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Duckett strengthens England’s grip after Broad strikes against Ireland

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LONDON: Ben Duckett’s dashing unbeaten fifty after Stuart Broad’s five-for took England to within sight of a first-innings lead over Ireland on the opening day of their Ashes warm-up Test at Lord’s on Thursday.

England were 152-1 in reply to Ireland’s 172 all out at stumps in a Test being played over four days rather than the standard five.

Left-hander Duckett, in his first Test innings in England, was 60 not out.

Together with Zak Crawley (56), he shared an opening stand of 109 at a sun-drenched Lord’s

Crawley’s fifty included 10 fours as England lived up to their aggressive ‘Bazball’ style with the bat.

Earlier, England veteran Stuart Broad took his first five-wicket haul in a Test at Lord’s for 10 years.

Broad reduced Ireland to 19-3, the seamer inflicting ducks on both Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector.

Stuart Broad finished with 5-51 from 17 overs and left-arm spinner Jack Leach took 3-35 although debutant fast bowler Josh Tongue went wicketless.

“I was happy with how we bowled as a group,” Broad told the BBC.

“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,” added Broad, who has now taken 581 Test wickets.

Ireland, in just their seventh Test and still searching for a first win at this level, were indebted to Paul Stirling for launching a recovery with a quickfire 30. Obdurate opener James McCollum top-scored with 36.

They struggled, however, to contain England, with fast bowler Josh Little, a star of the T20 Indian Premier League, rested ahead of their upcoming 50-over World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

But debutant Fionn Hand did cling on to a caught and bowled chance at the second attempt to dismiss Crawley.

“If you look at some of our dismissals, a couple of soft dismissals, and obviously the way we bowled at the back end there we didn’t necessarily cover ourselves in glory,” said Ireland coach Heinrich Malan.

England captain Ben Stokes, bidding for an 11th win in 13 Tests since being appointed skipper last year, opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

The overcast conditions promised to aid a three-man pace attack missing England great James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, both rested ahead of this month’s first Test against Australia at Edgbaston.

Test novices Ireland were 15-0 when Broad had Peter Moor, fresh from a hundred in a warm-up match against Essex, plumb lbw for 10.

Balbirnie then fell for a five-ball duck when he edged Broad low to Crawley at second slip.

Two balls later Ireland were 19-3 when Tector clipped Broad straight to Matthew Potts at leg slip.

The next delivery saw Stirling given out lbw.

But the Ireland veteran avoided a duck on review.

Stirling counter-attacked before an innings featuring 20 runs in boundaries ended when he top-edged a sweep off Leach to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

McCollum’s contrasting 108 ball-knock finished after lunch when he edged Broad to Joe Root at first slip.

Broad had his 20th five-wicket haul in 162 Tests when he bowled Mark Adair with an inswinger. It was also the first time he had achieved the feat at Lord’s since his 7-44 against New Zealand in 2013.

Campher’s 79-ball stay then ended when he charged at Leach.

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