London, June 2 (IANS) England’s campaign for a busy summer against archrivals Australia got off to a superb start as they took early control of the proceedings in the one-off four-day Test against neighbours Ireland.
Seasoned pacer Stuart Broad picked up a five-wicket haul before an aggressive opening stand between Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett put England firmly in the driver’s seat on day one of the one-off Test against Ireland at the Lord’s.
England kickstarted their summer with a dominant bowling display at Lord’s against Ireland, bundling the visitors out for 172 soon after tea on Thursday. Crawley and Duckett then put on a century stand in no time to take England close to a lead.
Crawley fell close to stumps to debutant Fionn Hand, but England are only 20 runs away from Ireland’s total after batting 25 overs, scoring at a rate of 6.08.
Earlier, England’s pace bowlers indicated how things could proceed in the Ashes series against Australia when they brushed aside concerns around their depleted attack with a strong bowling performance headlined by Broad’s brilliant five-wicket haul, the 20th in his Test career.
With the new ball moving around, Broad was all over the Ireland batting line-up, reducing them to 19/3 with key batters Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector departing for ducks in the same over.
Broad returned later to remove the resilient opener James McCollom, the only Ireland batter to play more than 100 deliveries and added another to walk away with a five-for.
Matthew Potts picked up two wickets as did Jack Leach, who came into the attack early. Josh Tongue, on Test debut, bowled probing spells but went wicketless in the innings.
James McCollum top-scored for Ireland with 36 while Curtis Campher (33) and Paul Stirling (30) made the other major contributions to the score as Ireland were bowled out cheaply.
With concerns around the injuries to James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, England needed a good start with the ball in the summer ahead of the Ashes that begins later this month. The bowling attack gave them just that with a dominant display. in north London.
At stumps on Day One, Duckett was unbeaten on 60 with Ollie Pope on 29 as England, trailing by 20 runs, looked in a good position to post a big total and press home their advantage.
Ireland 172 all out in 56.2 overs (James McCollum 36; Stuart Broad 5-51, Jack Leach 3-35) v England 152/1 in 25 overs (Zak Crawley 56, Ben Duckett 60 not out; Fionn Hand 1-42)