This was Ireland's first win at Lord's since 1973, and the 12th win there in 36 matches. It gives Ireland a 20-19 lead in the 73 match series against MCC. On two glorious days the win was brought about by a generous MCC declaration and two contrasting innings, each of 91, by Cohen and Masood. The three match AIB sponsored (Sterling 4000) party of 12 was originally the 11 who played against Scotland plus Michael Halliday. Then, for business reasons, Milling and Garth had to be replaced by Elder and Patterson. Elder was the one left out against MCC.
MCC included Pocock (formerly of Hampshire) again as captain, Lanchbury and Trembath, both of whom had played previously, Rowe, formerly of Kent and Glamorgan, Oliver, formerly of Warwickshire who had to give up county cricket due to a hip injury, Knight, the former Surrey captain, Wundke, a South Australian, Kippax a legspinner who had played for Yorkshire, Lerigo, from MCC's ground staff, Goldsmith the Bucks wicket-keeper whose county had beaten Somerset in the 1987 Nat West Trophy.
On the first day (11 AM to 7 PM) Ireland did fairly well in the field but then batted sloppily and were 57 behind with nine wickets down at the close of play. At one time, when 120-6, a follow-on was possible. The pitch was a slow one on the grandstand side. MCC won the toss and batted. Ireland would probably have sent them in, seeking a fourth innings chase.
The ball swung a bit when Corlett and Patterson opened the bowling to Lanchbury and Rowe. At 27 there was a run out. Rowe stroked one to McBrine at mid-wicket. Lanchbury, who is deaf, set off and was easily run out when Rowe, quite properly, did not move. At 35 Corlett got Rowe to snick a low catch to Jackson's left. Oliver and Knight were now together and the added a brisk 82. 50 came up in 19 overs. Halliday came on for Patterson the score at 52 and McBrine for Corlett at 70. With the exception of the final over of the innings the two spinners bowled in tandem.
At 96, Jackson missed Oliver (then 39) on a stumping chance in McBrine's third over - the ball spun a lot and surprised Jackson. The second 50 took only 9.1 overs. In McBrine's sixth over, at 112, Patterson, at cover, got a hand to a hard chance from Oliver (51). This was not expensive as, at 117, Jackson made a good stumping off Halliday to dismiss Oliver for 54. Four runs later McBrine bowled Knight (29). With Pocock and Wundke in the rate slowed, the third 50 taking 18 overs. At 150 Pocock (23) gave McBrine a hard caught and bowled chance which was dropped. The lunch score was 154-4 off 48 overs, Pocock 27, Wundke 10.
Only 10.4 more overs were bowled before the MCC declaration at 250-7 in 58.4 overs. In those overs and 96 runs were scored. The fourth 50 took 7.3 overs, the fifth only 4.5 overs! At 177 Wundke hit McBrine very hard to wide mid-on where Cohen took a good catch. At 203, Cohen took an even better one. He caught Pocock (46) off Halliday over his head on the Pavilion rails at long-on. Pocock batted only 53 minutes. Corlett came back and got his just reward when he bowled Trembath (45 in 27 minutes) at which point MCC declared.
Just before 3 PM Cohen and Warke opened to Lerigo and Trembath. Warke was in poor form but struck at it. Cohen got a 19 ball 0. He was out to an uppish drive to square cover off Lerigo. With Rea in the first 50 took 24 overs. Rea was dropped at slip when 12. He had been in for 68 minutes for 25 when he hit a ball to short extra and set out on a foolish run. Warke sent him back but he failed to get there. At tea (taken after 31 overs) the score was 64-2, Warke 21, Masood 10.
Masood disappointed. Kippax, the leg spinner, was now on. Masood had a life at second slip but two balls later he was stumped attempting to late cut a very wide ball. 70-3-14. Dennison was bowled by offspinner Wagner, smearing agriculturally on one knee. 75-4-2. At 86 Warke's long haul came to an end. He called an easy run to deep mid-on. Harrison, instead of responding, followed the course of the ball, then sent Warke back. He was run out for 30 in 141 fairly agonising minutes. Corlett came in. He and Harrison saw 100 up in 49.1 overs and added 34 in all. Trembath came back and bowled Harrison (24) at 120. He was yorked playing with a crooked bat.
As was becoming usual in 1987 the Corlett/McBrine partnership stopped the collapse. They added 56 in 31 minutes off Kippax, Trembath and Rowe. 150 came in 62.5 overs, the last 50 in 13.4, and the follow-on was averted. When Corlett reached 34 he had reached 1000 runs in his 77th match for Ireland, the 23rd batsmen to do so and the sixth player to achieve the 1000 runs/100 wickets double. He was out at once - LBW to Kippax on the back foot. 176-7-35. This was Kippax's first victim in a spell of three in three overs. Patterson was stumped by a distance and when McBrine was LBW for 43 in 46 minutes with seven fours play ended for the day at 7:02 PM. The score was 193-9 in 71.2 overs, Jackson four*. Kippax, in 22.2 overs, took 4-56.
Day two was as warm and sunny as the previous one. Ireland declared overnight, conceding a lead of 57. During the morning Dennison retired with an injured arm. Lanchbury and Rowe went off at a great pace for MCC. 50 came up in 13.2 overs, 100 in 29.2. Harrison was used for the first time in the match with the score at 98. At 127 he got Lanchbury who drove to Cohen at extra-cover. Lanchbury had got 73 in 113 minutes. 150 came up in 36.4 overs, the last 50 in 7.2 overs.
Harrison took another wicket at 155, bowling Rowe for 63. Masood came on before lunch and Oliver helped himself to a six. Lunch, after 44 overs, saw MCC at 173-2, Oliver 30, Knight 4. 4.4 more overs were bowled by Harrison and Masood off which 26 more runs were scored. When Oliver (48) was LBW to Masood at 199, MCC declared. Knight was 12 and 48.4 overs had been bowled. Corlett had again bowled well but unluckily.
The declaration was generous, 257 in 184 minutes +20 overs, but the run target was higher than Ireland had ever made in the fourth innings to win. The "gut" feeding was that it would be done on this slow good pitch, fast outfield, one very short boundary and bowling which was not the highest calibre. At 2:36 PM Warke and Cohen set out on the task. 36 were put on when Warke pushed Wundke to extra cover. 36-1-11. Masood moved up to number three. He hit a four off his first ball, was dropped at second slip of the second(by Oliver), hit a four off the third and, in all, hit four fours off his first nine balls. When 19, and the total on 56, Kippax dropped him off a low chance at short mid-wicket - again off Wundke. Kippax came on at 54 in his first four overs were maidens 50 took 17.3 overs but 100 came up 12.1 overs later as Kippax now began to suffer. After four maidens he conceded 33 in his next four overs.
Lerigo replaced Wundke and Masood reached 50 in 66 minutes with the total at 111 in the 33rd over. At tea, taken after 35 overs, it was 122-1, Cohen 44 Masood 57. There was now an hour plus a minimum of 20 overs to go with 135 required - well up to the target. Rowe came on after tea with his off-spin and bowled to the end. Trembath bowled the next six overs at the Nursery end. Cohen reached 50 in 138 minutes in the 38th over. 150 came up in 41 overs, so 28 had come in six overs since tea. Masood, nearing his second successive century at Lords, eliminated any extravagant shots. At 184 he lost concentration, advanced to Rowe and was stumped. 184-2-91. He deserved a century. He was in for 118 minutes, hit 15 fours and faced 98 balls. His stand with Cohen was worth 148, Cohen making 46 of these.
With Rea in the last hour was signalled at 188 after 53 overs. There were 69 to get and Kippax returned for Trembath. Nine runs were added when Rea played on to Kippax in the fourth over of the last 20. Three runs later, in the fifth over, a similar fate befell Harrison to Rowe. Corlett hit a four in the same over so 53 were now needed in 15 overs. The Cohen/Corlett stand reduced the target by 32 in 8.1 overs. Corlett, playing very well and very selectively, faced 24 balls and hit four fours in his 23. In the 13th over, with 25 needed, Corlett swung wildly at Rowe and was bowled.
Four runs came in the next two overs. Now five overs left to get 21. Then 11 came in a Kippax over, both Cohen and McBrine hitting fours. Five runs came in Rowe's next over. Now Cohen could not get the 100 he deserved. In fact in the 18th over he was out, caught at the wicket cutting at Kippax. 252-6-91. He batted in a great sheet anchor role for 243 minutes, hit 10 fours, faced 215 balls and, when 82, became the 24th player to reach 1000 runs for Ireland. It was his 40th innings. McBrine and Patterson achieved the victory with an over to spare. An hour later a joyful party set off by coach to Arundel.
This was Dennison's (1983-87) 24th and last match. He scored 650 runs at an average of 28.26 with a century and four 50s in 28 innings