A drawn match of many records played on a slow but true pitch in cool and mostly cloudy weather. 1161 runs were scored for the loss of 26 wickets - a batsman's match. This is the most runs in a home match and second only to that match against Oxford University in Oxford in 1902 when 1166 runs were scored. 56% of MCC runs (604) were scored by Mark Waugh, a young man from Sydney whose twin brother had already played for Australia. Waugh was on MCC's ground staff for the year and came to Dublin as a substitute. He scored 239*and 101*, the first such instance of this particular feat in an Irish match. He stood upright and played very straight with great power and timing and seemed to have ample time to position himself for each stroke. He put one in mind of Graham Hick of Zimbabwe.
MCC sent Pocock as captain, as he had been at Lord's in 1985. Most of the others had played against Ireland before except SB Hassan of Notts and Richard Hutton, son of Leonard, and himself a former Test player. It was a good, if ageing, team who were always going to bat better than they would bowl. For Ireland Lewis returned for Vincent but the latter himself returned when Cohen cried off. Prior was still unavailable. JMA (a computer firm) sponsored the match for pounds 2000 and had a Marquee for their guests on Sunday. The Saturday attendance was probably the worst ever at a home international.
At 11 AM Hassan and Lanchbury opened briskly against Corlett and Milling. Seam predominated for 24 overs and the stand reached 62 in 82 minutes. Then spin undid the pair. McBrine in his first over bowled Lanchbury (27) and Halliday repeated this against Hassan (33) in his first over - the 26th of the innings. Waugh had arrived at number three. He began with a series of fours which eventually knocked McBrine out of the attack (1-32 in 8 overs). Claughton had joined Waugh and by lunch (taken after 46 overs) the score was 133-2, Waugh 43, Claughton 26. The latter was dropped by Masood at gully in the first over after lunch - bowled by Corlett. Waugh went to 50 in 62 minutes but lost Claughton - bowled by Milling - with the score at 148. Pocock and Waugh added another 44 when the former lifted Halliday to deep square leg where Lewis took a good catch. Pocock had only made 4 in 62 minutes. Three overs later Trembath departed for 2 caught off Garth. Waugh was now 95. He soon reached 100 in 163 minutes, 101 minutes for the second 50. By tea (taken after 81 overs) Waugh was 115 and Brooks 6. The score now was 224-5. Early in this session there was a 12 minute delay for rain.
Waugh now accelerated. He and Brooks (20) put on 79 in 57 minutes, and Waugh reached 150 in 198 minutes, 35 minutes after he had reached 100. Then Corlett returned and in his second over took 2 wickets in 3 balls, both bowled, Brooks for 20 and Hutton for 0. The score was now 274-7. This saw the end of Ireland's successes, but they should have been extended. In the next over, bowled by Milling, Waugh (155) rifled a bullet waist high to Vincent at mid-off which the unfortunate fielder could not hold. 50 runs later, Davies, who was then only 3, was dropped at mid-on by Masood off Milling. Waugh now passed 200 in 245 minutes (47 minutes for the fourth 50) and began to really strike out. He hit three straight sixes in Halliday's 21st and last over. Halliday had bowled 20 overs for 45.
The new ball was then taken by Corlett for the next over. The score was 380-7 and this was the 105th over. Davies woke up and hit Corlett for four and six. Only one more over was bowled (by Garth). The pair had added 125 in 67 minutes, a record for MCC's eight wicket against Ireland. Davies' share was 29. The 239 not out scored by Waugh equals NVH Riches score for Wales against Ireland at Ormeau in 1926. It was a marvellous innings for one so young. He hit five sixes and 27 fours in 270 minutes off 267 balls, with only one fierce chance. Overall runs came at 62 per hundred balls in 106 overs. The innings of 399-7 occupied just under six hours. The five Irish bowlers shared the wickets with Garth's 1-52 in 18 overs the least expensive.
Ireland had 24 minutes to bat but Warke and Vincent accepted an offer of bad light and play ended. On Sunday, at 11:30 AM, Ireland set out to save the follow-on - 250 being the target. When Jackson was eighth out near 4 PM at 205 this objective did not seem likely. At 3:25 PM Dennison (then 48) had been hit on the ear by Trembath and retired hurt. 20 minutes later, on the dismissal of Garth at 204-7 he resumed with bandages and helmet. Halliday joined him at 208 and together they added 96 in only 90 minutes. They not alone saved the follow-on but equalled a 99-year-old Irish record for the ninth wicket. Dennison's heroic 85 came in 212 minutes with a six and six fours. He then went for 12 stitches to his ear. Halliday played the innings of his life - 62 not out in 102 minutes off 87 balls. He hit eight fours in his first half-century for Ireland. When Milling arrived 25 more were added and Ireland had the luxury of a declaration at 326-9. This left them 73 behind and gave MCC a further 47 minutes batting.
Earlier in the day Warke and Vincent gave Ireland a 78 run start in 81 minutes on a sunny day. Trembath and Stewart opened the bowling and wicket-keeper Davies gave Vincent (then 17) a life in Stewart's seventh over. This was when the score was 55. Vincent got only two more before being bowled by Hutton. 78-1-19. Dennison arrived, saw the hundred up but off the very last ball before lunch Warke was LBW to Latchman for 68. 111-2, Dennison 9. 34.5 overs had been bowled in 2 hours. Warke reached 50 in 80 minutes and, in all, hit 8 fours. Masood and Dennison scored rapidly after lunch against Brooks and Latchman. Masood (19) was dropped by Hassan at gully off Latchman with the total on 149. The pair put on 70 in 54 minutes.
Trembath returned, went round the wicket, and took five wickets in seven overs. Hutton took a wicket in between and 181-2 became 205-8! Masood was LBW to Trembath for 33 (including a six and six fours) with the total on 181. At 191 Trembath bowled Lewis for 2. In his next over Dennison retired hurt when a ball leapt off a length (the only one to do so in the match) and McBrine was LBW second ball. The score was now 194-5. Hutton bowled the next over and had Corlett LBW. 198-6. In successive overs Trembath bowled Garth for 7, (204-7 at which point Dennison resumed) and had Jackson caught at the wicket. 205-8. In 35 balls Trembath had taken 5-8. Then came the recovery. Tea was taken with the score at 240-8 at 4:32 PM (after 75 overs) with Dennison 53 and Halliday 29. In all 93.2 overs were bowled and Ireland scored at 57 runs per hundred balls. Trembath finished with 6-93 off 26 overs, including 11 runs off his last over. Hutton had taken 2-25 in 14 overs.
Hassan and Lanchbury, 20 and 4 respectively, saw MCC to 25-0 in 14 overs before close of play. The last day was 11 AM to 6 PM with lunch at 1 PM. MCC were intent on making enough runs for a lunch declaration. How well they succeeded! In 34 overs they added 180 to the overnight 25 and scored, overall, at a rate of 71 runs per 100 balls. Corlett took a wicket at 57, having Lanchbury LBW for 18. Enter Waugh at 11:29 AM. By 1 PM he was 101 not out scored in 91 minutes off only 69 balls with three sixes, a five and nine fours. He reached 50 in 50 minutes and 100 in 89 minutes. With Hassan 81 were added in 53 minutes before Halliday bowled Hassan for 61. With Claughton (19*) a further 67 came in 37 minutes. Waugh, at 97, gave Warke at short mid-wicket a diving chance. McBrine, suffering from a sore foot, only bowled two overs today and all the rest conceded above four per over, Garth going for 38 in five overs.
The Irish target was a very fair one. They needed 279 to win in three hours plus a minimum of 20 overs. With McBrine and Dennison injured and batting down the order a good start was needed. It did not come. Warke at 9 and Vincent at 14 were out to the opening bowlers and Hassan bowled Lewis with the score on 45. Masood and Garth set about repairing the damage. They put on 47 in only 31 minutes when Masood (44) was caught at leg slip of Latchman. 92-4. Now Halliday came in to partner Garth.