This was Pakistan's second visit to Ireland, the first having been in 1962. The match could only be confirmed 10 days in advance, and depended on Yorkshire's progress, or lack of it, in the Benson and Hedges cup. Coyle Hamilton, Dublin's Insurance brokers, sponsored the matches for pounds 1000 and a gift of pounds 2000 was allocated to the match by Rothmans who are terminating their cricket sponsorship of ICU after 12 seasons.
Pakistan had poor weather to date in England and were on a full five Test cap match tour. They came to Dublin immediately after losing the one-day series by 2 to 1. Captain Imran Khan and Vice Captain Javed Miandad did not come to Dublin. Salim Malik captained in this match. He had made three Test centuries before reaching the age of 21. Shoaib Mohammad was a son of the great Hanif who had played for Pakistan Airways against Ireland in 1969. For Ireland Prior would not be available all season due to studies. D Dennison, who was unable to play against Scotland in 1986, replaced Prior. Milling was fit again and replaced James McBrine.
The game started in cold overcast conditions on a green but slow pitch. Jackson was Ireland's new captain following the resignation of Halliday from that post. Success came to Corlett in the first over. Rameez Raja mistimed a drive and Corlett caught the return catch in two hands over his head. Mansoor Akhtar came in and was hit on the fingers and retired at 15 to be replaced by Salim Malik. He and Shoaib went along slowly.
Garth and Masood were given a bowl and 50 came up in the 21st over. McBrine came on for the 23rd over with the total at 58 and Halliday for the 26th with the total on 69. McBrine struck in his fourth over when Salim skied to Harrison. 78-2-42. Mansoor Akhtar now resumed and in Halliday's next over gave Garth a fairly straightforward catch at deep square leg off a pull. The catch was dropped - it was crucial. The score was 85 and Mansoor was only 8. Mansoor now quickened the pace and Halliday had to be withdrawn after 8 overs had cost 46. Mansoor went to his 50 in 55 minutes. The 43rd and last over before lunch, bowled by McBrine, yielded 17. The score at lunch was 163-2, Shoaib 47, Mansoor 65.
The remaining 17 overs yielded 113 runs. Masood had two just after lunch which went for 27 runs including three sixes, one to Shoaib who had got to 50 in a sedate 136 minutes, and 2 to the brilliant Mansoor. With the last ball of the fifth over after lunch Mansoor skied Garth to Warke on the leg side boundary. 43 runs had been scored in those five overs and Mansoor was out for 87, scored in 77 minutes off 79 balls. His stand of 128 with Shoaib took a minute less than one hour.
Milling was the Irish star at the end of the innings. He came on for the 52nd over, took a wicket with his first ball and conceded only 24 runs in five overs, and took a second wicket in his third over. Garth took a brilliant catch behind the bowler to give Milling his first wicket, that of Mansoor Elahi (8) with the score on 222. At 245 Saleem Yousuf (11) was caught at the wicket. With 28 balls to go the youthful Asif Mujtaba joined Shoaib who was now on 86. 31 more runs were scored and Shoaib went to his century of the first ball of the last over. In all he batted correctly and without a chance for 200 minutes but was somewhat dogged. He hit three sixes and seven fours. Masood and Halliday were the two bowlers got hold of, while Milling's 2-39 in 12 overs was easily Ireland's best. Apart from Garth's missed chance the fielding was quite good.
Looking for 4 ½ runs per over Ireland started at 3:15 PM and did not do too badly for a while. However, Masood, the great hope at number three, only made 16 and Cohen was unable to accelerate after a good start. Warke and Cohen began and Mohsin Kamal and Saleem Jaffer, left-arm, bowled seven overs each. Warke (13) mishooked Kamal with the total on 22 and was caught by the bowler. Masood came next. He looked in good form and batted for 58 minutes. During this time 85 balls were bowled of which Masood faced only 32. At the start of his innings he saw little of the strike and frustration eventually may have caused his downfall. 45 had been added when Masood hit Zakir straight to Salim Malik at short extra cover. 67-2-16, in the 25th over. Tea came at 5:38 PM after 35 overs had been bowled and by now five bowlers had been used. The score was 90-2, Cohen 42, Dennison 11.
After tea Tauseef (off-spin) and Asif (slow left-arm) bowled the next 19 overs between them and wickets fell at regular intervals as batsmen tried to score quickly. Asif had Dennison caught at the wicket in his first over. 90-3-11. Cohen completed his 50 in a very slow 153 minutes, including six fours. The 42nd, 43rd and 44th overs were all maidens! Cohen was stumped of Asif in the 44th over. 105-4-53 and Garth was caught off Tauseef in the next over. Harrison and Corlett did their best to put bat to ball and added 29 in 18 minutes. At 134 Corlett (17) was caught off Asif. Two overs later Asif took his fourth wicket - that of McBrine. After this, his 11th over, he came off with figures of 4-25.
The last five overs were bowled by Rameez (3) and Salim Malik (2). The latter took a wicket in each of his overs. He bowled Jackson for 4 and then, in the 60th over, Harrison met a similar fate for a well made 25 off 42 balls. Milling hit 4 off the last ball of the match. The Pakistan fielding and throwing were a feature. Cohen's 53 gave respectability to the score but it took 44 overs and he faced 152 balls out of the 265 which had been bowled at the time of his dismissal.