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Match Report
Derek Scott

For this match, the team as originally selected to play in this game did play.

After gaining a lead of 103, the Irishmen did not enforce the follow-on. On going in again the visitors lost three wickets for one run and on the second day were quickly all out for 70, so the non-enforcement of the follow-on would appear to have been an error in tactics. However, the Irish bowlers were consulted by Boucher before a decision was made and they decided against enforcing the follow-on as the wicket had become plumb and there was only 20 minutes batting time left on the first day.

Ireland lost three wickets for 81 runs in 85 minutes in their first innings but displayed excellent powers of recovery and eventually got 209 in three hours. Rain had affected the pitch which was inclined to favour the bowlers. Wilson left at seven and then Connell and Ingram added 43 in 40 minutes. Connell was run out for 21 but Ingram continued to bat well. He timed his drives to perfection and hit very hard on the leg-side to score 46 out of 69 in 50 minutes, with seven fours and one five. Boucher and new cap Williams fell in the same over to Crwys Williams but Shearer faced an awkward situation with considerable courage. He took no risks and got good support from Lambert so that 71 were put on for the sixth wicket. Lambert made 45 of these in 40 minutes, hitting a six and eight fours, all but seven of his runs coming in boundaries. Shearer continued to bat well and he was ninth out at 194. His 52 were scored out of 144 in just under two hours. Cuffe, Shearer and Morgan fell in six balls to Wignall who emerged as the best bowler having taken 3-21. Billingsley got all the 15 runs added for the 10th wicket; as usual he hit a six!

MCC found runs hard to get and after being 53-1 were all out for 106. Boucher found the wicket to his liking and turned the ball very sharply. As is usual with off-breakers "on the kill" Boucher was expensive, conceding 63 runs in 17.1 overs while taking six wickets. Ingram was the perfect foil at the other end. His 14 overs cost only 17 runs and he took three wickets. His six maiden overs were bowled in succession. At the beginning of the innings Morgan bowled eight overs for nine runs and it was he who accounted for Seabrook when that batsmen had made 11 and the score was 24. At 53 Boucher got Lomas lbw and this was his 100th wicket for Ireland. It was his 20th game and his eighth season. The following delivery, after Lomas's dismissal, accounted for Swanton, also lbw. Wignall was caught by Cuffe at 66 and one run later Knott was lbw to Ingram. Unwin became the fourth lbw victim of the innings when he fell to Ingram at 83. All the while Wilkinson, the opening bat, was playing with confidence. After 1 hours he had got to 44 out of 91 and then Boucher bowled him. After 2 hours the innings closed for 106. Those who saw this match say that never before or since have Boucher and Ingram bowled so well as a pair. There was sensational cricket in the last 20 minutes, Ireland losing Williams, McFarlane and Connell for 1 run, scored by Williams. Wilson and Cuffe were not out at the close.

In the morning Wilson was bowled by Battcock while the score still remained at one. Ingram fell to a catch at cover by Knott off Wignall when the score was 10. Shearer, as usual, steadied the situation with the help of the overnight "watchman" Cuffe. Together they slowly added 26 and then Cuffe was unluckily run out by Knott who only had one stump to aim at. Cuffe had batted an hour for his eight runs. Shearer again made the top score, the fifth time in succession this year. He cut very well and made 24 before he and Lambert fell at the same total, 49. The last two wickets added 21. Billingsley hit a six and a four off Wignall. Battcock, bowling off-breaks, (he took his first three wickets for one run), and the professional Wignall bowled unchanged for MCC and had very similar figures.

MCC required 174 to win. The first wicket got 24. At this point Boucher had Seabrook lbw and Lomas joined Wilkinson. Together they won the match with an unfinished partnership of 151. The pair gradually mastered the bowling which was accurate before lunch. Afterwards it became a little loose and was punished. The stand reached 100 in an hour and 30 minutes later it was worth 151 and the match was over. Lomas was the more aggressive and his 85 was made in 90 minutes with 15 fours, mostly by powerful strokes to leg. Wilkinson battled for 2 hours for his 64 with eight fours. Neither gave a chance and it was very good cricket on their part to get so completely on top of an attack consisting of Billingsley, Morgan, Boucher and Ingram.