|Only Test, Lord’s (2nd day of 4th)|
|Ireland 172 (wide 5-51, leach 3-35) & 97-3 (Tongue 3-27)|
|England 524-4 Dec (Pope 205, Duct 182)|
|Ireland 255 points behind|
Ole Pope smashed his first Test hundred and Ben Duckett helped himself to 182 on the completely one-sided second day of the England Test against Ireland at Lord’s.
Bob’s 205 off 208 is the fastest double ever tested for England, while Duckett missed becoming the fifth man to make 200 in fewer than 200 balls.
With Joe Root helping himself to 56 on nearly the ball, England crushed Ireland’s attack in perfect batting conditions.
England raised 524-4 declared, and passed 500 in 80 overs, the second fastest in Test history behind their stunning 506-4 on the first day of the First Test against Pakistan in December.
Facing a massive deficit of 352, Ireland’s primary aim was not to suffer the indignity of defeat within two days.
This became a real possibility when England newcomer Josh Tong took his first and second Test wickets – Peter Moore and Andrew Balberni – on his first overs.
Tongue, 25, was also the starting pitcher when James McCollum sprained his right ankle while trying to evade a bouncer, leaving the Irish 25-3.
In a hostile spell, Tangy then caught Paul Stirling off the leg side, but Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker took Ireland to 97-3 at the close, still 255 behind.
The carnage is in a predictable mismatch
With England 152-1 overnight, 20 behind Ireland on a first-innings 172, it seemed obvious that the home side would pile on as many runs as they liked.
Certainly, carnage followed. On a flat pitch in the warm sun and against an inexperienced attack lacking any kind of edge, the England players gorged themselves on.
This was Test cricket in name only, as England managed to add 372 runs in nearly seven innings with minimal effort. It was hard not to feel sympathy for the Irish, whose mission to stop the English juggernaut proved far beyond its stronger sides.
The mismatch continued as England took possession thanks to Tongue’s poisonous spell 3-27.
Moore was lbw to Sanji’s first ball before cutting Balberni behind. In the second Tongue there was a disturbing sight of McCollum, spinning to avoid a short ball, and collapsing to the ground in apparent distress before being helped off the field and removed from the ground by an ambulance.
Sterling at least settled in with Tector before the review discovered a gauntlet down the leg side and the tongue-twister continued when he hit Tucker on the helmet. Somehow, Tector fought to 33 and Tucker to 21 when Mercy of the cronies approached.
Pope and Duckett are having a banquet together
Pope and Duckett are two of the many success stories in this era for the England Test team – Pope since being promoted to number three last summer, Duckett after being called up to open the batting over the winter.
Duquette cut the first ball of the day for four, setting the pattern for the next two sessions. England scored 173 before lunch, then another 178 between lunch and tea.
Duckett clipped and clipped the strings, then swept and bowled Andy McBrain for his second Test 100th. In going from 60 to 161 overnight at lunch, the left-hander became the first batsman since 1924 to score 100 before lunch in the Lord’s Test.
He was on his way to getting the fastest hundred in a Test in this country before driving in Graham Hume on his stumps, ending a stand of 252 with Pope.
The score instead went to Pope, who bowled a fine drive and darted between the wickets. His hundred partnership with Root, who was reverse scooping early in the twelfth ball he faced, came from just 79 balls – the third fastest ever by an England bowler.
When Root reached 52, he became only the second England batsman after Alastair Cook to reach 11,000 Test runs.
He was tossed around after tea, and charged at McBrine, leaving Bob to go 200 with a loft over the long-six-third boundary.
Pope fumbled the next ball, prompting an announcement. England’s overall run rate of 6.34 is the highest ever for a Test home innings that lasted more than 20 runs, and the second-highest anywhere for an innings of less than 50 runs.