Ben Duckett’s dashing unbeaten fifty took England to within sight of a first-innings lead over Ireland on the opening day of their Ashes warm-up Test at Lord’s on Thursday. England were 152-1 in reply to Ireland’s 172 all out, a deficit of 30 runs, at stumps in a Test being played over four days rather than the standard five. Duckett, a left hander in his first Test innings in England, was 60 not out after a sunny afternoon at the ‘Home of Cricket’.
Together with Zak Crawley (56), he shared an opening stand of 109. Crawley’s fifty came from a mere 39 balls and including 10 fours. At the close, Ollie Pope was 29 not out. Earlier, England veteran Stuart Broad took his first five-wicket haul in a Test at Lord’s for 10 years.
Broad’s early treble strike reduced Ireland to 19-3 and included ducks for both Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector. Ireland, in just their seventh Test and still searching for a first win at this level, were indebted to Paul Stirling for launching a recovery with a quickfire 30. Obdurate opener James McCollum top-scored with 36.
Broad finished with 5-51 from 17 overs and left-arm spinner Jack Leach took 3-35 from 14, although debutant fast bowler Josh Tongue went wicketless. Ireland struggled to contain England, with fast bowler Josh Little, a star of the T20 Indian Premier League, rested ahead of their upcoming 50-over World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe
The visitors almost missed the one chance England gave them on Thursday, with debutant paceman Fionn Hand clinging on at the second attempt to hold a caught and bowled chance from Crawley’s checked drive. After several inside edges had narrowly missed the stumps, Crawley could have few complaints.
England captain Ben Stokes opted to bowl in overcast conditions that promised to aid a three-man pace attack missing England great James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, both rested ahead of this month’s first Test against Australia at Edgbaston.
Test novices Ireland were 15-0 when Broad had Peter Moor, fresh from a hundred in a warm-up match against Essex, plumb lbw for 10. Balbirnie, the only man to appear in all of Ireland’s seven Tests, then fell for a five-ball duck when he edged Broad low to Crawley at second slip.
Two balls later Ireland were 19-3 when Tector clipped Broad off his pads straight to Matthew Potts at leg slip. The next delivery saw Stirling given out lbw.
But the Ireland veteran successfully reviewed Australian umpire Paul Wilson’s decision, avoiding a duck. Stirling counter-attacked before an innings featuring 20 runs in boundaries ended when he top-edged a sweep off Leach and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, playing his first Test since August last year after a freak leg injury on a golf course, held a simple catch.
McCollum’s contrasting 108 ball-knock finished after lunch when he edged Broad to Joe Root at first slip. Broad had his 20th five-wicket haul in 162 Tests when he bowled Mark Adair with an inswinger. It was also the first time he had achieved the feat at Lord’s since his 7-44 against New Zealand in 2013.
Campher’s 79-ball stay ended when he charged at Leach and Potts ended the innings when he had Hand caught behind.
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