This was the 7th match v I Zingari and it produced the 2nd draw of the series. Although I Zingari had to follow on they were 54 runs ahead at the end with 6 wickets in hand and the 5th wicket partnership was unbroken having added 114 runs. CF Buller was 111 not out and this was the first century made against Ireland. Buller had made 69 in the first innings and 57 not out in his only innings of the 1867 match. As these were the only two I Zingari games he played in he had scored 223 runs in 3 innings for once out. What a great player this Harrow and Middlesex batsman was. On the IZ tour in Ireland he scored 430 runs in 9 innings and averaged over 60. Also playing for the last time was the Hon. EC Leigh (who played under the name of EC Edwards) who was captain and had played in the first three games in 1859-60-61. Four players on the IZ team were new to this match. Rev O Mordaunt, a slow lob bowler, Viscount Downe, JFF Horner and JM Richardson. The latter was a Cambridge Blue in 1866-67-68 but was best known as an amateur jockey who in 1873 and 1874 was to win the Grand National twice in succession.
The Irish total of 254 was the highest to date - in fact the first time 200 had been passed. The game was played on a good wicket and in beautiful weather. Of the debutants, Nat Hone was to go on playing until 1884 and was to captain the Irish team to America in 1879. He came into the team as a last minute substitute for WS Hunt and thereby considerably weakened the bowling. There was a great dispute regarding the selection of T Harris. GF Barry selected and captained the Irish team at the request of IZ. In a letter to Barry the IZ captain changed the title of the Irish team from "Gentlemen of Ireland" to "All Ireland", intending Barry to give a chance to any native professional there might be (Dooley). Unfortunately the letter was not clear and Barry asked T Harris, an Officer in the 66th Regiment, to play under residential qualification. Harris, a very fine left handed bat and a good bowler scored 24 runs and took 7 wickets but IZ did not complain about what was an error. W Hone Snr's. score of 91 was the highest individual score for Ireland to date and was in fact only the third score of 50 or more since 1855 (the year of the first ever Irish match). Four players were unable to play - WS Hunt, N Browne, CE Stelfox and R Hudson. However this was acclaimed as a very fine Irish XI.
Ireland occupied the whole of the first day making 254 - the innings lasting four and three quarter hours. This was very slow scoring by 1868 standards and the blame was laid at Hone's door for his 91 took almost 4 hours and was said to be "tedious and uninteresting". Hone opened with LGP Filgate to the bowling of Mordaunt (slow) and Buller (quick). The bowling was good and the batting careful Hone hit a three and Filgate got all of the next 14 but at 18 was bowled by Buller. 18-1-14. C Filgate was No. 3. After 12 overs Horner replaced Mordaunt and after 17 overs Mitchell replaced Buller. At 37 C Filgate was caught by Mitchell off Horner. 37-2-10. Hone was still very careful but Harris hit six 3's and a 4 in 7 hits, scoring 24 out of 29 before he was caught by Richardson at cover off Horner. Wickets now fell quickly. Barry was caught at slip off Horner (72-4-3), TJS Casey was caught and bowled by Mitchell (81-5-3), and O'Mara, from whom much was hoped, hit a 4 and was then caught at slip by Mitchell off Horner. Mitchell had made 3 successive catches and held 5 in all. Ireland, at 90 for 6, was in serious trouble. At lunch with the score at 92-6 Hone and Ashton were together. After lunch there followed a partnership which (to 2004) remains the highest partnership for the 7th wicket for Ireland. By good cricket Hone and Ashton added 150. Seven bowlers were tried but IZ were rather weak in bowling and wicket keeping due to last minute defections in the touring party. The fielding also collapsed somewhat under the strain. Eventually after batting for almost 4 hours Hone was caught at point by Mordaunt off Mitchell for 91. 240-7-91. It would have been a proper thing if a Hone had made Ireland's first century but that honour went to a Kempston in 1876. Nat Hone, bother of W., was out for 0 in this his first innings for Ireland. He was caught at mid wicket off Horner at 243. PF Casey, who was much too low at no. 10, came in to see Ashton bowled by Horner without a run added. Ashton made 71 and, like W Hone, received a great ovation. The last pair added 11 before Roberts was run out and it was a pity to see Casey left 9 not out. Horner with 6 for 37 in 42 overs (26 maidens) was by far IZ's best bowler and he was certainly not used enough during the 7th wicket partnership. ECS Cole, who had played for Ireland in 1863 and 1867, kept the runs down by bowling 24 overs for 15 runs. The innings ended at 5 45 pm.
Buller dominated the second days play and in conjunction with Richardson eventually saved the day for IZ. Buller scored 180 runs out of 308 during the day - 69 and 111 not out. The next highest score was 31 not out. Hon. EC Leigh opened with Tritton to the bowling of Harris and Barry. At 6 Tritton was bowled by Harris for 2. HN Tennent was no. 3 and at 21 saw Leigh brilliantly thrown out by Harris for 12. Buller came in but Tennent was well stumped by TJS Casey off Barry at 27. Mitchell joined Buller and they added 77 for the 4th wicket. Buller was badly missed at short leg when 10 - a vital miss which may have cost Ireland the match. Scoring was rapid and mostly by Buller. At 104, when he had scored only 16 out of 77, Mitchell was well caught at point off W Hone. The innings now collapsed before Harris, W Hone and Barry, the last 7 wickets falling for 30 runs. Buller was lbw to W Hone at 115 for a splendid 69 made out of 94 when he was in. Mordaunt was bowled by Harris for 3 at 118 and one run later Harris bowled Richardson, who had been in for quite a long time, for 0. At lunch the score was 129-7. Downe was bowled Harris for 0 at 131 while Cole and Dillon, who had made a good 10, were both out at 134 to end the innings. Harris had 5 for 46 in 38 overs - he had bowled his 5 victims. W Hone's two wickets were most valuable.
Edwards and Tritton again opened for IZ who were following on 120 behind. There was again a bad start, both Tritton (7) and Tennent (1) falling to Harris for 11 runs. Edwards and Buller put on 42 before Edwards was lbw to W Hone for 11. Seven runs later Mitchell was bowled by N Hone for 3 and this looked like the beginning of the end. - still 60 behind with 6 wickets left. In fact Richardson came in and no other wicket fell until stumps were pulled at 6 00 pm. 114 were put on and Buller got 111 not out. He gave an almost faultless exhibition of scientific batting never before seen in Ireland. He might have been run out very early on and gave one very difficult chance. Richardson made a careful 31 not out. The Irish fielding was good and nine bowlers were tried against the 5th wicket pair without success.