ENG vs IRE, Only Test, Day 2 Review: Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett flatten Ireland on second day

England declared for 524/4 on day 2, with Duckett (182) and Pope (205) pulping the Irish bowlers. Ireland will resume the third day at 97/3, 255 runs behind.

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Ben Duckett and Harry Brook
Ben Duckett and Harry Brook (Photo Source: Twitter)

LONDON - England’s top-order drove home their advantage against Ireland on Day Two at Lord’s as Ben Duckett piled on runs in the morning session before Ollie Pope hit a rapid double-century.

After declaring shortly after tea, Ireland lost PJ Moor and Andrew Balbirnie in quick succession, slipping to 18-2 before James McCollum left the field hurt. An authoritative hour of batting from Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector meant Ireland reached 97-3 by the close.

After quickly eliminating the 20-run deficit they began the day with, England’s batters began to build a lead. Duckett reached his first century on home soil less than an hour into play, flicking a single past short midwicket and raising his fist in the air as he ran through. Three balls later and another single took Pope to fifty, the lead growing at a significant rate.

As the sun burnt away the early morning cloud, the Ireland bowlers continued to toil. With the break approaching, Duckett and Pope accelerated once more, Pope moving into the nineties with ten minutes left in the session. Duckett passed 150 runs in the same over - prodding the ball into the legside for two.

He carved yet another boundary from Fionn Hand’s next delivery to bring up the 200 partnership, taking England into the break with a lead of 153, having scored 173 runs in the session.

Pope got to his century with a scampered single two overs after play’s resumption, while Duckett continued to attack. However, a bowling switch to Hume finally found the breakthrough with a thick inside edge from Duckett. His off stump was flattened, forcing him to depart for 182.

Joe Root’s arrival at the crease initially meant a period of relative calm, but he and Pope soon upped the ante once more. He raced past 150 as the partnership with Root rapidly rose towards three figures.

By Tea, Pope was within three runs of a double-century while England’s lead had moved on to 331. The game moved on quickly after the break. Root was bowled by McBrine from the third ball of the session, coming down the pitch and undone by some turn. Pope brought up his double-century, but the very next ball, he too skipped down the wicket and missed, out stumped with Tucker having plenty of time to take the bails off. That was enough for the England captain who recalled his batters with a lead of 352.

A circumspect start by Ireland’s openers was broken by Josh Tongue’s first ball in the innings. He dismissed Moor lbw to claim his first Test wicket after going without in the first innings. A second came along in the same over as Balbirnie under-edged through to Jonny Bairstow, leaving Ireland 18-2.

A further blow came when McCollum had to leave the field hurt after twisting his ankle pivoting to play a short ball from Tongue. Paul Stirling came to the crease and looked in imperious form, drilling a couple of boundaries through the off side to move Ireland towards fifty. He became Tongue’s third victim of the evening, gloving behind 45 minutes before the scheduled close of play.

Tucker and Tector remained determinedly in place to see Ireland to the close without further harm and put some pressure back on to England. Not content to allow Tongue’s short-ball ploy to continue without response, Tector even hooked the debutant for six, while each struck three boundaries. They will resume 255 runs behind with seven wickets in hand.


England v Ireland, Only Test match, Day Two, Lord’s, 2nd June 2023

Ireland 172 (56.2 overs; James McCollum 36, Curtis Campher 33, Stuart Broad 5-51)

England 524-4 dec (82.4 overs; Ollie Pope 205, Ben Duckett 182, Andy McBrine 2-99)

Ireland 97-3 (26 overs; Harry Tector 33*, Lorcan Tucker 21*, Josh Tongue 3-27)

England lead by 255 runs

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