I Zingari brought to Ireland a great assemblage of talent for this game. They won easily - equalling the wins in the series at 6 each. IZ had with them five University Captains. They were RAH Mitchell, Captain of Oxford 1862-3-4, now aged 40 and playing in this game for the last time, Hon. A Lyttelton, Captain of Cambridge in 1879 and who had played for MCC v Ireland in Dublin in 1879 - Lyttelton incidentally did not arrive until the 2nd morning but was still in time to bat at no. 5 for IZ, AG Steel of Lancashire, Cambridge captain in 1880, now 25 years of age and ranked after WG Grace as the greatest all round player in England. Between 1880 and 1888 Steel played 13 times for England and was captain in 1886. In 1902 he was President of MCC. GB Studd was Cambridge captain in 1882 in which year he made 120 v Oxford. GB and his brothers CJ and JEK all played in the Cambridge teams of 1881-2 and followed each other as captains of Cambridge. GB played in 4 tests and visited Australia in 1882-83 before dedicating his life, as did CJ, to missionary work. GB Studd lived to be 87. CT Studd was the youngest and most famous of the family. He captained Cambridge in the year of this IZ match, 1883. His all round work was memorable in the four University matches 1880-83. In 1882 he scored 3 centuries v The Australians but scored 0 and 0 in the Test Match. In all he played in 5 Tests.
Only Stewart, Mitchell and Portal played in this game previously for IZ. The latter became Sir GH Portal and was a fastish left handed bowler. In 1876 he made 100 and took 5 for 20 for Eton v Harrow. FW Rhodes was an elder brother of Cecil Rhodes, the South African Politician, and was involved in the Jameson Raid. CC Clarke had played a number of times for Surrey until 1882. He was an actor and musician.
Of the five Irish Debutants, Lombard was an excellent wicket keeper but did not have a great game in this match. W.D.Hamilton played for Oxford v Cambridge in 1882 and between 1883 and 1896 he played 14 times for Ireland scoring 505 runs in 18 innings, average 28.05. He was a dashing left handed batsman.
Ireland's bowling strength was rather thin and in fact bowling talent was scarce in Ireland at this period. IZ were able to score 333 in their first innings and when set to make 72 in 65 minutes in the second got them in 31.
Ireland scored 255 on the 1st day to which IZ replied with 170 for 2. The morning was poor but the sun shone as the match began at noon. Hynes and Fleming opened to the bowling of Steel and CT Studd on a perfect pitch. 30 was up quickly, then Studd changed ends and Portal came on. At 42, Fleming, in driving, missed and was bowled by Studd for 14. Trotter came in and the 50 was soon up. Steel came back and at 63 had Hynes caught at cover for a beautiful 46 (three 4's and six 3's). CD Barry came in and scoring slowed down - Steel bowling three maidens in a row. Trotter, who had started badly, now drove two magnificent 4's and saw Barry missed at the wicket off an easy chance (Col. Stewart was keeping wicket). Runs now came more rapidly and at 1.30 Trotter put the 100 up. Lord Throwley now bowled 4 overs for 10 runs but then Studd returned. With the last ball of his 2nd over he bowled Barry for 13. W Hone Jun. came in and Trotter drove Studd out of the ground for 6. Trotter completed his 50 but was caught off a full pitch from Studd for 57. 144-4. This was the best innings of the day although he was missed off a stumping chance early on. He hit a 6, 2 4's. and 10 3's. Lunch was taken at 156 for 4 with Hone and Hamilton not out.
Play resumed just after 3 00 pm and both men hit hard and 190 was soon up. Portal came back on for Steel but it was another full pitch from Studd that broke the stand, Hone being caught at long leg. 193-5-23. The captain, Nunn, hit merrily and 200 went up but at 206 Nunn was bowled for a lucky 11. At 208 Portal bowled Hamilton for 28 and at 210 Maxwell was lbw. Lombard joined Penny and 34 were added by lusty hitting before Crutchley ran 50 yards to catch a skier from Penny. At 255 Hemsworth was bowled to end the innings. Lombard was 14 not out. Steel and Studd had borne the brunt of the bowling and Studd in 52.3 overs had taken 8 for 110. Rhodes and Clarke opened for IZ to Penny and Hemsworth. Hamilton caught Clarke off Hemsworth at slip. 2-1-0. Steel came in and in very rapid time 50 was up. Nunn and Barry came on to bowl but the scoring rate was not diminished. At 80 Hynes came on for Nunn and in his 2nd over Rhodes was caught at mid off for a brilliant 36. No further wicket fell despite numerous bowling changes. By close of play Steel was 86 not out and C.T.Studd 39 not out and such a display of batting had seldom been seen in Ireland.
The 2nd days weather was very good and a large crowd gathered. The Lord Lieutenant Spencer was present. At 11 30 Steel and CT Studd resumed. Steel added 3 and was then caught by Barry at long on off Penny for a magnificent 89 (one 6, five 4's, eleven 3's). Hon. A Lyttelton, who had only just arrived from England, came in at no. 5. When 200 went up Nunn came on for Hemsworth. The last ball of his first over bowled Lyttelton for a careful 19. RAH Mitchell came in and Studd should have been easily caught by Lombard. Penny became ragged and Barry came on. His first ball bowled Mitchell for 7. Throwley started with seven singles but at 257 Studd skied a drive off Barry and was caught by the wicket keeper. His 86 was a splendid display of driving with one 4 and twenty 3's. At 70 he had given one difficult chance to point. With Portal in Throwley was missed at slip off a difficult chance. Both then scored quickly and at 290 Hynes replaced Barry. Just after 1 00 pm 300 went up. Maxwell was the 6th bowler tried and he bowled Portal for 33. Two runs later Throwley was caught and bowled by Hynes for a careful 27. Crutchley and GB Studd took the score rather slowly to 330. Crutchley was bowled by Hynes at 333 and Stewart met a similar fate off his 2nd ball. The time was 1 30 and in two hours 163 had been scored. Hynes with 4 for 66 in 17 overs was by far the best bowler.
Ireland were 78 behind when Hynes and Fleming faced Steel and CT Studd. Hynes gave a chance to a substitute for GB Studd which was missed. In the next over Hynes hit Studd to leg and tried a run when the ball was in the wicket keeper's hands - a foolish run out. Trotter came in but was caught at the wicket (Lyttelton now keeping wicket) off Studd. 10-2-2. With Barry in lunch was taken at 13 for 2. The score was raised to 42 when Barry was bowled by Studd for a lively 19. Hone was now in but saw Fleming bowled by Studd for a well played 20 and at 55 Hamilton was bowled by the same bowler for 7. Ireland were still 23 behind with 5 wickets left. Nunn and Hone had a good stand and the deficit was wiped out. Hone drove Studd out of the ground. The Nunn, facing Portal, hit his wicket and was caught behind at the same time. Studd bowled Penny first ball and now 7 were out. Lombard showed unexpected form and his innings was the best of the Irishmen. At 4 30 the 100 went up. Steel came on for Studd. Lombard hit him for two 3's and was stumped off the next ball for an excellent 31. Maxwell was lbw and Hemsworth hit 11 before being bowled by Studd. Hone's 35 not out was made out of 107 and held the innings together. His forward hits were brilliant. Studd took 6 for 66 in 36 overs making figures of 14 for 176 in the match. Littelton's wicket keeping was noteworthy with two catches, a stumping and a run out.
The 72 required to win were hit off in 31 minutes. Lyttelton and Studd scored seven off both of Nunn's and Penny's first overs. The second ball of Penny's second over saw Studd well held by Barry at long-on. 14-1-8. AG Steel came in and the bowling was hit everywhere, one over of Penny's yielding 15. Just past the 50 Hemsworth and Barry came on and it was off Barry that Lyttelton made the hit of the match - a drive clean over the trees at the Pavilion end, a shot which would have secured 8 if run out. The next ball, the first of Hemsworth's third over, bowled Steel for 21. Clarke came and in by a drive for 4 off Hemsworth won the match. Lyttelton was 35 not out.