England achieve parity by lunch as Ireland toil in Lord’s sunshine
Half-centuries from Jack Leach and Jason Roy help hosts gain the initiative on day two
Stuart Thompson reacts after he has an LBW appeal turned down durnig the second day against England. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty
Lord’s, Day Two, Lunch: England 122-1 (MJ Leach 60*, J Roy 52*) and 85ao (T Murtagh 5-13) trial Ireland 207ao (A Balbirnie 55, S Curran 3-28) by 0 runs.
England wrestled back the initiative from Ireland on the second day of their Test at Lord’s, as they moved to 122-1 at lunch - leaving the scores level.
Joe Root’s side resumed on 0-0 on Thursday - a 122-run deficit - after they were sensationally bowled out for 85 in their first innings, before removing Ireland for 207.
However unbeaten half-centuries from Jack Leach and Jason Roy saw the hosts gain parity by lunch, with Ireland toiling in the field in stifling conditions at Lord’s.
After 20 wickets tumbled on day one of the Test, nightwatchman Leach and opener Rory Burns had survived the first half-hour of day two unscathed.
England reached 21 without loss after nine overs of their second innings, Leach making 13 in 35 deliveries while Burns was approaching things cautiously on six.
Burns did not last long and failed to add to his score. He fell to Boyd Rankin’s fourth delivery of the day, feeling outside off stump and nicking cleanly to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson.
Burns’ combined return for his first Test on home soil was 12 runs in 51 balls, a disappointing performance that did little to confirm his readiness for the coming Ashes series.
Burns’ failure was cast in an even more concerning light by Leach’s increasing confidence at the other end.
Despite averaging under 11 in his first-class career, he was playing straight and leaving well, at one stage hitting four boundaries in seven balls — three off Rankin.
Roy came in at number three and kept the runs coming, with his first three scoring shots all reaching the ropes.
The second of those was a sweetly-struck off drive but the third sailed through the vacant third slip region after he was squared up by Rankin.
Ireland were toiling away in punishing heat, increasingly frustrated by Leach’s refusal to disappear.
Instead, he reached a maiden Test 50 — a mark he has only reached twice in 108 first-class innings — with a thick edge off Stuart Thompson.
With Roy settling at the other end, England eased past their first-innings total still only wicket down on 89 for one after 23 overs.
Roy joined Leach in reaching 50, cutting Thompson for four to get there at better than a run-per-ball, and levelling scores in the process.
Lunch came with neither side ahead, England having moved to 122 for one.