After succumbing to a paltry score of 85 in the first innings, England has staged a strong comeback and gained a lead of 181 runs against Ireland at the end of the second day’s play.

Coming into bat after conceding a lead of 118 runs in the first innings, nightwatchman Jack Leach opened the English batting with Rory Joseph Burns. Leach scored career-best 92 and played out a partnership of 146 runs with Jason Roy, who scored his maiden test fifty.

Other than them the English middle order crumbled once again as batsmen struggled to reach double figures. Joe Denly could manage only 10 for his stay of 31 balls, while Jonny Bairstow again returned with a duck. Joe Root and Sam Curran in the latter part of the day provided some stability to the English innings as they scored 31 and 37 respectively. Stuart Broad also scored a quickfire 21 to help his team reach 303/9 at the end of the final session of the day which was cut short due to rain.

Mark Adair shone with the ball for Ireland as he picked up three wickets, while first innings’ star Tim Murtagh chipped in with one. Boyd Rankin and Stuart Thompson took two wickets each as the English innings saw the run-out of Denly.

On the first day, England was brought down to their knees as the Irish bowlers, led by Murtagh, bundled England for a meager score of 85 in just 23 overs. Embarrassed at the Lord’s, the same ground where the Three Lions lifted the ICC World Cup a few weeks ago, the English bowlers restored some pride as they before the end of the day’s play.

Also after today’s play, the English dressing room would heave a sigh of relief and hope the last pair gets them a lead of 200. However, this performance has raised eyebrows and left the English team exposed ahead of the Ashes. The one-off test against Ireland was deemed as a preparatory outing of the England players before the much-important series against Australia. But their dismal performance against the lower-ranked opponent should cause major concern to the team management.