Nightwatchman Jack Leach falls eight runs short of maiden Test ton

The left-arm spinner, who averages 10.97 in first-class cricket, batted stolidly alongside Jason Roy to steer England away from choppy waters.

Jack Leach acknowledges the crowd as he walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed by Tim Murtagh.   -  GETTY IMAGES

England's Jack Leach fell eight runs short of scoring his maiden century in the second innings of the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord's on Thursday.

Batting as a nightwatchman, Leach batted stolidly alongside Jason Roy to help his team erase the first-innings deficit of 122 runs without much ado. The two put on 145 runs for the second wicket.

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Leach had a reprieve when he edged seamer Boyd Rankin and was dropped by wicketkeeper Gary Wilson. He was on 72 then.

When on 92, he edged seamer Tim Murtagh to Mark Adair at second slip, and was dropped. But after two deliveries, he edged Murtagh once again; this time, the ball came straight at Adair, and he made no mistake.

The left-arm spinner, playing in the fifth Test of his career, batted at No. 11 in the first innings, and scored an unbeaten 1.

Leach averages 10.97 in first-class cricket, and possesses two half-centuries under his belt. His highest personal Test score before this innings was 16.

Roy (72, 78b, 10X4, 1X6) was the more enterprising partner through much of his innings. If Roy had reached three figures, it would have been his debut ton.