London [UK], June 3 (ANI): After losing the one-off test match against England by 10 wickets, Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie found satisfaction in a "small win" by forcing England to bat in the second innings at the Lord's cricket ground in London.
In the post-match presentation, Balbirnie said, "Character not in doubt, we've got a tough group. Test cricket is very raw to us, yesterday was a tough day but to come back and make England bat again was a small win.
Heartening to hear the noise in the ground even though we were behind the eight ball. We want to grow the game in our country so small wins like that are important. We go in believing we can compete, but England quickly showed the standard and it was hard to keep up. We're learning on the job and we've got to learn quickly," the Ireland skipper said.
"Hopefully next time, we'll show the benefit. [Captaining against Bazball] It gets you thinking, looking around for ideas, but it's exciting and I thought guys played well. We showed glimpses today and can be proud of that. [Opportunity] We've got to play teams around our own level to bed into the format, hard to come here before the Ashes but these are the fixtures we've been given. [World Cup qualifiers] Huge event for us, a lot of focus on that for us. Dust ourselves off, get on a plane and hopefully produce good cricket," Balbirnie added.
Pacer Josh Tongue took a five-wicket haul on his Test debut as the hosts England clinched an easy win against a spirited Ireland side on Day 3 of the one-off Test match at Lord's on Saturday.
Tongue made the most of his late call-up to help England wrap up Ireland's second innings on Day 3 with the visitors setting a target of just 11 runs.
After Ollie Pope (205 in 208 balls) and Ben Duckett (182 in 178 balls) had fired England to a massive total of 524/4 declared on Day 2, it took quite an effort from Ireland to avoid an innings defeat. Ireland was bundled out for 172 in the first innings, with efforts coming from James McCollum (36), Paul Stirling (30) and Curtis Campher (33). Stuart Broad was the pick of the English bowlers, ending with figures of 5/51. After England crossed 500 in the second innings, they gained a lead of 352 runs.
In Ireland's second innings, when they needed to overcome this gigantic lead, Tongue took four of the top five batters out to reduce the visitors to 126/4. Harry Tector put up a fight with a half-century, a knock of 51 in 98 balls, but the real aggression came from lower down the order.
Mark Adair and Andy McBrine smothered the England attack for more than a session, putting on the highest partnership by Ireland in Test cricket to launch a late fightback.
The duo took Ireland from 162/6 to 325 before Adair fell 12 runs short of a century. Matthew Potts broke the threatening partnership to end Adair's stirring 76-ball 88 before Tongue completed his five-wicket haul with the wicket of Fionn Hand.
McBrine remained unbeaten on 86 as Ireland finished on 362/9 with opener James McCollom, who was out retired hurt, unable to bat.
Zak Crawley (12) went on to smash three fours in four balls to take England to an easy win as they began their summer on a positive note despite the injury cloud around the quicks that had hit them right before the Test match.
England has less than two weeks before the first Ashes Test of the next ICC World Test Championship cycle in Birmingham. They also named a strong 16-member squad for the first two Tests of the series earlier in the day.
Pope was adjudged the 'Man of the Match' for his double ton.
Brief Scores: England: 524/4 and 12/0: (Zak Crawley 12) beat Ireland: 172 and 362/9 (Mark Adair 88, Andy McBrine 86, Josh Tongue 5/66) by 10 wickets. (ANI)