George Dockrell and Tom Mayes gave the Ireland selectors a nudge ahead of next week’s Test match at Lord’s with solid performances on the first day of a warm-up game against Essex at Chelmsford.

While Dockrell is unlikely to win his fourth Test cap against England, his solid 74, as one of four Ireland players in the Essex side, confirmed he is ready to step in if needed to bolster the lower middle order.

Mayes, making his Ireland debut after six weeks carrying the drinks in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, took four Essex wickets, including Curtis Campher lbw for 16 and pushed his way to the front of the back-up seam bowlers.

Fionn Hand was also in the wickets, while Mark Adair added to his growing reputation with the bat, making 62 for the home side before he became Mayes’ third victim. The young seamer finished with 4-68 as the Essex were bowled out for 343.

Ireland lost James McCollum and skipper Andy Balbirnie to close on 38-2.

Paul Stirling will join the squad today after his T20 exploits with Birmingham Bears, and will bat at No5, with Peter Moor opening, as Ireland retain the same top six that lined up in the second Test at Galle last month.