Seamer Josh Tongue took five wickets to help England beat Ireland by 10 wickets in the one-off Test at Lord’s on Saturday ahead of the Ashes series against Australia, but the visitors salvaged some pride with a brave batting effort on the third day.
After bowling Ireland out for 172 in their first innings, England effectively batted themselves out of the game when they declared on 524-4 with a huge lead of 352 runs after Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett scored big centuries on Friday.
Harry Tector resumed on 97-3, and Ireland started strongly, scoring 51 off 98 balls before being hauled out to show for debutant Tongue’s fourth wicket of the innings.
Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher also departed before lunch to leave Ireland, a third consecutive innings defeat seemingly inevitable after two big defeats against Sri Lanka in April.
However, Andy McBrine and Mark Adair launched an effective counter-attack in a blistering seventh-wicket stand, with 163 runs from 165 balls – the highest ever Test partnership for Ireland.
Matthew Potts broke the stand when Adair, on 88, got the slightest touch on a delivery as it flew through to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
McBrine fought on after Fionn Hand became Tongue’s fifth scalp, scoring 86 not out as he dragged Ireland over the line and forced the hosts to bat again, albeit briefly.
Chasing a paltry target of 11, England opener Zak Crawley hit Adair for three boundaries in four balls to secure England’s 11th win in 13 Tests.
“I think it gives us a good insight into the conditions and what we can get against Australia in the summer ahead,” England captain Ben Stokes told the BBC.
“Ireland could have easily got ahead of us with less time left in the game, so we gave ourselves that opportunity to bowl them out and not have to bat again.
“But fair play to Ireland, they batted really well there and we don’t need to go out and score a lot, but it does prove that being like we were before the game can really work in our favor when the pitch is like that is flat if it was.”
England now shift focus to the Ashes series, which gets underway at Edgbaston on June 16, after Australia’s match against India in the World Test Championship at the Oval from June 7.
England named an unchanged squad for the first two Tests of the five-match series, with Tongue retaining his place after his impressive performance against Ireland.
Source: Hindustan Times