Ben Duckett’s dashing undefeated fifty led England to a first innings lead over Ireland on the opening day of their Ashes Test warm-up at Lord’s on Thursday. England were 152-1 in response to Ireland’s 172 matches, a 30-run deficit due to the Test being played for four days rather than the standard five. Duckett, left-handed in his first test innings in England, was not 60 after a sunny day at the “House of Cricket”.
Along with Zach Crowley (56), he shared a starting stance of 109. Crowley’s fifty made just 39 balls, including 10 fours. At the end of Ollie Pope was 29 years old. Earlier, England veteran Stuart Broad made his first five-wicket shot in 10 years in Lord’s test.
Broad’s early triple cut Ireland to 19-3 and included ducks for both Ireland captain Andy Balbirney and Harry Tector. Ireland, having only passed their seventh Test and still aiming for their first win at that level, were indebted to Paul Stirling for kicking off the recovery with a fast-shooting 30. Stubborn newcomer James McCollum scored 36 points.
Broad finished 5-51 out of 17 overs and left-hander Jack Leach took 3-35 out of 14, although fast debutant bowler Josh Tong was wicket-free. Ireland struggled to contain England and fast bowler Josh Little, star of the Indian T20 Premier League, was resting ahead of the upcoming 50-man World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe.
The away almost squandered the only chance England gave them on Thursday, with debutant paceman Fionn Hand clinging to a second try to keep a caught and out chance after Crowley’s tested drive. After several internal ribs narrowly missed stumps, Crowley had few complaints.
England captain Ben Stokes preferred to play in overcast conditions, which promised to help a three-man pace attack that missed out on England greats James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who were resting ahead of this month’s first Test against Australia at Edgbaston.
The Ireland Test rookies were 15-0 when Broad had Peter Moore fresh off a 100-lb warm-up against Essex. Balbirney, the only man to have appeared in all seven of Ireland’s Tests, then fell to a five-ball duck as he passed Broad below Crowley on his second miss.
Two balls later, Ireland were 19-3 when Tector clipped Broad from his pads straight onto Matthew Potts with a foot slip. On the next delivery, Sterling gave away a pound.
But the Irish veteran successfully overturned Australian referee Paul Wilson’s decision, avoiding a duck. Sterling counterattacked before the 20-run inbound inning ended as he beat Leach and goaltender Johnny Bairstow, after playing his first Test since last August after an unusual leg injury on the golf course, kept an easy catch.
McCollum’s 108 counter shot ended after lunch when he passed Broad to Joe Root on the first miss. Broad had his 20th five-wicket shot in 162 Tests when he beat Mark Adair by inwinger. It was also the first time he had success at Lord’s 7-44 against New Zealand in 2013.
Kampher’s 79-ball stint ended when he attacked Leach and Potts completed the pitch when Hand caught from behind.
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