But for an invaluable 7th wicket partnership between JWHT Douglas and SH Martin the MCC would have cut a sorry figure in the first innings. McIver won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch drying after heavy rain. The ball turned slowly and popped occasionally. Within an hour a variety of Irish bowlers had dismissed half the MCC side for 37 and, 16 runs later, the sixth wicket fell. Martin joined Douglas (who took 35 minutes to score his first run) and the pair stayed together until after tea, adding 135 runs in 2¾ hours. Prior to lunch, when only 69 runs were scored in two hours, both batsmen were cautious and Douglas spent 70 minutes over 5 runs. After the break the pitch was faster and Martin, in particular, used more vigorous methods. This young member of the MCC ground-staff who hailed from South Africa and was later to play for Worcestershire got a really well played 72 including nine fours. He might have been caught at short slip off Dixon when two. Douglas played a typical innings. His 50 runs took three hours and 35 minutes. He was eventually caught at mid-off and after his departure the innings was speedily closed for 209. Eight Irish bowlers were tried and between them they bowled 105 overs. In the remaining hour Ireland lost three wickets for 51 runs, TJ Macdonald being 32 not out.
Macdonald continued to bat well next morning. He and Ingram raised their fourth wicket partnership to 45 in an hour before Ingram was lbw to Martin 31. Heaslip was stumped for 11 but AP Kelly hit out while Macdonald continued to defend assiduously. Kelly made 33 out of 42 in 25 minutes before Hill hit his off stump. McVeagh, who followed, proved invincible and carried his bat for 57 scored in 70 minutes, mainly by strong on-side play. Macdonald was seventh to leave at 164 after a sturdy exhibition extending over three hours. Dixon played on in the same over and at lunch Ireland were 14 runs behind with two wickets in hand. Boucher and Harris both supported McVeagh in valuable stands and a lead of 42 was secured. Martin, a capital medium pace bowler, took 4-62 in 27 overs.
Tremlett and Hollins quickly knocked off the deficit and had 75 on the board in an hour before Hollins left to a catch at square leg just on the tea interval. Afterwards Tremlett was run out when he slipped in trying to regain his crease. Rhys made 46 in 55 minutes including a six into the pavilion off James Macdonald. Armitage fell to a very good one-handed catch by Boucher behind the bowler. MCC declared at 166-4. Eight overs were bowled to the Irishman during which Ganly, Heaslip and Dixon lost their wickets for 26 runs.