortunate.

England’s captain, Ben Stokes, elected to bowl in overcast conditions that promised assistance to the pace attack, although it missed the services of England’s James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, both of whom were rested ahead of the forthcoming Test against Australia at Edgbaston.

As Test novices, Ireland began their innings confidently at 15-0. However, their progress was halted by Broad, who claimed the wicket of Peter Moor for 10, having him adjudged LBW. Balbirnie, the only player to have featured in all of Ireland’s seven Tests, was dismissed for a duck when he edged Broad low to Crawley at second slip.

In a disastrous sequence of events for Ireland, Tector clipped Broad off his pads straight to Matthew Potts at leg slip, resulting in his dismissal. The very next ball, Stirling was given out LBW, but he successfully reviewed the decision by Australian umpire Paul Wilson, avoiding a dreaded duck. Stirling counter-attacked before being dismissed for a boundary-laden innings of 20 runs, as he top-edged a sweep off Leach, and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow completed a simple catch.

McCollum’s patient knock, spanning 108 deliveries, ended after lunch when he edged Broad’s delivery to Joe Root at first slip. Broad achieved his 20th five-wicket haul in 162 Tests when he clean bowled Mark Adair with an inswinger. This remarkable feat was also his first five-wicket haul at Lord’s since his exceptional figures of 7-44 against New Zealand in 2013.

Curtis Campher’s resilient 79-ball stay at the crease came to an end when he charged at Leach, resulting in his dismissal. Potts wrapped up the innings by having Hand caught behind the stumps, concluding Ireland’s innings.


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