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Olly Pope says entertainment important as England edge closer to Lord’s win over Ireland | Cricket news



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Centurion Oil Pope was pleased with his ‘special’ innings and played down concerns about an undercooked mid-order in England after he finished in victory against Ireland.

Pope smashed 22 boundaries and three sixes in a scintillating knock of 205 off 208 balls and shared 252 runs for the second wicket with opener Ben Duckett, who made an impressive 182 on the second day at Lord’s.

His double century was the fastest ever in an England Test match, but his dismissal after tea led to an early declaration from Ben Stokes with England on 524-4, leading by 352.

Ireland look destined to suffer an innings defeat in this one-off Test despite closing out at 97-3, meaning Harry Brook, Stokes and Jonny Bairstow will go into the Ashes opener on June 16 with minimal time at the crease.


But Bob replied: “What we’re about as a side is entertainment so we wanted to let the crowd watch us hit us for a while and then watch us with the new ball.

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Oli Pope scored England’s fastest double Test hundred, reaching the record-breaking 207 balls against Ireland at Lord’s.

“That’s what a big crowd at Lord’s wants to see too, so that’s partly why we made this (advertisement). I think Johnny didn’t bat but he played a lot of county cricket.

“Like now in cricket, there is not always this feeling that you need a lot of innings before the series.

“Johnny is in a really good place, hitting him in a really good place and you want to be as fresh and confident as possible. I hope all the boys feel that way.”

Pope was more than happy to spend some time in the middle before the battle with Australia began at Edgbaston and especially at Lord’s, where he had passed 50 just once in his seven previous Test innings.

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Ollie Pope scores his fourth Test hundred off just 126 balls as England continue to dominate Ireland.

Speaking about joining the Honor Council, he admitted, “It’s very special.

“Lord’s not somewhere I’ve done well over the years, I think I got a lone 70 against South Africa but other than that I haven’t scored here.

“So, it’s nice to get this off my back, especially if it’s during the big summer.


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

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

The Worcestershire seamstress impressed with the executor’s turn on the first day and clocked 91mph, but had Peter Moor lbw and Paul Stirling bounced his way to 3-27 from an impressive eight-over spell.

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Josh Tong takes two wickets in the same amount on his Test debut for England against Ireland!

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

“He’s been great this week, he looks like he’s playing great and he’s been great in the dressing room too. I don’t think you’d know it was his debut.”

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

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


Duckett, who was called up this winter six years after his last appearance, told BBC Today on Test: “It’s been a crazy six months and starting summer like that and making a century at Lord’s is something I dreamed of doing as a kid.

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Ben Duquette says it was a “special” feeling to score his second Test hundred and first for England as the hosts dominated on the second day of the Test against Ireland.

“Until 12 months ago, I thought I would never play Test cricket for England again.


“With other captains I might not have had it, but Stokesy and Baz (Brendon McCullum) wanted me to open up the batting and play the way I’ve played my whole career and a big thank you to them.”

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

Wilson said: “He’s gone to hospital for scans and we don’t have another update.

“I went to see him in the ambulance and he was very keen to continue, he felt well connected, so he’s very frustrated, but he might be back tomorrow. We don’t know yet.”

Watch the third day of the LV = Insurance Test between England and Ireland at Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Saturday, with coverage starting at 10.15am and play starting from 11am.


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