From the depths of despair at 13 for four in their second innings, the Ireland players are now dreaming of a maiden Test victory after enjoying their best day in Test cricket so far.

A memorable, heat-defying century by Lorcan Tucker and an unbeaten 71 by Andy McBrine steered Ireland to 286 for eight at the close, 131 runs in front, and while Bangladesh remain firm favourites, for now, Ireland are in the driving seat.

Day One at Lord’s, when Ireland (and Tim Murtagh) bowled out England for 85 on the first morning and replied with 207, was always going to be hard to beat but this, I would suggest, has just done it as the milestones and records fell with thrilling regularity.

First, Harry Tector became only the 42nd batter in Test history to complete back to back 50s in his maiden Test, before Tucker posted his best score in first-class cricket on the way to his century on debut – only five players have scored more than his 108 from No 7 in the order.

He now holds second place in the list of highest scores in a Test for Ireland, behind Kevin O’Brien’s 118 in the second innings of the inaugural match against Pakistan - until today Ireland’s only century in the five-day arena.

Capping off a wonderful day for Ireland was McBrine’s highest Test score – 19 in the first innings here was his previous best – and he is just six runs shy of his highest first-class score. If he and Graham Hume, who has scored a first-class hundred, with the help of Ben White, can extend Ireland’s lead to 175 then it is game on.

The only disappointment of the day was the loss of the first wicket. After 14 overs of spin, PJ Moor, who had scored 83 in his last Test match for Zimbabwe, on this ground, succumbed to his sixth ball from left arm pace man Shoriful Islam, caught behind slashing outside off stump to the first ball of the over; his second tame dismissal of the match.

Tector, who was dropped at the wicket on nine, and Tucker, however, dug in and although they added only another 42 before lunch they were untroubled and looking increasingly confident.

An edged four through the slips was a rare false stroke from Tector but on this occasion he didn’t mind because it brought him his second half century in two Test innings and the one guarantee is that he will make many more in what seems sure to be a stellar career.

This innings lasted only another six runs before he was a tad unlucky to be given out leg before, first by the umpire and then on review by Hawkeye which showed the ball going directly onto to hit off stump when, in real time, it turned and seemed to have a good chance of missing.

No matter, enter McBrine to forge another outstanding partnership with Tucker, whose innings against both spin and pace was becoming a masterclass. He brought up his 50 in 94 balls and celebrated by hitting off spinner Mehidy Hasan for a straight six.

A superb punch through mid-wicket off Shoriful was one of his more memorable boundaries and, as he closed in on his century, he took seven off a Taijul Islam over.

Tucker was on 99 when the new ball was taken but, unfazed, the Pembroke man drove the second ball through extra cover to reach the landmark and followed up with another glorious straight drive for his 14th four.

He was unable to set the Ireland individual record, however, because he drove Ebadot Hossain high to cover where, unfortunately, Bangladesh’s tallest player held the catch above his head. For those who believe in ‘Nelson’ the partnership was ended on 111.

Mark Adair joined McBrine with the lead just 79 but the two Ulster inter-provincial skippers added another 30 runs before the NCU man was caught behind to a beauty from Taijul, his ninth wicket of the match.

By this stage, McBrine had reached his 50, from 93 balls, and by the close had hit eight fours and a six, off Taijul. Following on from his six-for with the ball, the Donemana all-rounder is sure to be a contender for player of the match.

Quite when the presentation will take place, however, remains up in the air, something few outside the Ireland camp were saying at the close of day two.

Now, we seem sure to go deep into day four and just how long Ireland bat in the morning will not only decide the duration but, quite possibly, the result.