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Tongue on Fire: Debut Seamer's Five-Wicket Haul Decimates Ireland

Josh Tongue, the Worcestershire seamer, had a spectacular debut in the England vs. Ireland Test match on June 3, 2023. He made an impressive entry into international cricket by bagging five wickets, a feat which landed him a place on the honours board at Lord's​. Tongue's five-wicket haul significantly contributed to England's victory over Ireland, which they secured within three days of the match.

The day started on a tense note for Ireland, who needed 255 runs to force England to bat again. They were also handicapped by the injury of opener James McCollum. Despite these odds, Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker managed to score 118 runs in the morning session, losing only three wickets​.

Post-lunch, Mark Adair and Andy McBrine joined forces and launched a powerful attack on Stuart Broad and Jack Leach. Their partnership of 163 runs was the highest ever for Ireland in Test cricket. Adair, however, was dismissed by Matthew Potts after scoring 88 runs off 76 balls. This moment marked the end of an exhilarating partnership that featured 12 fours and two sixes​​.

Tongue's debut was further highlighted when he picked up his fifth wicket, that of Fionn Hand, leaving Ireland to make it to tea with a lead. However, the team was soon on the back foot again when Graham Hume, the last man in, was dismissed by Broad. This left Ireland at 362 for nine, setting England a modest target of 11 runs to win​.

Despite the spirited performance from Ireland, England's victory was never in doubt. Zak Crawley needed just four balls to secure a 10-wicket success for England. This win marked the 11th victory in 13 Tests for the leadership duo of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum​​.

Despite the win, concerns lingered over the fitness of Ben Stokes, England's all-rounder and captain. Stokes, dealing with chronic tendinitis in his left knee, did not bat or bowl in the Test, a first for a captain in a victorious Test match. His condition may have implications for the team's strategy in the upcoming Ashes series​​.

It is noteworthy that this match was a stern examination of England's aggressive brand of cricket, known as 'Bazball', under Stokes and McCullum. The upcoming Ashes series, starting on June 16, is likely to provide an even sterner test​​.

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