England dominate despite Ireland’s defiance
Andy McBrine and Mark Adair’s counter-attacking half-century stand helped Ireland to 215/6 at Lunch on Day 3 and delay the inevitable, but England continued to remain in command of the Lord’s Test on Saturday, still holding on to a lead of 137 runs.
Resuming the day on 97 for 3 – with James McCollum retired hurt following a twisted ankle, Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector steadied the visitors in the mornings, extending the fourth wicket stand to 63 runs. Before Tucker’s attempt to sweep Jack Leach backfired. The ball hit his gloves and rolled to hit the stumps, dismissing him six short of a half-century.
The duo had looked steady even though they were slow to get going. Tucker hit four boundaries in the first half an hour of play, even though one caught the outside edge of his bat and flew through the slip cordon.
Tector, who was the slower of the two, continued to remain on the defensive even in the company of Curtis Campher, who broke free after a steady start. He slogged Joe Root for a six through mid wicket and drove Josh Tongue for two successive boundaries through the point region in the next over. Tector brought up his half century with a two but fell off the next over, uppishly cutting Tongue to backward point to hand the debutant his fourth wicket of the innings. Three balls later, Campher swept Root to Ben Stokes to end his stay.
England entered the tail but were soon put to test against McBrine and Adair’s counter-attacking approach. McBrine took the bait offered by Root’s loopy offbreaks and drove him for successive boundaries. Later in the same over, Adair slogswept the spinner for a six and then followed up by sweeping him for a boundary.
McBrine, who was the more conservative of the two, even pulled Tongue’s short delivery for a four to make his intentions clear. Adair, on the other hand, took down Root, slamming the office for a 15-run over again and raced away to bring up a quickfire half-century stand. The duo added 53 runs for the seventh wicket before Lunch was taken.
Brief Scores: Ireland 172 (James McCollum 36, Curtis Campher 33; Stuart Broad 5-51, Jack Leach 2-35) & 215/6 (Harry Tector 51, Lorcan Tucker 44; Josh Tongue 4-56) trail England 524/4 decl. (Ollie Pope 205, Ben Duckett 182; Andy McBrine 2-99) by 137 runs