A strong all-round performance from Captain Hayley Matthews helped the West Indies Women pull off a thrilling two-wicket victory over Ireland in the first T20 International at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Tuesday.

The win means the Caribbean women take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Batting first, Ireland were restricted to 112-7 in their 20 overs, thanks to economical and accurate bowling by Matthews, who took 3-22 from her four overs and Cherry-Ann Fraser, who returned figures of 2-22.  Debutant Ashmini Munisar took 1-16.

Ireland captain Laura Delany top-scored with 34 and got support from Eimear Richardson with 22.

In pursuit of 113, the West Indies lost wickets regularly which slowed their scoring and forced it down to the last ball for a result.

Matthews led from the front with a top score of 37. Afy Fletcher added a valuable 19 when the game looked like it was slipping away from the home team but Vice-Captain Shemaine Campbelle guided the team to a final ball single and take victory.A

Speaking after the match, Matthews said, "A lot of nerves coming down to the end but still a lot of positives we can take from today’s game. We did a good job restricting Ireland to 112 on a really good batting wicket. Personally, I was happy to contribute to the win. Ashmini Munisar, making her debut, how economical she bowled and taking her first wicket was one of the positives and it’s a good sign for the future.”

The West Indies Women will be looking to go 2-0 up in the series when the teams meet again at the same venue on Thursday, July 6.

Rain forced a no-result in the second One-Day International between West Indies Women and Ireland Women at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, on Wednesday.

During the short period of action that was possible in the match reduce to 20 overs per side, West Indies bowlers, were spot on with fast bowlers Shamilia Connell and Aaliyah Alleyne, both grabbing four wickets in quick succession, leaving the Irish reeling at 36 for five after eight overs, before the weather interrupted.

Alleyne had 2-4 off two overs, while Connell bagged 2-14, off her two.

West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first game by 56 runs.

Paul Stirling’s century earned Ireland their solitary win in the Cricket World Cup qualifiers with a dominant 138-run victory against the United Arab Emirates.

The opener’s impressive knock of 162 was complemented by half-centuries from Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector, with the UAE unable to find valuable partnerships to chase a victory target of 350.

It was a bittersweet ending for Ireland, whose hopes of reaching the final six had already been dashed by defeats in their three previous matches, meaning they finished second-bottom in Group B.

After being put in to bat, Ireland lost Andy McBrine for 24 after he was lbw to Sanchit Sharma, but Stirling and captain Balbirnie ran riot as the pair put on 184 for the second wicket.

Ali Naseer found the long-awaited breakthrough in the 39th over as Balbirnie was caught for 66 and Stirling scored another 29 runs before he was caught by Karthik Meiyappan off Sanchit Sharma.

Tector added 57 before Sanchit Sharma struck again in the penultimate over, Meiyappan with another catch, and Ireland finished on 349 for four thanks to a tidy partnership of 23 from Lorcan Tucker and George Dockrell at the death.

The UAE got off to a decent start until captain Muhammad Waseem was run out for 45 and wicketkeeper Aryansh Sharma followed shortly after.

Josh Little struck in quick succession to dismiss Vriitya Aravind and Ethan D’Souza before McBrine struck twice in the 21st over to get rid of Naseer and Aayan Afzal Khan.

Basil Hameed put on a valuable 70-run partnership with Sanchit Sharma, the pair taking their side from 109 for six to 179 without further loss, but Hameed was dismissed by Dockrell for 39.

Curtis Campher then picked up two wickets in an over, Sanchit Sharma falling for 44 and Junaid Siddique for six, before Dockrell took the final wicket to hand Ireland the victory with 11 overs to spare.

Ireland international forward Jean Kleyn has been cleared to represent South Africa under new eligibility rules.

The Johannesburg-born Munster lock qualified for Ireland on residency and made five appearances in 2019, including two at the Japan-hosted Rugby World Cup.

He has not been selected since then, though, and therefore qualifies for South Africa under a new regulation.

Since the start of last year, players can switch to their country of birth – or their parents’ or grandparents’ birth – provided a minimum period of three years has elapsed since they were last selected for an adopted country.

SA Rugby said World Rugby confirmed to them on Thursday that Kleyn fulfilled the necessary “birthright transfer” requirements.

Kleyn has made more than 130 Munster appearances and helped them win the United Rugby Championship title last season.

He is currently part of South Africa’s Rugby Championship training squad, with the Springboks kicking off that campaign against Australia in Pretoria on July 8.

Kleyn becomes the latest international player to switch countries ahead of the World Cup, following the likes of Charles Piutau (New Zealand to Tonga), Israel Folau (Australia to Tonga), Henry Thomas (England to Wales) and Byron McGuigan (Scotland to Namibia).

James McClean has vowed to prolong his Republic of Ireland career for as long as possible after manager Stephen Kenny tipped him to follow in Luka Modric’s footsteps.

The 34-year-old old Wigan midfielder will win his 100th senior cap for his country in Monday night’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Gibraltar in Dublin, with the Ireland boss marking the achievement by handing him the captain’s armband.

Kenny voiced the opinion last week that McClean is so fit, there is no reason he cannot do what Croatia star Modric has done and play international football at the age of 37.

Asked if that was in his mind, McClean said: “Physically I feel great. I don’t feel I have slowed down too much. If I stay injury-free and I’m still enjoying it, if I continue to get picked, why not?”

Derry-born McClean won his first cap for Ireland as a substitute against the Czech Republic in February 2012 during his time at Sunderland, and was part of the squads which qualified for the finals of both Euro 2012 and 2016.

A winger by trade, he has scored winning goals in key World Cup qualifiers in Austria and Wales, but latterly has been used by Kenny as a wing-back.

He will join some of Ireland’s biggest names in reaching a century with only Robbie Keane, Shay Given, John O’Shea, Kevin Kilbane, Steve Staunton and Damien Duff currently ahead of him.

Speaking before Kenny confirmed he will start the game, McClean said: “To hopefully get 100 caps and join the illustrious names on that list will be pretty special, not just for my family, but everyone who helped me make that happen.”

McClean, who won his 99th cap as a substitute in Greece on Monday evening, will hope to reach his personal landmark in style after a bruising experience for him and his team-mates in Athens.

But for all the big nights he has enjoyed in a green shirt, McClean insists the honour of pulling it on in the first place represents the biggest thrill.

Asked what was his proudest moment on the international stage, he said: “Representing Ireland.

“Being able to do that just once was special. I’ve never hidden the fact of how proud I am to be Irish. To be given the opportunity to step on the pitch and effect games for your country, that’s what I’m proudest of.”

The Republic of Ireland host Gibraltar on Monday evening knowing nothing but victory is acceptable after a disappointing start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

Friday night’s 2-1 defeat in Greece left Ireland pointless in Group B after two fixtures and seriously dented their hopes of making it to the finals.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding a must-win game.

Kenny cornered?

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny once again finds himself at a crossroads three years into his reign. The 51-year-old’s 23 competitive matches in charge to date have yielded just four victories – against Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Scotland and Armenia – and a campaign towards which he has been building since replacing Mick McCarthy looks to have slipped from his grasp already. He has set great store by introducing youthful talent to his the squad and playing a progressive brand of football, but wins have largely eluded him and the Republic were dismantled by a slick Greece outfit ranked three places below them by FIFA.

The case for the defence

Successive Republic managers have built their teams on solid defensive foundations which made them difficult to beat. But they can no longer rely on the likes of Richard Dunne, John O’Shea and Shane Duffy and with Seamus Coleman injured and Dara O’Shea short of football, Kenny handed John Egan, Nathan Collins and Darragh Lenihan the task of keeping the Greeks out with support from wing-backs Matt Doherty and Callum O’Dowda. However, midfielder schemers Tasos Bakasetas and Giorgos Masouras combined with striker Vangelis Pavlidis provided a tough test. They will hope for a quieter evening against Gibraltar.

The middle ground

Burnley’s Josh Cullen has been hugely impressive in his country’s midfield engine room for much of his international career, while Kenny’s former Under-21s skipper Jayson Molumby has brought energy and bite to the midfield and Will Smallbone shone on his debut against Latvia in March. However, they were overrun at the OPAP Arena with Cullen and Molumby unable to provide the security for Smallbone to link with the frontmen. Kenny is likely to shuffle his pack on Monday evening in the search for greater invention, and that could mean roles for Jason Knight and Mikey Johnston.

Seventh heaven for McClean?

James McClean will become the seventh man after Robbie Keane, Shay Given, John O’Shea, Kevin Kilbane, Steve Staunton and Damien Duff, to win 100 caps for the Republic of Ireland and will wear the captain’s armband as a result. The 34-year-old igan midfielder made his debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic in February 2012 and is a veteran of the Euro 2012 and 2016 finals. He has contributed important goals along the way, in particular World Cup qualifier winners in both Austria and Wales.

Roaring forties

Gibraltar manager Jose Ribas has worked hard to bring a new generation of players through in his five years at the helm – 18-year-old midfielder Nicholas Pozo is a good example – but is still able to call upon vast experience. The team which started Friday night’s 3-0 home defeat by France included 40-year-old defender Roy Chipolina and 41-year-old striker Lee Casciaro.

Gibraltar defender Jayce Olivero will approach Monday night’s Euro 2024 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland as “a final” as the minnows look to add to Stephen Kenny’s misery.

The clash between the sides currently occupying the bottom two places in Group B at the Aviva Stadium could prove make or break for Kenny after Friday’s 2-1 defeat in Greece left his team pointless and with his critics once again on the offensive.

Gibraltar, who are ranked 201st by FIFA, have lost each of their three opening fixtures against the Greeks, the Netherlands and France 3-0 and while the odds may be heavily stacked against them in Dublin, Europa defender Olivero is relishing the task ahead.

He said: “The game for us is a final. Ireland are a great nation and a really, really big team, and they’ve always competed at the very top.

“This is what we want. We want to compete against the very best and we prepare with everything we have for every game we have, and that’s what we’re looking to do in our next game.

“We compete with everything we have and that’s the most important thing for us.”

Ireland were decidedly second-best in Athens as they followed up a 1-0 home defeat by France in their opening fixture – in which they produced a spirited display – with a tepid performance.

Asked if Gibraltar could capitalise on the fall-out from that game, manager Jose Ribas said: “It’s important that we focus on our game.

“Ireland are a great side regardless of their form at the moment. We’ve seen them playing against Greece, we’ve seen them playing against France and they’ve put in good performances.

“We respect them, they’re a great side.”

Ribas, who has been in charge since 2018, has assimilated a new generation of players into his squad, but has retained vast experience with defender Roy Chipolina, 40, and 41-year-old striker Lee Casciaro starting against France and 37-year-old Scott Wiseman, who enjoyed a 13-year career in English league football, coming off the bench.

Asked how important that experience to his team, the Uruguayan said: “It’s obviously very important.

“We’ve got 23 players – some who are unfortunately not with the squad now – some of whom have played right through from Under-17s level, and of course it’s very important to have these very experienced players who have been through a lot with Gibraltar.

“We’ve only been admitted to UEFA very recently and it’s great that these young players have that experience to help them. We believe with that, they will grow.”

Adam Idah will head into Euro 2024 qualifier battle with Greece and Gibraltar grateful for both the help and competition provided by two strikers at opposite ends of their careers.

The 22-year-old Republic of Ireland frontman has spent much of the last four seasons fighting Teemu Pukki for a place in the Norwich starting line-up, and now faces a major challenge from Brighton’s teenage sensation Evan Ferguson on the international front.

However Idah, who made his Canaries debut as an 18-year-old and won his first senior cap for Ireland a little more than a year later, has not been daunted by either battle.

Asked about Pukki’s influence on his fledgling career as the 33-year-old Finland international prepares to leave Norwich this summer, he said: “Teemu was massive to me since I came in.

“When I first came to Norwich I wasn’t playing many games, and I was really frustrated, but he helped me through that.

“Looking back now, it was stupid of me to be frustrated as he was scoring all these goals, but even off the pitch he helped me, (showing me) what to do outside of football.

“On the pitch, he was fantastic. He’s a great player to look up to with all the goals he has scored in championships and the Premier League. He is a great professional.”

Pukki’s impending exit after scoring 88 goals in 210 appearances over his five years at Carrow Road presents Idah with an opportunity next season, with boss David Wagner needing to plug a sizeable gap, and it is one he is determined to take.

He said: “Every new season is a big opportunity for me. Obviously it was difficult – when he was at Norwich, he was the main man and next season is going to be a big one for me to try to get myself in the team.

“But I think me and the manager know it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to try to become the main striker at Norwich. I just have to be the best I can to get in.”

In the meantime, Idah’s task is to force his way into Stephen Kenny’s team for the trip to Athens on June 16 and Gibraltar’s visit to Dublin three days later, a process which has become more difficult as a result of Ferguson’s breakthrough season in the Premier League.

The 18-year-old made 19 league appearances and scored six goals as the Seagulls secured European football for the first time in the club’s history, and also opened his senior international account – something Idah is yet to do – in March’s 3-2 friendly win over Latvia.

Speaking from Ireland’s warm-weather training camp in Antalya, Turkey, Idah said: “He’s had an unbelievable season at Brighton. In every team, you need some friendly competition for all of us.

“There’s not just Evan, there’s five of us forwards all chasing for the same spot and I think we’re all doing everything in the right way. We help each other achieve in the right way to the best we can.

“Whoever starts in any game, I think we all support each other and try to do the best we can. That’s what so good about this team – there’s no ego in this team and we all try to help each other.”

Josh Tongue loved being part of England’s “chilled” environment but is not getting ahead of himself despite an Ashes call-up.

The Worcestershire seamer was a late addition to England’s Test squad for their four-day match with Ireland and ended up debuting at Lord’s with James Anderson and Ollie Robinson rested.

Tongue impressed throughout, hitting 91mph in an enforcer role on day one before he claimed five wickets in the second innings to put his name on the honours board.


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Saturday saw the 25-year-old selected in England’s 16-man group for the first two Tests against Australia and while he relished his time under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, he is eager to stay level-headed.

“I’m really proud. It’s a special moment for myself,” Togue reflected after his five for 66 helped England to a 10-wicket victory inside three days.

“Obviously I didn’t get any wickets in the first innings, so it was a bit of pressure took off me. I just enjoyed the moment.

“I just used my extra pace and bounce (in the aggressor role), I’m happy to do whatever the skipper needs.

“Being around this group, it’s a very exciting time to be an England cricketer and obviously supporter as well.

“I knew this environment would improve myself and my game.

“It’s not daunting. Everyone is very welcoming, Brendon is really nice. It’s very chilled, there is no pressure on you at all, (you) just go out and do the business and enjoy yourself.

“I (have) tried to stay as present as I can much as I can, try to impress and if I get that Ashes call it’s a bonus. I’m looking forward to being in the squad for the first two.”

Tongue has enjoyed quite the comeback during the past year after a previous 15-month absence from the game with a nerve problem in his shoulder saw him contemplate retirement.

After 11 County Championship wickets this season, including Australia’s Steve Smith in a game against Sussex, he received his Test bow and in the process helped his dad’s friend Tim Piper win £50,000 on a bet placed that Tongue would play red-ball cricket for England.

Stuart Broad, Ollie Pope and Joe Root have all spoken glowingly about how Tongue fitted seamlessly into the England set-up and his captain was impressed with the point of difference he proved to their bowling attack.

But Tongue will not join the majority of the group in Scotland this week for golf on their days off and will instead head back to Worcestershire, who will hope to convince the seamer to sign a new deal given his current terms expire at the end of this season.

He added: “I’m going to go back to Worcester, spend time with the family and get to Edgbaston (for June 12).

“Worcestershire do get me to do that (enforcer role) as well. I’m probably the only out-and-out fast bowler at Worcestershire so having me there is crucial, especially when it gets a bit flat and there isn’t much happening out there.

“I have been there since I was six years old, going through the age groups. I know that I have done them proud and I’m sure, hopefully, there’s more to come.

“I haven’t thought about (my future) at all yet. I just want to enjoy my cricket, because of my injury I just want to be out on the park.”

England started this eagerly-anticipated Ashes summer with a 10-wicket victory over Ireland in three days at Lord’s.

Ollie Pope’s 205 and a second Test century for Ben Duckett saw England declare on 524 for four and despite a spirited third-day display with the bat by Ireland, they were all out for 362 to set an easy target of 11 following their below-par 172 on day one.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how much we learned from this one-off Test.

Josh gets Tongues wagging


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Josh Tongue passed his Ashes audition with five for 66 in Ireland’s second innings to put his name on the honours board and leave an impression on his captain. Ben Stokes revealed ahead of the four-day fixture that Tongue was selected due to his extra pace and he hit 91mph during an impressive first spell. Tongue, who came close to retiring from cricket during a 15-month absence from the game due to a nerve problem in his shoulder, eased between an enforcer role and pitching it up as England’s third seamer. With 11 County Championship wickets to his name, including a certain Steve Smith, he is now a genuine option for the Ashes after being included in the squad for the first two Tests.

Duckett set for a bucket full?

An England bucket hat featured regularly throughout this Test but fittingly it was Duckett who plugged the new must-buy item of the summer on England’s official Twitter account. Duckett wore the hat after his masterful 182 that saw him set a new record for the quickest Test 150 at Lord’s, beating Don Bradman’s effort in the 1930 Ashes series. Since his December recall, Duckett has scored 50 or more six times in six Tests. He cut, drove and flicked off his pads for boundaries all around the wicket to back up the 177 he hit for Nottinghamshire at Lord’s in April. After finally being given the chance to play his natural red-ball game in international cricket, the 28-year-old looks set for a key Ashes role.

Has Bazball peaked?

England rattled along at six runs an over on their way to 524 before they declared after tea on day two. Duckett and Pope scored 174 in the morning, but that was bettered in the afternoon with 178 runs plundered before captain Stokes ended the run-fest after 82.4 overs. If Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow and the England skipper himself had batted for a significant amount of time, who knows what records could have fallen? While it was another excellent batting display for England, the asterisk on it will be Ireland’s one-paced attack. There is no doubt England’s achievement of scoring 500 on day one in Rawalpindi was a better feat and Pat Cummins and co will not provide so many freebies come June 16 at Edgbaston.

Under-cooked? That’s old skool!


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Stokes acknowledged after England’s 10-wicket victory that he knew when he declared after tea on day two that he would face questions over failing to let Brook, Bairstow and himself get time in the middle before the Ashes opener. It felt justified, especially for someone like Yorkshire batter Brook who enjoyed a phenomenal winter and even hit a maiden century in the Indian Premier League in April, only to be dropped after a string of ducks. But Stokes does not prescribe to that opinion and laughed off the “old skool” view his players need “game practice” given the volume of cricket they play. Maybe a fair point!

Prestige a Little lost

Josh Little’s name dominated the build-up from an Ireland perspective after the seamer was “rested” ahead of his nation’s 50-over World Cup qualification tournament later this month following his IPL exploits. Among a catalogue of reasons behind the decision, Cricket Ireland’s Richard Holdsworth worryingly admitted the Lord’s Test was a “special occasion but not a pinnacle event.” The rewards for Ireland qualifying for the World Cup are great but Little’s absence hurt a bowling attack lacking variation. With his stock high in franchise circles, Little may never play Test cricket.

Double centurion Ollie Pope was delighted with his “special” innings and played down concerns over England’s under-cooked middle-order after they closed in on victory against Ireland.

Pope smashed 22 boundaries and three sixes in a sparkling knock of 205 from 208 balls and shared a 252-run partnership for the second wicket with opener Ben Duckett, who hit a superb 182 on day two at Lord’s.

Pope’s double century was the quickest ever registered in a Test match in England but his dismissal after tea brought about an early declaration from Ben Stokes with England on 524 for four, holding a lead of 352.

Ireland look destined to suffer an innings defeat in this one-off Test despite closing on 97 for three, meaning Harry Brook, Stokes and Jonny Bairstow would go into the Ashes opener on June 16 with minimal time at the crease.

But Pope countered: “What we’re about as a side is entertaining so we wanted to let the crowd watch us have a whack for a few overs and then watch us with the new ball.

“That’s what a full crowd at Lord’s probably wants to see as well so that was partially why we did that (declaration). I guess Jonny didn’t bat but he’s played a lot of county cricket.

“The way cricket is now, there is not always that feeling of you need a load of innings before a series.

“Jonny is in a really good place, his batting is in a really good place and you want to just be as fresh and confident as you can. Hopefully all the boys are feeling like that.”

Pope was more than happy to get some time in the middle himself before the battle with Australia begins at Edgbaston and especially at Lords, where he had only passed 50 once in seven previous Test innings.

Reflecting on going on the honours board, he admitted: “It’s very special.

“Lord’s is not somewhere I’ve done that well over the years, I think I got 70-odd against South Africa but other than that I’ve hardly scored a run here.

“So, it’s nice to get that one off my back, especially leading into a big summer.

“There’s no denying that Australia’s attack is stronger than Ireland’s but scoring runs at Lord’s and scoring runs in Test matches is a habit, a good habit to get into early.”

After Pope, who had struggled during the first hour, hit his fourth Test hundred, England debutant Josh Tongue stole the show in the evening session.

The Worcestershire seamer impressed in the enforcer role on day one and clocked 91mph, but had Peter Moor lbw and bounced out Paul Stirling on his way to three for 27 from a fine eight-over spell.

“For him to dive into that role he did this evening…the way he did that was perfect,” Pope admitted.

“He has been awesome this week, he looks the part and has been great around the changing room too. I don’t think you would know it’s his debut.”

Meanwhile, Duckett’s extraordinary new lease of life in Test cricket shows no signs of slowing.

In his first Test innings on home soil, the Nottinghamshire batter breezed to 150 off the same number of balls to snatch the record for quickest Test 150 at Lord’s off Australian great Don Bradman before his fun ended on 182, which came at a strike rate of 102.84.

Duckett, recalled this winter six years after his last appearance, told BBC Today at the Test: “It’s been a crazy six months and to start the summer like that and make a century at Lord’s was something I dreamt of as a kid.

“Even 12 months ago I thought I’d never play Test cricket for England again.

“With other captains I probably wouldn’t have, but Stokesy and Baz (Brendon McCullum) wanted me to open the batting and play the way I’ve played throughout my career and a lot of thanks to them.”

Ireland face an uphill battle to take only their seventh Test into a fourth day and batting coach Gary Wilson was unsure if opener James McCollum would bat again after he twisted his ankle and retired hurt on Friday evening.

Wilson said: “He has gone to hospital for scans and we don’t have a further update.

“I went to see him in the ambulance and he was very keen to go on, felt like he was in good touch, so he’s very disappointed, but he might be back tomorrow. We don’t know yet.”

England are on the verge of a first victory of the summer after record-breaking innings by Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett almost saw Ireland defeated inside two days at Lord’s.

Duckett did the early damage and showed exactly why he is perfect for Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ style with a century on his maiden Test appearance on home soil.

The Nottinghamshire opener made it to 150 off the same number of balls to snatch the record for quickest Test 150 at Lord’s off Australian great Don Bradman before his fun was ended on 182 that came at a strike rate of 102.84.

Duckett had shared a 252-run partnership for the second wicket with Pope, who was not at his fluent best initially but freed up after reaching his fourth hundred and subsequently registered the quickest Test double-century in England.

When Pope was stumped after crashing 22 fours and three maximums in his 205 innings from 208 balls, Stokes declared on 524 for four with Ireland needing 352 to make England bat again but more pressingly required to bat through the evening session to force a third day of this one-off Test.

Three wickets for debutant Josh Tongue in a terrific spell threatened the possibility England could wrap up victory inside two days but Harry Tector stood firm to guide Ireland to the close on 97 for three, although opener James McCollum is unlikely to bat again after he retired hurt.

Stokes’ bold declaration was in keeping with England’s desire to go against convention but it does mean himself, Harry Brook and Jonny Bairstow are all short of time at the crease ahead of the Ashes opener on June 16.

Pat Cummins and co will not be as generous at Edgbaston as red-ball novices Ireland have been this week in only their seventh Test, but the emergence of Tongue makes this a worthwhile exercise.

The debutant pinned Peter Moor in front for 11 and bounced out Paul Stirling for 15 during an excellent eight-over spell of three for 27.

Duckett wasted little time moving England ahead of Ireland’s 172 total at the start of day two with a four off his first ball before he raced onto 99 with a cover drive and flick off his pads down to the fine leg boundary in a 35th over that also brought up the hundred partnership between Pope.

The next over produced further milestones with the Nottinghamshire opener able to celebrate a second century for England after he nudged into the leg side for a single to short midwicket.

Duckett held his arms aloft after he made it to a hundred from 106 deliveries following a chanceless innings in his 10th Test, but first on home soil.

Pope had been more frenetic during the first hour, with the occasional play-and-miss married with the odd boundary down to third man that did not always look completely controlled.

England’s number three also survived a review for an lbw against debutant Fionn Hand before lunch to walk off three short of a century, but the session belonged to Duckett, who swept his way into the history books.

Two off Hand ensured Duckett reached 150 off the same amount of balls to set a new quickest 150 in Test cricket at Lord’s, beating Bradman’s previous record off 163 deliveries during the 1930 Ashes.

Duckett picked up where he left off after lunch and crunched 14 from one Andy McBrine over with a slog sweep for the first maximum of the Test and a reverse sweep for four.

Another drive to the boundary saw Duckett move on to 182 and bring up the 250-run partnership but he edged onto his stumps later in the over off Graham Hume.

Pope now picked up the baton. He reached three figures for a fourth time in Test cricket with a single in the second over of the afternoon session – and it settled him down.

A pull and cut away to the boundary was followed by a reverse paddle scoop before Pope hit the first maximums straight over McBrine’s head.

Another drive for four saw Pope celebrate his 150 off 166 balls during a hundred partnership with Joe Root, who made 56 and went beyond 11,000 Test runs but struggled with his timing in a scratchy innings of 59 deliveries.

Pope hit exactly 100 runs in the afternoon session to walk off three short of 200, but he got there when he skipped down the wicket to hit McBrine for six after tea before Stokes’ trademark bold declaration almost forced an early finish.

Stuart Broad edged closer to adding his name to the Lord’s honours board but all-rounder Curtis Campher held up England’s charge in the afternoon session to guide Ireland to 162 for seven at tea.

Broad ripped through the Ireland top order during the first hour of the one-off Test with three wickets to reduce the tourists to 64 for four despite Paul Stirling’s entertaining knock of 30

When opener James McCollum edged behind soon after lunch to depart for 36 to give Broad a fourth scalp, Ireland were wobbling on 98 for five but Campher held firm.

Jack Leach grabbed his second scalp and Matthew Potts claimed a first Test wicket since August, but Campher’s unbeaten 32 saw Ireland make it through a second session.

England’s journey to Lord’s from their Kensington hotel had been delayed by five minutes due to Just Stop Oil protesters and enhanced security measures were put in place by the MCC to thwart any potential disruptions during the four-day Test.

With overcast conditions and a green wicket at the Home of Cricket, it was no surprise when Ben Stokes put Ireland into bat after he won the toss and Broad quickly set about trying to get his name on the honours board again.

In the absence of rested duo James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, the Nottinghamshire seamer produced a fine opening spell of three for 14 from five overs.

It did take Broad until the third over to make the breakthrough but Peter Moor, fresh from a century in the warm-up fixture at Essex last weekend, was pinned in front lbw for 10.

Broad’s next over produced even more drama with Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie out for a five-ball duck after he edged to second slip where Zak Crawley took an excellent low catch diving to his left.

Harry Tector followed his skipper back to the pavilion two balls later when he inexplicably flicked straight to Potts at leg slip but Broad was denied a hat-trick opportunity when an lbw decision against Stirling was overturned on review after ball-tracker showed it was missing leg stump.

It enabled Stirling to lead a mini-recovery for Ireland but his enterprising 30 was ended when his attempted sweep flicked off his glove and gave Jonny Bairstow a simple catch behind the stumps to help Leach get off the mark this summer.

Stirling had put on 45 for the fourth wicket with opener McCollum, who made it to lunch unbeaten on 29 but his pursuit of a maiden Test fifty ended early into the afternoon session.

Again it was the third over of Broad’s spell that did the trick, with McCollum squared up and only able to edge to Joe Root at first slip to depart for a hard-fought 36 off 108 deliveries.

Warm applause greeted Ireland’s hundred via a single from Lorcan Tucker, but the wicketkeeper became Leach’s second victim when he was hit on his front pad and a review adjudged the delivery to be clipping off-stump.

Campher and Andy McBrine tried to shift the momentum and take the attack to England, but Potts had the last laugh when the latter edged behind an 88.9mph delivery to Bairstow.

Debutant Josh Tongue continued to admirably back up the England attack and hit 91mph at one stage, but Campher survived his sharp bouncer and a concussion check to reach tea unbeaten.

England’s Test summer failed to get off to the best start after the team bus was delayed on its way to Lord’s by Just Stop Oil protesters.

Jonny Bairstow posted a photo on his Instagram story on Thursday morning, which showed Just Stop Oil protesters and police officers in front of their team coach in the middle of a road in Kensington by England’s hotel.

Bairstow’s caption read: “If we’re a bit late, it’s not our fault.”

However,  there was no delay to proceedings on the opening day of the one-off Test against Ireland with the four-day contest getting under way at 11am as planned – despite the five-minute delay to the team’s journey.

Just Stop Oil protesters were able to disrupt the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham between Saracens and Sale last weekend.

Two men wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts invaded the pitch midway through the first half and threw orange paint powder onto the field before being removed by security staff.

A similar incident occurred at the Crucible during the World Snooker Championship in April.

Robert Milkins’ match against Joe Perry was interrupted when a man wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt jumped on to table one and tipped orange powder over the cloth.

Amid the threat of potential protests this week at Lord’s, the MCC said it has enhanced its security measures in some areas for this match.

“We look forward to welcoming players and spectators to the first international Test match of the summer at Lord’s. Their safety and security is the highest priority for MCC,” an MCC spokesperson told the PA news agency.

“We have a number of ground regulations that help us achieve that; including not entering the playing area or demonstrating.

“Whilst protests would disrupt the game, we have a number of security measures in place, some visible, some less so to deter this. In some areas we have enhanced those existing provisions ahead of this summer’s schedule.”

England’s Test summer failed to get off to the best start after the team bus was held up on its way to Lord’s by Just Stop Oil protesters.

Jonny Bairstow posted a photo on his Instagram story on Thursday morning, which showed Just Stop Oil protesters and police officers in front of their team coach in the middle of the road.

Bairstow’s caption read: “If we’re a bit late it’s not our fault.” Day one of the one-off Test between England and Ireland is set to start at 11am.

Just Stop Oil protesters were also able to disrupt the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham between Saracens and Sale last weekend.

Two men wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts invaded the pitch midway through the first half and threw orange paint power onto the field before being removed by security staff.

A similar incident occurred at the Crucible during the World Snooker Championships in April.

Robert Milkins’ match against Joe Perry was interrupted when a man wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt jumped on to table one and tipped orange powder over the cloth.

England begin their red-ball campaign with a four-day Test against Ireland at Lord’s before the Ashes gets under way on June 16.

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