(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sun 4 Jun 2023, 1:36 AM
Last updated: Sun 4 Jun 2023, 1:37 AM
Debutant fast bowler Josh Tongue marked his call-up into the Ashes squad with a five-wicket haul as England beat Ireland by 10 wickets inside three days at Lord's but only after a record partnership of 163 between tailenders Mark Adair and Andy McBrine.
England was well-placed for an innings win when Ireland started the day needing 255 more runs to make Ben Stokes's men bat again.
But Ireland, handicapped by the absence of injured opener James McCollum kept England at bay while Harry Tector (51) and Lorcan Tucker helped add 118 runs in the morning session for the loss of just three wickets.
Ireland yet to win any of its seven Tests then ran riot during a record Ireland stand between the seventh-wicket duo of McBrine (86 not out) and Adair (88).
Fast bowler Adair, whose previous highest Test score was 32 against Bangladesh in Mirpur in April, went to fifty with a four off Stuart Broad.
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Left-hander McBrine's fifty included 10 boundaries, with Broad and Leach taking the brunt of the assault.
But number nine Adair was eventually bounced out by Matthew Potts for a 76-ball 88 that included 12 fours and two sixes.
Ireland was effectively nine wickets down when Fionn Hand became Tongue's fifth victim and his exit meant England was able to extend the afternoon session by 30 minutes in a bid to force victory before tea.
England was denied an innings win, however, when tailender Graham Hume hit two fours off successive deliveries from part-time off-spinner Joe Root -- shots greeted by huge cheers from a sun-drenched crowd.
With McBrine 85 not out at tea, the question was whether Hume could help get his partner to a hundred and a coveted place on the Lord's honours board.
But McBrine was left stranded when Hume was bowled by Broad, leading the attack in the absence of the rested James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.
Zak Crawley then made short work of a victory target of 11 with three fours in four balls from Adair.
"I thought Ireland came out and showed grit and determination," said England captain Stokes at the presentation ceremony.
"It (the pitch) got flatter as it went on. Trying to take the game on in our own way allowed us to potentially bowl them out without batting again."
Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie praised a side with minimal first-class experience for the resilience they showed Saturday.
"The character is not in doubt, we've got a tough group," he said. "Test cricket is very raw to us, yesterday was a tough day but to come back and make England bat again was a small win."
He added: "We're learning on the job and we've got to learn quickly. Hopefully next time we'll show the benefit."
Victory meant England had now won 11 of their 13 Tests under Stokes -- who didn't bat or bowl in this match -- and coach Brendon McCullum.
Stokes, battling a longstanding knee injury, neither batted nor bowled against Ireland.
England want to protect the all-rounder's fitness ahead of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston on June 16, while still benefitting from his leadership skills.
But there was a worrying moment when he appeared to jar his leg when catching Curtis Campher on Saturday.
"I just landed on it quite awkwardly," Stokes told the BBC.
He added: "I wouldn't have bowled in this match anyway, unless everyone else went down.
"I'm happy with it, so I'll just keep building it up now before Edgbaston. I am definitely on course to bowl in the first Test."
England's win was built on an imposing first-innings total of 524-4 declared featuring player of the match Ollie Pope's 205 and Ben Duckett's 182.
"Batting at three is a big role in the team but I feel good about my game and nothing needs to change because it's an Ashes series," said player-of-the-match Pope.