Ireland’s dream of pulling off one of the biggest shocks in the history of test cricket by beating England at Lord’s was shattered as they collapsed to 38 all out to lose by 143 runs on Friday.
On a murky morning, Ireland made a dream start when Stuart Thompson ended England’s second innings on 303 with the first ball of the day, clean bowling Olly Stone to leave themselves two days to knock off 182 runs.
After a rain delay they began the chase in encouraging fashion, reaching 11 without loss, but the wheels fell off in spectacular fashion as they posted the lowest ever test total at Lord’s, capitulating in 15.4 overs.
Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad took cruel advantage of optimum bowling conditions to take all the wickets.
Woakes put Ireland out of their misery, knocking back Tim Murtagh’s leg stump to finish with the spectacular figures of six wickets for 17 with Broad taking four for 19.
It was a sad end to what had been a fantastic effort by William Porterfield’s gallant side in only Ireland’s third test match and first against England.
They had bowled England out for 85 before lunch on the opening day of the four-day test on Wednesday and forced another collapse in the home ranks in sweltering heat on Thursday to set themselves up for an unlikely first test victory.
In the end, however, the class of Broad and Woakes proved too much as England successfully defended their lowest total since 1998 in Melbourne and their lowest ever at Lord’s.
Ireland at least avoided the ignominy of breaking the record for the lowest test score which is still held by New Zealand who were skittled for 26 against England in 1955.
“We put ourselves in a position to win the game — that’s why we’re so gutted up there,” Porterfield, whose dismissal signalled the start of the collapse, said.
“We knew it was going to be tough with the lights on and drizzle in the air. But we had to dig deep and get through that. Fair play to the two lads to how they bowled — they made it difficult.”
England’s left-arm spinner Jack Leach was named man of the match for his 92 in England’s second innings as a nightwatchman.