The best compliment to the Ireland players after their first day of Test match cricket in almost four years is that it certainly didn’t look like it.

After Andrew Balbirnie won the toss on his Test bow as captain, he had no hesitation in batting first and his players responded. Indeed, apart from the openers and PJ Moor, who has played more five-day matches than the rest of the team put together, the next six batsmen all faced at least 50 balls.

The only problem was that none made it to 100 but they still produced Ireland’s highest first innings total, one that has been consistently rising since being shot out for 130 in their inaugural Test against Pakistan in 2018.

A total of 214 should not threaten a first innings lead but Mark Adair gave Ireland the perfect start with the wicket of Najmul Shanto in the first over, bowled by a superb inswinger and, completing a very satisfactory day, Andy McBrine took a wicket with the last ball of the day, Tamim Iqbal caught at second slip by Mark Adair.

Star of the Ireland batting, not for the first time in the last year, was Harry Tector who transferred his one-day international form into the Test arena, One of six players who received their first Test cap on Monday night, he became the first Irishman to score 50 in his maiden innings.

Curtis Campher threatened to follow him but after putting on 74 for the fourth wicket with Tector, Ireland lost three wickets for two runs in the space of 18 balls - Campher the last of them for 34 – and suddenly the tourists were 124 for six.

But there is plenty of batting talent in the lower order and not only did they add another 90, with wicket-keeper Lorcan Tucker (37) and Mark Adair (32) leading the rearguard, but they took the innings into the 78th over, 18 overs longer than their previous longest first innings effort, in their last Test match, against England.

In the end there were only four survivors from that Lord’s line-up with George Dockrell again missing out, and Ben White getting the second spinner’s role to Andy McBrine, ahead of Lisburn’s Matthew Humphreys.

James McCollum and Murray Commins proudly walked out at 10am, in temperatures already in the 30s, as two Ireland players were finally spotted again in whites.

It proved a good toss to win because there was no serious movement in the early stages and the Bangladesh skipper turned to spin after just 11 overs. However, the openers were already out, Commins, after getting his first Test runs with a clip through mid-wicket was trapped leg before in the next over and McCollum will be disappointed at his dismissal, wafting at a wide ball and only steering it to second slip.

Balbirnie was focused more on defence but after reaching 16 probably misjudged the line and was leg before after missing with a sweep shot.

Tector, though, was already into his stride, a straight driven four off slow left armer Taijul getting him off the mark in Test cricket and next over he went even longer, off off spinner Mehidy Hasan for his first six.

The first hour after lunch was Ireland’s best of the day, as Tector and Campher put on 56 in 14 overs, virtually untroubled,but then just as suddenly it all went wrong as Tector was bowled immediately after bringing up his half-century, Moor got a leading edge to mid-off in the next over and Taijul Islam needed only three balls at Campher before getting him leg before. That was the third of the slow left armer’s five wickets in the innings and, worryingly, this was only day one.

But Ireland weren’t finished and partnerships of 35 and 40 for the seventh and eighth wickets got them to 199 and two more defiant boundaries from Adair saw Ireland past their 207 first innings total at Lord’s.

They have 180 runs to play with on Wednesday and how many wickets they can take before their total is reined in, will go a long way to deciding the outcome of this match which already looks to be heading for a day four finish at the latest.