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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Ganly, Bookman and Macdonald were the only three members of the originally selected team to turn out. The game was notable for the magnificent batting of Riches, the captain, and for so long the cornerstone of Welsh cricket. Other features were the consistency of the Irish second innings which enabled the match to be saved despite the huge Welsh total; the debut of James Macdonald and his bad luck in being out when 95 in his first innings; and the substantial hostility of GN Kelly, a son of GWF Kelly the old Oxford University fast bowler, who took 6-62 in 38 overs.

Half the Irish side were out for 80 and prospects were bleak but GN Kelly showed that the ball could be hit and after he left the club mates Macdonald and Dearden came together in a stand which realised 136 runs and carried the score to 260 and so the bad start was retrieved. Macdonald got a superb 95 and was most unfortunate to miss a century in his first International match. Dearden surprised everybody by making 84. He took a long time to settle down although he did not give an actual chance. Most of his runs came from late cuts and leg side strokes. Macdonald's off driving was a treat to watch. He hit 10 fours, but when he was 64 he was dropped twice in one over from Symonds. Wales were unfortunate to lose Chandless with a broken thumb, the result of a drive by GN Kelly, and later they lost their wicket-keeper Rowland, who was struck in the face by a ball from Lockwood. The wicket was fast and true at the start but Bookman and Andersen were out for 10. Ganly left at 46 and McVeagh, who had scored 14 in 50 minutes, departed at 44. Moore and Macdonald stayed until 80 was up.

Then came Kelly with his glorious 6 and 3 fours. Dearden followed and as runs came quickly the Welsh fielding fell away. Six bowlers were tried before Riches went on and took the last four wickets for 21 runs. 40 minutes play were left and after Riches had seen Rowland depart for 22 he batted out time with Mallalieu, and the score being 38-1.

The second day saw complete Welsh superiority as the Irishmen spent the entire day in the field. At the close of the second day Wales were 391-4. Yet only 353 runs were scored in the 360 minutes of play, the cricket being distinctly slow at times. One splendid partnership extended over three hours and 35 minutes. It was between Riches and Mathias who became associated at 108-3 and carried the total to 322 before Mathias had his middle stump removed by Kelly for an exceedingly patient 65. At times he was painfully slow taking 50 minutes over his first seven runs and two hours and 40 minutes to get his 50. After 1 hours (when he was 20) he was missed by Kelly off Macdonald and then became even more cautious and did not score at all for another half-hour. There was no such blemish in Riches' splendid display. Never once did he give a chance as he scored all round the wicket, his timing and placing being perfect. He got 50 in 90 minutes and 100 out of 180 in 3 hours. His 200 came out of 360 in six hours. At the end of the day he was 220 not out. The bowling, though rather weak, and certainly slack after the interval, was not as bad as the score would suggest.

The third day saw Ireland make a draw of the match. The weather was fine but the crowd throughout the game was disappointing. Riches was on the field in the entire game and batted in all for 7 hours for his 239 not out. It could not be described as a dashing innings but was faultless cricket, his only chance being a very difficult return to Foley when he was 228. This masterly exhibition was the best given by this polished batsmen in these games. His 239 contained 15 fours and 110 singles

Wales added 64 for the loss of four more wickets before the closure was applied. The wicket was too favourable to batsmen and there was never much hope of a definite result. Bookman was bowled at 27 but after lunch McVeagh and Anderson had a very serviceable partnership and added 49 runs in what was the foundation to another good Irish innings total. However, three men were out for 97 and a Welsh win was possible, but Macdonald and Ganly put the matter beyond doubt by bringing the score on merrily to 165, Ganly getting 58 in 65 minutes. Kelly and Moore provided the brightest cricket of all in a 63 run stand. Kelly (missed a few times), hit at everything and enlivened the proceedings considerably. 200 went up in three hours and when the innings ended at 5:50 p.m. the game was terminated.

Ormeau, Belfast