Pope broke 22 boundaries and three sixs in a sparkling 205 from 208 balls and shared a 252 run partnership for the second racket with opener Ben Duckett, who hit the record. Great 182 on a second day at Lord’s.
Pope’s double century was the fastest record ever recorded in a Test match in England but his dismissal after tea prompted Ben Stokes to claim England early on 524 to four, leading 352 .
Ireland looks set to suffer a leg defeat in this One-Time Test despite finishing with a 97 treble, meaning Harry Brook, Stokes and Jonny Bairstow will be in the Ashes opener on May 16. 6 with the shortest time.
But Pope countered: “What we’re going to do as a party is entertaining so we wanted to let the audience watch us hit a few balls and then watch us with the new ball.
“That’s what the entire crowd at Lord probably wanted to see, too, so that’s part of the reason why we did it (statement). I guess Jonny doesn’t hit the ball but he plays a lot of county cricket.
“Like cricket these days, it doesn’t always feel like you need more innings before a series.
“Jonny is in a really good position, his batting is in a really good position and you want to stay as fresh and confident as possible. Hopefully all the boys feel the same way.”
Pope is happy to give himself some time in between before the battle with Australia kicks off at Edgbaston and especially at the Lords, where he’s only passed 50 once in the previous seven Test innings.
Sharing about being honored, he admitted: “It’s special.
“Lord’s is not a place where I have done so well over the years, I think I have scored 70 points against South Africa but other than that, I have barely scored a goal here.
“So it was nice to get that off my back, especially before a big summer.
“There’s no denying that Australia’s attack is stronger than Ireland’s but scoring in Lord and scoring in Tests is a habit, a good habit to start early.”
After Pope, who had struggled in the first hour, hit his fourth Test percentile, British debutant Josh Tongue beat the show for the evening.
The Worcestershire seafarer impressed as a runner on day one and clocked 91 mph, but got Peter Moor lbw and overtook Paul Stirling en route to third place 27 after a good eight point spell.
“As for how he got into the role he did tonight… the way he did it was perfect,” Pope admitted.
“He has been fantastic this week, he seems to be a part and also great in the dressing room. I don’t think you would know it was his debut.
Meanwhile, Duckett’s extraordinary new life in Test cricket shows no signs of slowing down.
In his first test at home, the Nottinghamshire hitter beat 150 similar balls to claim the record for the fastest Test 150 at Australian great Lord’s off Don Bradman before the fun. His strike ended on 182, with a hit rate of 102.84.
Duckett, recalling this winter six years after his last appearance, told BBC Today at the test: “Six months was crazy and starting the summer like that and making a century at Lord was what I dreamed of when I was a kid.
“Even 12 months ago, I thought I would never play Test cricket for England again.
“With other captains, I probably wouldn’t like it, but Stokesy and Baz (Brendon McCullum) wanted me to open the ball and play the way I’ve played throughout my career and thank them very much.”
Ireland face an uphill battle to just make their Saturday Test on Wednesday and batting coach Gary Wilson is unsure if opener James McCollum will hit the ball again after he whether he sprained his ankle and missed the game on Friday night.
“He went to the hospital for an x-ray and we don’t have any further updates,” Wilson said.
“I went to see him in the ambulance and he was very keen to move on, felt like he was in good contact, so he was very frustrated, but he will probably be back tomorrow. We still don’t know.”