The kindest thing to say about this embarrassingly one-sided Test at Lord’s is that Ireland have at least taken the match into a third day despite England’s total dominance.

It was one-way traffic yesterday (FRI) from the traditional five-minute bell, rung by former Ireland international Miriam Grealish, to stumps that saw the home side 255 runs to the good, needing a further seven wickets for the most comfortable of victories.

For the first two sessions, England galloped along at better than six an over, a phenomenal rate in Test cricket - until Ollie Pope was stumped for 205 and Ben Stokes called a halt to the punishment on 524-4.

Trailing by 352 runs, Ireland lost Peter Moor and skipper Andy Balbirnie in the same Josh Tongue over, James McCollum - retired hurt - to a turned ankle, and Paul Stirling. 

Moor was pinned by a ball coming back down the slope for the second time in the match, Balbirnie pushed a two to avoid a pair but then chased a wide one with leaden feet and couldn’t quite believe what he had done.

England resorted to short ball tactics, perhaps working on strategies for the upcoming Ashes series against Australia, and McCollum fell badly avoiding a bouncer and Stirling got the faintest of touches to a shoulder high ball down the leg side.

Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker will resume on 97-3 with the former starting to flow on 33 and his partner battling through to the close on 21, despite a nasty blow on the helmet from another Tongue lifter.

If Tector gets in again and Tucker can stay with him at least to lunch then… No, we won’t even go there.

Nor will it snow.

Graham Hume was the most consistent and persistent of the Ireland attack and got his reward when Ben Duckett chopped on for 182, an innings that contained 24 fours and a six. The breakthrough ended a second-wicket partnership of 252.

Mark Adair, the unsung hero of the first Test between the sides, was out of kilter and unable to build pressure, although he was a splinter away from dismissing Joe Root lbw second ball, for what would have been the third time in as many innings.

Off-spinner Andy McBrine, surprisingly not called on until the 40th over, did apply a temporary brake to the run spree, but after four tidy overs he began to leak runs as well.

Switched belatedly to the Pavilion End, where the slope helps his spin, McBrine bowled Root for 56, turning one through the gate, and fired a quicker ball wide of a charging Pope for Lorcan Tucker to whip off the bails. 

Pope had gone to his double century the ball before with his third six, he also collected 22 fours, and will never make easier runs at this level.

When England complete their inevitable victory, critics will say Ireland shouldn’t be playing Test cricket - but that’s only partly true. At this stage of the journey they shouldn’t be playing possibly the best team in the world, and certainly one of the best three.