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Match Report
Derek Scott

With the last ball to be bowled in this match any one of the four possible results could have been achieved. Miller, the Irish wicket-keeper and number 11 batsman, faced JJ Warr, the Cambridge University fast bowler. If Miller hit three, the match was Irelands; if he scored a two the match was a tie; if he only got a single or failed to score the result would be a draw; and finally if he was out MCC would have recorded a win. Warr bowled, the ball jumped, hit Miller on the fingers, and dropped in front of him. The match was a draw.

This was a magnificent MCC team. FG Mann and WR Hammond are two former England captains. The latter was playing his first first-class match since March 1947 when he scored 79 against New Zealand in a Test Match. ERT Holmes had captained the 1935-36 MCC team to New Zealand. RH Maudsley, J Bartlett, AWH Mallett, GH Chesterton, CRD Rudd and DB Carr are all Oxford Blues and Carr is the "Victory Test" player and the current years Oxford captain. JJ Warr is to be Cambridge's captain in 1951 and, shortly after this game, left for Australia with FR Brown's team.

A large crowd saw the first day's play. The MCC won the toss and had both their opening bats out when the total reached 17. Carr was stumped at 31 and the great Walter Hammond hit across Ingrams leg-break and lofted the ball to the wicket-keeper. 43-4-15. Mann and Holmes added 30 before Mann was caught off Ingram. Mallard and Warr were both bowled by Boucher at 77. From then on it was Holmes against the Irish bowlers. He gave an exhilarating display which included two huge sixes and eight fours. Chesterton and Bartlett backed him up and the innings ended at 3:25 pm for 161. Holmes was last out, being well caught in the long field by Warke for 81, scored in just under two hours. Ingram and Boucher bowled very well as usual and the fielding was excellent.

At the end of play on day one Ireland were 125-6. Pollock was caught at the wicket when the score was 13; Martin was deceived by the flight and bowled at 30; Armstrong and Ingram both stayed with Bergin for fair periods but neither was comfortable and four wickets were down with the total on 103. Gill was brilliantly caught by Chesterton from an uppish off-drive and in the last over Warke turned one into Chesterton's leg-trap. Bergin was 38 not out after two hours of defensive play during which he was dropped twice.

Boucher and Curley both left early on the second day but in Jack Bowden Bergin found the partner he was looking for and together they added 64 for the ninth wicket. Chesterton had a new ball at 185 but it was only a magnificent catch at square-leg by Maudsley which eventually brought Bergin's downfall. The left-hander had been in for four hours in what was an invaluable knock. Two more runs were added when Bill Haughton of Pembroke, who was fielding as a substitute for Mann - down with an attack of gout, caught Bowden after the Lisburn man had contributed 34 - by far his most valuable innings for Ireland. Chesterton bowled his late in-swingers beautifully and fully deserved his fine figures of 25-11-35-5.

Ireland's lead of 37 was quickly wiped off - 33 of them before lunch. The score had reached 45 before Maudsley skied a ball from Bowden and was caught. At 61 Curley took a fine catch in Boucher's leg-trap to dismiss Carr. The wicket was slow and the light poor and Hammond was groping for a while but soon he was scoring with complete assurance as was Rudd. Rain put an end to play for the day at the tea interval when the score was 129-2, Rudd 54 and Hammond 35. As there are no covers in College Park play had to be held up until 12:30 pm on the third morning. A new wicket was cut, the old one now being a mud-heap. Rudd and Hammond carried on until they had added 101 in all and then Rudd fell to a catch at deep extra cover. He had made 73 in attractive style. Holmes came in and both he and Hammond sought runs quickly. In 63 minutes they added 73 runs and then, at 2:35 pm, Holmes declared. Hammond's innings of 92 not out was a fine effort. He hit four towering sixes over long-on - one of which long-on almost caught. All of these were off Ingram and were hit on the rise. The field was very slow and this to a large extent accounts for the fact that Hammond hit only two fours. His off-side placing was very good but, as usual, he made little attempt to score on the leg-side. It is a pity that the greatest English batsman since Hobbs was denied the opportunity of completing a century in what might well prove to be his last first class match. The sporting declaration gave Ireland's 3 hours to get 199 and it took Bergin exactly 50 minutes to open his score but once he started he was very confident and with Martin was just getting to grips with the clock when Martin was run out. Bergin called for a run before the ball had passed the fieldsman, who then collected the ball and easily ran Martin out.

Pollock had been bowled at eight and two wickets were down for 54. Armstrong came in and 76 more were added but all the time one felt that the scoring rate should be better. The signal came to go quicker but Bergin was bowled in the attempt. His 57 was the innings of a sheet-anchor and Ireland must be thankful to have such a man in her team. Armstrong was bowled as 134. Now 65 were required with five wickets in hand because Ingram. too, had left for a "duck" while attempting to hit out. Warke and Curley rose to the occasion and added 37 quick and some of them exceedingly sharp runs. Curley was bowled by Mallett, who was now bowling very well, for 23. 171-6. Boucher came in requiring one run for his thousand runs in international cricket. He got this off his first ball, amid acclamation, and then the struggle was on again.

At 178 Warke lifted a fierce drive well wide of extra cover. Chesterton ran to his right and clutched the speeding ball in his two hands as he rolled over and over. It was this catch that prevented Ireland from winning. Boucher and Gill were now together and 21 runs were wanted. 13 of these had been made when, 10 minutes from time, Boucher was most unfortunately run out. The bowler had to cross him to get to the ball and this slowed Boucher for a moment and he was run out by a small margin. Worse was to follow. At 195 Bowden followed up and called a run as soon as Gill hit the ball. Had Gill run he undoubtedly would have been run out so he sent Bowden back and Bowden failed to regain his ground in time. Millar came in and by this time the last over had been called and four runs were required. Off the fourth ball Gill scored a single. Millar missed the fifth ball which the wicket-keeper took and the last ball hit him on the fingers and the match ended in a draw. It may be argued that Gill was unwise to expose Millar to the last two balls but it looked as if two runs would be possible off the fourth ball but it was quickly cut off behind the bowler and only a single could be taken. Mallett must be praised for his bowling at the end of the game. He bowled very intelligently in the crisis and his figures were 15-4-29-4

College Park, Dublin