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03-Jun-2023 02:11:00 GMT
Eng v Ire - Only Test, The Lord's, day 2

Pope and Duckett pile on runs as England near innings win

Ireland 172 (Broad 5-51, Leach 3-35) and 97 for 3 (Tongue 3-27) trail England 524 for 4 declared (Pope 205, Duckett 182, Crawley 56, Root 56) by 255 runs

London: Ollie Pope crashed his maiden Test double hundred and Ben Duckett helped himself to 182 on a completely one-sided second day of England's Test against Ireland at Lord's.

Pope's 205 from 208 balls is the fastest Test double ever made in England, while Duckett missed out on becoming only the fifth man to make 200 in fewer than 200 balls.

With Joe Root helping himself to 56 at almost a run a ball, England pulverised the Ireland attack in perfect batting conditions.

England racked up 524-4 declared, passing 500 inside 80 overs, the second-fastest in Test history behind their own stunning 506-4 on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan in December.

Faced with an enormous deficit of 352, Ireland's primary target was not to suffer the indignity of defeat inside two days.

That became a real prospect when England debutant Josh Tongue took his first and second Test wickets - Peter Moor and Andrew Balbirnie - in his first over.

Tongue, 25, was also the bowler when James McCollum injured his right ankle trying to evade a bouncer, effectively leaving the Irish 25-3.

In a hostile spell, Tongue then had Paul Stirling caught down the leg side, but Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker dragged Ireland to 97-3 at the close, still 255 behind.

With England 152-1 overnight, 20 behind Ireland's first-innings 172, it seemed nailed on that the home side would pile on as many runs as they pleased.

Sure enough, carnage ensued. On a flat pitch under warm sun and against an inexperienced attack lacking any sort of cutting edge, England's batters gorged themselves.

This was Test cricket in name only, as England were able to add 372 runs at nearly seven an over with minimal effort. It was hard to not feel sympathy for the Irish, whose task of stopping the England juggernaut has proved beyond much stronger sides.

The mismatch continued when England took the ball thanks to Tongue's venomous spell of 3-27.

Moor was lbw to Tongue's first ball before Balbirnie cut behind. In Tongue's second over, there was the worrying sight of McCollum, swivelling to avoid a short ball, collapsing to the floor in obvious distress before being helped off the field and taken from the ground by ambulance.

Stirling at least steadied with Tector before a review detected a glove down the leg side and Tongue's viciousness continued when he struck Tucker on the helmet. Somehow, Tector had battled to 33 and Tucker to 21 when the mercy of the close came.

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