Australia will head into next week’s Ashes as Test world champions after they stamped out Indian resistance in ruthless fashion to claim a 209-run win at the Oval.

With just five days to go before they renew their biggest rivalry against England at Edgbaston, Australia soared to victory, dismissing India for 234 on the final morning of the ICC’s second World Test Championship final.

Scott Boland provided the key breakthrough, removing star batter Virat Kohli in the seventh over of the day and making it a double strike by dismissing Ravindra Jadeja two balls later.

Boland was unlikely to play until injury ruled Josh Hazlewood out, but the bustling 34-year-old seamer must now be well fancied to take on Ben Stokes’ side in Friday’s first Test.

Everything was on the line on the fifth day of the red-ball showpiece, with 280 runs needed and seven wickets up for grabs. Ordinarily, such an equation would have made Australia overwhelming favourites, but Kolhi’s presence as a master chaser left Indian fans with real belief that their side could make a record 444 to win the match.

He was in fluent touch on the previous evening, reeling off a punchy 44, but he added just five more to his score as Boland landed the key wicket.

Immediately after beating the outside by a whisker he tossed one wider and drew a lavish drive from Kohli, who sprayed a rapid chance between second and third slip. Steve Smith did the rest, throwing himself into action to take a brilliant catch.

Unlike an equally outstanding take from Cameron Green on day four, there was no debate whatsoever about the legality of this one, nor of its relevance to the final outcome. With Kohli gone for 49, India’s hopes were all but over.

Their fans, who have dominated the stands all week and who poured in on Sunday in the hope of witnessing a famous victory, were dumbstuck.

If anybody doubted it, then Boland wasted no time in hammering home the point. Two balls later he was celebrating again, Jadeja caught behind for a duck as Boland found a hint of movement around off stump.

When Srikar Bharat saw a thick edge squirt off the toe of the bat it looked like three wickets in four deliveries for Boland, but this time the ball kept rising and narrowly beat a leaping David Warner at first slip.

Ajinkya Rahane did his best to reinvigorate the battle, stroking a couple of regal drives down the ground, but Australia held all the cards. He departed for 46, struck clean in front of the stumps attempting a sweep.

Mitchell Starc, who could be vulnerable if Hazlewood comes back in against England, added the wicket of Umesh Yadav, but the rest of the tail was mopped up in efficient style by Nathan Lyon.

He finished with figures of four for 41, nailing Shardul Thakur lbw, collecting a skier of a return catch from Bharat and finishing things up when Mohammed Siraj steered a reverse sweep straight to point.

Australia’s celebrations began in earnest as the formed a circle in the middle of the pitch, while India were once again runners-up, having lost the inaugural final to New Zealand two years ago.

Careless footwork and sloppy catching halted Australia’s progress as India fought back on the third morning of the World Test Championship final at the Oval.

Australia enjoyed a dream start when Scott Boland scattered Srikar Bharat’s stumps with the second ball of the day, leaving India 317 behind with just four wickets in hand, but despite creating plenty of chances that was the only breakthrough of the session.

Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green and David Warner all put down chances to allow a century stand between Ajinkya Rahane (89no) and Shardul Thakur (36no) to shore up India on 260 for six at lunch, a deficit of 209.

Captain Pat Cummins also erred, denied a possible wicket for the second time in the innings due to a front-foot no-ball. He had Rahane lbw for 17 on day two, only for replays to show he had overstepped, and he saw history repeating itself just before the break when he had Thakur given out after being struck on the knee-roll.

Umpire Richard Kettleborough immediately raised his finger, much to Australia’s relief, but a DRS review showed Cummins had once again failed to get anything behind the line.

Boland, pushing hard to retain his place for next week’s Ashes opener at Edgbaston, started superbly as he ripped his second delivery through a small gap between Bharat’s bat and pad and straight into middle.

Had Thakur’s thick edge been held by Khawaja in the cordon four balls later, India may well have struggled to come back from it. Instead the ball squirmed out of his fingertips and the battle continued.

Thakur needed plenty of bravery to stick around, requiring lengthy treatment after being hit three times by Cummins in a single over – wearing blows on the forearm, wrist and glove.

Having softened him up, the seamer should have got his rewards when Thakur sprayed a chance to gully but this time Green’s handiwork let him down.

With Thakur in a state of almost permanent danger, Rahane gave the vocal Indian crowd something to cheer when he hooked Cummins over fine-leg for six to bring up his half-century.

He passed 5,000 Test runs soon after, the 13th Indian to do so, but he also required a stroke of fortune to reach the break.

On 72 he aimed a flowing drive at Cummins, sending a head-high catch to first slip. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey appeared to offer a minor distraction to Warner, but he will still be kicking himself after seeing the ball pop out and land safe.

A handful of boundaries took the partnership into three figures as India began to have some fun, while Australia’s annoyance only increased when Cummins saw his lbw against Thakur overturned by the no-ball call.

Steve Smith invited England to try and make ‘Bazball’ pay off in the Ashes after Australia bowlers took control of the World Test Championship final against India, declaring: “they haven’t come up against us yet”.

England have spent the last year establishing themselves as the most daring red-ball team around, scoring at a frantic rate against New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan and notching 11 wins from 13 games under Ben Stokes’ captaincy.

One by one they have lined up to take aim at England’s ultra-attacking approach, but Stokes and company have yet to take their foot off the throttle.

Australia clearly fancy their chances of breaking the streak and Smith saw no reason to doubt his side’s attack after they put the squeeze on India on day two at the Oval.

Seamers Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green each took a wicket, as did spinner Nathan Lyon, with India closing day two on 151 for five – 318 adrift.

Asked if England’s preferred style would be a success against that bowling pack, Smith said: “I think I said it initially when ‘Bazball’ started that I’m intrigued to see how it goes against our bowlers. I’ve said that all along.

“I think it’d be difficult on this kind of wicket – up and down and seaming around – it’s not easy to defend, let alone come out and swing.

“They’ve obviously done well against some other attacks, but they haven’t come up against us yet. So, we’ll see.

“It’s obviously been exciting to watch. I must say I’ve enjoyed watching the way they’ve played and the way that I guess they’ve turned things around in the last 12 months or so, but it’s yeah we’ll wait and see how it comes off against us.”

Smith played a significant role of his own in putting Australia firmly in charge in London, taking his tally of Test centuries to 31. He spent just over five-and-a-half hours compiling 121, sharing a stand of 285 with the more expansive Travis Head (163).

Smith has now scored seven hundreds in English conditions, amassing 774 runs in the 2019 Ashes at a staggering average of 110.57.

“It was nice to spend a lot of time out there against some good bowlers on a challenging wicket after getting sent in. I’ll take a lot of confidence out of that and hopefully can keep building and have a successful summer here,” he said.

“I think in terms of English wickets it’s probably as close to Australia as you get. I’ve enjoyed playing here and it was nice to score a few out here again.”

India were scrapping to stay afloat in the World Test Championship final after a top order collapse left Australia in the driving seat on day two of the World Test Championship final.

Australia were all out for 469 in their first innings, Steve Smith following in the footsteps of first day centurion Travis Head to post 121, and then snapped up key wickets to establish a dominant position.

Each of their seam quartet struck as India lurched to 71 for four in the 19th over, before spinner Nathan Lyon joined the party and ended a battling fifth-wicket stand.

Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja doubled the score before the latter nicked Lyon to slip for 48. By stumps India were 318 behind on 151 for five, with plenty of work to do retain a realistic chance of succeeding New Zealand as red-ball world champions.

Australia arrived in the morning already boasting a healthy position on 327 for three. At that stage, they were surely hoping to clear 500, but India landed a few handy blows of their own as they took the last seven wickets for 108.

With 10 overs before lunch to work their magic, the Australian seamers made short work of the India openers. Captain Pat Cummins made the initial opening, thumping his opposite number Rohit Sharma halfway up the front pad with one that shaped in towards middle and off.

Scott Boland then joined the fray, seaming one in sharply and rearranging Shubman Gill’s stumps as he paid the price for a poorly judged leave. Boland filled his boots against England Down Under in 2021/22, taking a remarkable six for seven on debut at the MCG, and he made a compelling case for holding his spot at Edgbaston next week with 11 high-quality overs with the Dukes ball.

India survived a potential gut punch when star batter Virat Kohli came close to departing for a duck, withdrawing the bat only to see an inside edge spray off the toe and zip past his stumps, but their struggles continued after the break.

Cheteshwar Pujara belied his years of experience in English climes by aping Gill’s error, shaping to leave all-rounder Cameron Green and paying with the off stump.

Kohli’s exit left India in strife but he was at least guilty only of receiving a brutish delivery from Mitchell Starc.

The left-armer was expensive, shipping 52 from nine overs, but showed off his ability to deliver big moments when he got one to explode off a length at Kohli and rap the thumb of his bottom hand as it sprayed to slip.

India’s position left a lot to be desired but, with Australians sensing blood, Rahane’s perseverance and Jadeja’s counter-attacking nature served them well.

They put on 71 together, parted only when Lyon offered a change of pace. He forced Jadeja into an unusually defence stroke and clipped the outside edge to break the stand.

Smith had earlier brought up his 31st Test century, his seventh in England and his third at the Oval. Resuming on 95, he dispatched his first two balls of the morning from Mohammed Siraj to the boundary to reach three figures with minimal fuss.

India made regular inroads to keep the game moving forwards, Head departing for a classy 163 as Siraj got him brushing to the keeper with a bumper aimed at the ribs and Smith ending a five-and-a-half hour stay with an uncharacteristically loose prod that canoned into his stumps.

Travis Head cracked a rapid-fire half-century as Australia built a solid foundation on the opening day of the World Test Championship final against India.

Head arrived at the crease with his side at 76 for three and bossed an unbroken stand of 94 with Steve Smith, as Australia reached tea on 170 without further loss.

Head was at his counter-punching best, reeling off 10 boundaries in 75 balls to push the pressure back on to the Indian attack.

His lively knock altered the momentum of the afternoon session, which could have turned in India’s favour after Mohammed Shami uprooted Marnus Labuschagne’s off stump shortly after the lunch break.

It was a second well-timed breakthrough, after David Warner’s battling 43 came to end in timid fashion late in the morning’s play, Shardul Thakur brushing his glove with a short ball speared down the leg side.

India had chosen to field after winning the toss and it looked a sound decision during an awkward first hour for the Australian batters.

Mohammed Shami kept Warner honest during a fine opening burst with the new ball, working over the left-hander from round the wicket in a way that will not have escaped the attention of his old nemesis Stuart Broad.

He survived the examination, with a couple of fortuitous moments along the way, but Usman Khawaja banked a 10-ball duck when he nicked the quicker Mohammed Siraj to Srikar Bharat.

There was an early scare for Labuschagne, who dramatically dropped the bat in pain when Umesh Yadav rapped him on the left thumb with a sharp, lifting delivery.

England fans would be forgiven for having the Ashes on their minds as Labuschagne received treatment and popped a couple of painkillers, but he resumed his innings and even wore another blow to the hand to reach lunch on 26 not out.

Warner, having survived his initial trial, began to open up and took a particular liking to Yadav, at one stage lashing the seamer for four boundaries in a single over.

The 36-year-old, who recently announced his plans to retire in the new year, was growing in confidence and will have been annoyed at the manner of his dismissal, well caught by the diving Bharat after getting into a poor position against a modest ball from Thakur.

Labuschagne, who had survived a couple of close lbw appeals, did not kick on in the afternoon – emphatically missing one that was tossed up full and thumped halfway up his off stump.

Steve Smith settled in for a low-key stay, grinding out 33 off 102 balls, leaving the stage for Head (60no) to throw the bat confidently and swing the pendulum in Australia’s favour.

David Warner fell just before lunch as Australia reached 73 for two on the opening day of the World Test Championship final against India.

Warner, who has announced his plans to retire in January, battled through a tricky new-ball spell at the Kia Oval and had started to find his groove as he moved to 43.

There were flashes of the left-hander at his domineering best, not least when he piled into Umesh Yadav with four boundaries in an over, but his hopes of making a significant score came to a timid end.

All-rounder Shardul Thakur, selected ahead of the world’s number one ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin as India opted against a second spinner, was the man to make the breakthrough.

There was a touch of good fortune as Thakur dug one in short and down the leg-side, with Warner getting in an awkward position on the pull and brushing a glove through to the wicketkeeper.

Srikar Bharat made good ground, hurling himself to his left and snapping up the catch, to draw a rousing ovation from a crowd dominated by Indian supporters.

They had the started the day in good voice, skipper Rohit Sharma winning the toss and throwing the new ball to Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.

The pace pair made life hard for the Australian openers, with Warner looking vulnerable as Shami worked him over from around the wicket. It was Usman Khawaja who was first to fall, banking a 10-ball duck and nicking Siraj to Bharat.

There was an early scare for new man Marnus Labuschagne, who dramatically dropped the bat in pain when Yadav rapped him on the left thumb with a sharp, lifting delivery.

England fans would be forgiven for having the Ashes on their minds as Labuschagne received treatment and popped a couple of painkillers, but he resumed his innings and even wore another blow to the hand to reach the interval on 26 not out.

Australia’s Scott Boland has been given the nod to take on India in this week’s World Test Championship, edging out Michael Neser.

Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the showpiece at the Kia Oval with a side injury, leaving Boland and Neser fighting for the final spot in Australia’s pace attack.

Boland held the edge having been named in the initial squad, but Neser’s strong form with Glamorgan in the LV= County Championship made him an intriguing option in English conditions.

Captain Pat Cummins did not leave the pair waiting to find out, though, confirming Boland’s selection on Tuesday morning.

The 34-year-old made a stunning introduction to international cricket during the 2021-22 Ashes series, taking six for seven in the Boxing Day Test the MCG to seal the series. He has already taken 28 wickets in seven Tests and averages a remarkable 13.42.

“Someone like Scotty, it’s just a really simple game-plan – you hit your good areas and you stay there all day and hopefully the ball will do the work for you,” Cummins told Australian reporters.

“He’s had a few bowls over here now and has looked good. But he looks good whenever he bowls. Scott is a seam bowler on a good length, but he just offers something slightly different to Joshy Hazlewood, and Starcy (Mitchell Starc). Being a left-hander is bit different.

“In the past here in England, because the ball does talk a little more, I’ve seen players get too caught up in trying to take wickets every ball because you’ve suddenly got the ball swinging and seaming.”

Australia are expected to revert to their preferred team balance after shifting the make-up of their XI in their most recent series in India.

That means five specialist batters, Cameron Green as all-rounder, Alex Carey behind the stumps, three fast bowlers and first-choice spinner Nathan Lyon.

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.”

Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood will miss the World Test Championship final against India at the Kia Oval – little more than a week before the Ashes begins.

Hazlewood has been managing an Achilles issue as well as a side injury that flared up during the recent Indian Premier League, but Cricket Australia insists the 32-year-old will be fit for the start of this summer’s showdown with England at Edgbaston on June 16.

“Josh was very, very close to being given the green light but we are cognisant that our upcoming schedule means this is not a one-off Test match for us,” Australia chair of selectors George Bailey told cricket.com.au.

“This will give Josh an ideal preparation leading into Edgbaston. With six Test matches in a little over seven weeks we will need all of our fast bowling assets.”

Hazlewood has played just four Tests in the past three years due to a series of injuries but shared a stint of new-ball bowling with five-day skipper Pat Cummins during the team’s preparation in England.

He returned early from his recent spell in the IPL due to a side issue, having been ruled out of the preceding Test campaign in India with a recurrence of the Achilles problem he sustained in the final five-day match of the Australia summer.

Speaking on Saturday about the close proximity of the India decider, which starts on Wednesday, and the first Ashes Test, Hazlewood said: “It’s probably one or the other for me at this stage.

“Just being over here for the last week and bowling in England, it does feel a lot easier on the body compared to Australia or India where it can be hot, the wickets are really hard and you’ve got to bend your back to get something out of them.

“In England it feels like you can just take that couple of per cent off, bowl a bit within yourself and the wicket does enough for you.”

Michael Neser has joined the official 15-man Australia party, but Scott Boland is likely to partner Cummins and Mitchell Starc at the Oval.

Neser, who has been training with the Australia squad alongside another reserve quick bowler Sean Abbott, has been playing for Glamorgan in the LV= County Championship and taken 19 wickets at 25.63.

Australia coach Andrew McDonald said the tight turnaround between the WTC final and the five-Test Ashes series has to be taken into account in managing their fast bowlers.

McDonald said: “Definitely consideration for (the schedule) – we don’t want to go too far ahead.

“We’ve got the WTC final to play, which we are excited about, but on the back of that we have to quickly turn our attention to England and the Ashes.

“There are short turnarounds there. That’s nothing we’re not used to.

“So, there’ll always be considerations around management. I’d say there’d be some moving parts amongst the quicks.”

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.

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 by five minutes 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.

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 captain Ben Stokes has no concerns over his ability to bowl in this summer’s Ashes.

Stokes’ long-standing left knee issue caused him problems during February’s tour of New Zealand and his recent time at the Indian Premier League proved fruitless.

All-rounder Stokes played only twice for Chennai Super Kings and sent down just one over for 18 runs during his IPL stint but ahead of this week’s one-off Test with Ireland at Lord’s, the 31-year-old is confident he can have an impact when the Ashes begins on June 16.

He said: “Yeah, look the knee is in much better place than it was in Wellington.

“I’ve been over in India for the IPL and these last eight or nine weeks I know I have got myself in a position where I can’t say I regret anything.

“I have got myself into a place where I feel like in a 2019, 2020 space in terms of my own body and fitness. I have definitely given myself the best opportunity (to bowl this summer).

“We know what it is (the problem) and now it is about managing it.”

England head coach Brendon McCullum is confident James Anderson and Ollie Robinson will be fit for the first Ashes Test but has confirmed they will play no part against Ireland this week.

The five-match series against Australia begins on June 16 but England have fitness concerns over a number of their bowlers.

Robinson suffered an ankle issue for Sussex earlier this month and Anderson strained his groin while on Lancashire duty while injury-hit pair Jofra Archer and Olly Stone have experienced elbow and hamstring problems respectively already this summer.

England begin their eagerly anticipated summer with a four-day Test against Ireland at Lord’s on Thursday and while two of their key bowlers will miss out, they should be fine for the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

“Yeah we’ve got a couple of niggles so we’re just monitoring those at the moment. I guess every team that goes into a series has got a couple of little things that you need to work through, but pretty confident we’ll have a good squad to be able to pick from,” McCullum insisted.

On Robinson and Anderson, he added: “For the first Ashes Test, I think they should be fit.

“They won’t be fit for this one against Ireland. We’ll just have to monitor it over this next sort of while, but we’ve got some great options right throughout the squad.

“When I first took over this job, people said there wasn’t much depth in English cricket and I disagree with that completely.

“I think there is an immense amount of depth and we’ve got plenty of good options throughout the squad.”

Wasim Khan, the International Cricket Council general manager, accepts the landscape of the sport has changed as he urged countries and franchise leagues to find a way to “coexist”.

Jason Roy last week became the first England player to cancel his national contract, an incremental deal worth between £60,000 and £70,000 per year, to pursue an opportunity in Major League Cricket in the United States, where he has reportedly been offered around £300,000 for two seasons.

There has been speculation about the Indian Premier League offering annual contracts while the relevance of bilateral cricket keeps cropping up as internationals are crammed into an already busy programme.

Khan admitted there is no putting the genie back in the bottle as the proliferation of domestic T20 competitions continues but he feels international cricket can live alongside these leagues.

“Obviously the way the schedule is structured now and the emergence of these leagues, there has to be a way for us to coexist,” said Khan, the former chief executive of Leicestershire and Pakistan.

“Nothing is going to be removed so we are going to have to coexist moving forward.”

The growing unease about the possibility of elite talent putting club before country in future hangs over cricket ahead of the final of the World Test Championship happening next week at the Kia Oval.

Khan, who expects “full crowds” for at least the first four days of the contest between India and Australia, thinks the format still holds some relevance and revealed the 12 full member nations have elected to keep hold of the World Test Championship for the next eight-year cycle.

“The members have signed up for the next eight years,” said Khan. “We’ve heard some of the top stars from around the world continually talking about the importance of Test cricket.

“We know that the emergence of these leagues does put pressure on the schedule but we’re confident that at least for the next eight years that continual context will be provided for red-ball cricket.

“It’s important we continue to find an opportunity to coexist, to ensure our schedules moving forward provides something for everybody.”

Ricky Ponting suggested earlier this month the ICC has a role to play in making sure players from smaller nations are well-remunerated in Test cricket so they do not go down the franchise route.

Khan confirmed the former Australia captain’s assertion the issue had been brought up in a Cricket Committee meeting but was taken no further.

“It was perhaps a misquote,” said Khan. “It was raised initially within the ICC Cricket Committee as a discussion point but there was certainly nothing taken forward around payments to players.”

Khan, though, believes it is up to the boards of individual countries how much they pay players, pointing out all full member nations will receive a substantial increase on previous earnings during the new rights cycle from 2024-27.

“The distributions the members will be receiving in the next cycle will be greater than what they received previously,” added Khan. “The payments they pay players is purely down to the members.

“If there are player associations there, they will certainly be negotiating with those, but where there’s not, it’s down to the boards – and particularly with the key players within those boards – to decide what the payment structure looks like moving forward.”

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