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England v Ireland: Stuart Broad takes five as hosts dominate at Lord’s

Only Test, Lord’s (day one of four)
Ireland 172: Broad 5-51, Leach 3-35
England 152-1: Duckett 60*, Crawley 56
England are 20 runs behind

Stuart Broad pressed his case for inclusion in the first Ashes Test by taking five wickets as England dominated Ireland on the first of the four-day Test at Lord’s.

Broad claimed 5-51 and was supported by 3-35 from left-arm spinner Jack Leach in Ireland’s 172 all out.

That represented something of a recovery from the Irish, who at one stage were 19-3 before James McCollum battled to 36, Paul Stirling countered for 30 and Curtis Campher added 33.

On an ideal day for England, opener Zak Crawley ended a run of eight Test innings without a half-century, riding a degree of good fortune to make 56.

Crawley added 109 for the first wicket with Ben Duckett before being caught and bowled by Ireland debutant Fionn Hand.

Duckett continued his fine form in moving to 60 not out, joined by Ollie Pope, who is unbeaten on 29.

England closed on 152-1 from only 25 overs, just 20 behind and already well placed for a ruthless and swift victory.

England start huge summer in ideal fashion

While this is very much a tune-up for the huge summer ahead, England would have been aware of their mixed history against the Irish – beaten in both versions of the World Cup and bowled out for 85 the last time they met in a Test.

But the only sign of a hiccup for the home side came before they even got to Lord’s, when Just Stop Oil protesters delayed the team bus for a short period of time.

And, when Ben Stokes won the toss on a cool morning, England’s Broad-led attack exposed the gulf in class and some uncertain Irish footwork.

It is to Ireland’s credit that they did not completely subside – they were bowled out for 38 on their way to defeat here four years ago.

Still, as the chill wind gave way to warm sunshine, it became apparent that the pitch offers no great pace and holds an opportunity for runs to be scored.

On a glorious evening, England rattled along at more than six runs per over, laying a platform to have Ireland batting again at some point on Friday.

Broad makes Ashes case

Broad will know he is competing with Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood for the two spots alongside James Anderson in England’s pace attack for the first Test against Australia at Edgbaston on 16 June.

Here he staked his claim with his first five-wicket haul at Lord’s for 10 years and first in a home Test for almost three.

Bowling a very full length, his opening spell at one stage yielded 3-0 in eight balls. Peter Moor was lbw playing across the line, Andy Balbirnie poked to second slip and a charging Henry Tector turned his second ball to leg slip. Broad could have had a fourth in nine balls, but Stirling overturned being given out lbw.

After lunch, Broad returned to have McCollum edge to first slip and completed his haul by finding movement up the slope to bowl Mark Adair through the gate.

Leach, playing a vital role in England’s attack as all-rounder Stokes manages a knee injury, took advantage of Ireland’s eagerness to be aggressive to claim his three wickets.

Matthew Potts’ movement was rewarded with two scalps late on, while debutant Josh Tongue touched 90mph, but was too often asked to bowl too short.

Crawley misses chance to silence doubters

With England taking the decision for Jonny Bairstow to return behind the stumps in place of Ben Foakes, the major lingering doubt about their Ashes line-up is the form of Kent’s Crawley.

He has been unequivocally backed by Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum but, though these runs were welcome, it was not an innings to silence the doubters.

Crawley’s first half-century since the first Test against Pakistan in December came from only 39 balls, yet he was often unconvincing as 15 of his runs came via the inside edge, including two escapes in the same Adair over.

He had the chance to return on Friday for a big score, only to chip back to medium-pacer Hand, who held the catch at the second attempt.

In contrast to Crawley, Duckett is entirely at home at the top of the order. In this, his first England appearance in any format on home soil, the left-hander went past 50 for the sixth time in 11 innings since returning to the Test side.

Against an Irish attack lacking pace, Duckett slashed through the off side and clipped off his toes, with his fluency matched by newly-installed vice-captain Pope.

‘England have set a marker’ – what they said

England bowler Stuart Broad on BBC Test Match Special: “It was a nice feeling. I was happy with how we bowled as a group. Conditions were fantastic first thing this morning and that’s what you want at Lord’s because you have to make the new ball count.

Ireland all-rounder Curtis Campher on TMS: “There were moments, but whenever we got on top we didn’t prolong those periods. we are disappointed today but we’ll come back stronger tomorrow.

“It was a great challenge for our batters. It was a tough, hard day but we showed determination. Broady is a top-class bowler and it is just about limiting them.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan on TMS: “You can see England’s confidence. They want to do things that no other team has done and they want to win in two days here.”

Former Ireland wicketkeeper on Niall O’Brien on TMS: “I expect it is going to be a difficult evening in the Ireland camp. They will be disappointed, especially the batters, because it was a bit tough this morning under the clouds but it was not difficult for batting.

“England have set a marker for the summer there.”

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