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England v Ireland 2023

Ollie Pope breaks record with double-century on day of rapid, run-soaked England plunder

Ollie Pope walks off the field after his 205
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ollie Pope led the way for England with a first Test double hundred as the home side piled on the runs in rapid time at Lord’s.

Ben Stokes eventually put Ireland out of their misery, declaring with his side on 524-4 after 82.4 overs after the fall of Ollie Pope’s wicket for 205. Records have tumbled throughout Stokes’ reign as captain and it was more of the same on day two at Lord’s.

England’s scoring rate of 6.33 runs per over was the second-fastest ever in a 500-plus team score. The record? England’s 6.50 runs per over when they racked up 657 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in December last year. Those are the only two instances of a team scoring more than 500 runs at quicker than a run a ball. In fact, no other team has come close with third place being Sri Lanka’s 5.36 runs per over against Bangladesh in 2001.


Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett were the chief architects of Ireland’s demise with both players scoring 100 runs in a single session, with Duckett doing so in the morning and Pope following suit in the afternoon. Duckett’s hundred was his second for England coming off 106 deliveries, one fewer than he achieved to reach the landmark in Rawalpindi last year.

Duckett eventually fell for 182 but not before he broke Donald Bradman’s 93-year-0ld record for the fastest Test 150 at Lord’s. He reached the landmark off 150 deliveries; later in the day, Pope reached 150 off 166 balls just as Bradman did in 1930.

Pope’s first Test double hundred was the fastest ever scored in England and the second-fastest ever by an English batter following Stokes’ 163-ball double ton at Cape Town in 2016.

That wasn’t the only feat from the 2016 Cape Town that stood in England’s way of securing a world record. Pope and Duckett’s stand was the second fastest 250-plus partnership in Test history, coming in behind Stokes and Bairstow’s mammoth partnership against South Africa in 2016. Pope and Duckett’s scoring rate of 5.81 runs per over was some way off threatening that Stokes-Bairstow partnership that remains comfortably on top of the pile with a rate of 6.91.

Duckett’s 182 was the highest score by an England opener since Alastair Cook’s 244 at the MCG in December 2017. It was also the highest score by an England opener other than Cook since Marcus Trescothick’s 193 against Pakistan at Multan in 2005.

There were a couple of other milestones passed by England batters today. Pope reached 2,000 Test runs, becoming the seventh English batter to reach the milestone before their 26th birthday; Joe Root, Cook, David Gower, Mike Atherton, Peter May and Ian Bell are the other members of that particular club. Root became the 11th player in the game’s history to pass 11,000 career Test runs.

Ireland’s toil in the field followed a familiar trend for them in Test cricket in 2023. Their last three innings in the field, which includes their tour of Sri Lanka, has seen them take 13 wickets for 1,819 runs.

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