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Match Report
Derek Scott

For the actual team to play in this match MB Williams, in what proved to be his last Irish cap, replaced SSJ Huey from the team originally selected. L Armstrong was unavailable. ÈDR Shearer returned to the Irish team for the first time since 1947.

A crowd of 4500 saw an interesting first day's play, at the end of which Ireland had scored 159 and the South African reply stood at 60-4 - a very even position. Play could not begin until 11:57 am but from then on there were no interruptions although the weather was cold and damp. The South Africans won the toss and put Ireland in to bat but the wicket remained desperately slow all day and, generally speaking, nothing lifted more than stump high. The spinners toiled and spun with accuracy but little reward in the shape of help from the wicket. McCarthy, swinging appreciably, and Athol Rowan, whose length was impeccable, opened the bowling and scoring was slow. The first hour produced only 25 runs and a narrow escape for McCloy who was almost run out by Van Ryneveld. At 1:10 pm Mansell, a late-break bowler, came on and in his first over he pushed through a fast one and trapped Bergin in front. He had scored 18 out of 33. McCloy and Pollock were together at lunch when the score, after 93 minutes, was 37-1.

Just after lunch the visitors struck twice. McCloy was beaten playing back to Mansell while one run later, when the total was 45, Donald Shearer was yorked by left-hander "Tufty" Mann. Pollock was joined by Wilson and they put on 76 runs in a most attractive stand. Pollock's innings was very good and when he had scored 42 he had the satisfaction of completing 1000 runs in International cricket. Eric Rowan rang the changes among his bowlers and he himself picked up an excellent catch at close mid-off to dismiss Pollock off Mann. Pollock had made exactly 50 in just over two hours. Wilson followed almost at once when he played inside a ball from Athol Rowan which turned a good deal. Wilson, who scored 29, was perhaps a little prodding at the start but once he had settled down he met the ball firmly in the centre of his bat. This was Rowan's first wicket but in 26 overs he had yielded only 29 runs. After tea the Irish tail sought runs quickly but the execution was not as good as the intention. Martin was run out by yards when Ingram refused to launch himself on a suicidal run. Ingram made 10 and was bowled by Mann's quicker ball. Boucher was well held by McGlew behind the bowler. Williams hit a beautiful off-driven four off Mann but was soon bowled by the same bowler while Bowden was neatly taken in Rowan's leg-trap. The brunt of the bowling was shared by Rowan and Mann and both bowled with great accuracy.

65 minutes remained and the South Africans scored at a rate of almost one run a minute. Ingram took a valuable wicket when he had Eric Rowan lbw with the total on 11. McGlew, with a number of forcing strokes, and Endean seemed to be getting well on top of the bowling when Boucher bowled McGlew all ends up. 51-2-29. McCarthy came in as a night watchman but spooned the second ball he received from Boucher into Wilson's hands at mid-on. Then Bowden drew Endean forward and beat him with the break for Miller to stump him smartly. McLean and Cheetham played out time.

After gaining a lead of 14 on first innings the Irish batting collapsed and the second innings total was only 46. Requiring only 61 to win the South Africans ran out victors by eight wickets. When the South African first innings total was 67 Pollock ran out McLean and at 78 Van Ryneveld should have been caught by Wilson at short leg. In itself this did not prove a very costly error for wickets began to fall with a certain regularity, nevertheless Van Ryneveld batted well to the finish and remained undefeated for 37. At 79 Cheetham played across a good length ball from Boucher and was bowled for 11. At 95 Bowden took over from Ingram. Nine runs were hit off his first five balls but the last moved in sharply and bowled Mansell. Neither Waite nor Athol Rowan stayed long and the score was 117 for nine. Then followed an exciting race for first innings lead. Van Ryneveld and Mann put on 28 and only required another 15 when Boucher got Mann leg-before. Ingram, as usual, closed up one end conceding only 29 runs in 21 overs while Boucher and Bowden took the wickets. The fielding was inclined to be untidy with the notable exceptions of Pollock, Bergin and Miller.

Ireland's second innings collapse permits of no valid excuse. They were simply bundled out by excellent bowling supported by superb fielding on a wicket that was, perhaps, taking spin a little faster than on the previous day but yet not fast enough particularly to aid the bowlers or to make the batsman's life a misery. Athol Rowan bowled throughout the innings and took 7-23 in 22 overs. Mann took over at the other end after McCarthy had bowled two overs and only 15 runs came from his 20 overs, which included 13 maidens. In one spell Mann bowled 13 overs for four runs. Bergin left just after lunch when the score was only three. He touched one of Rowan's off breaks (which to Bergin was a leg-break) and was caught at first slip. After lunch McCloy, Pollock and Ingram patiently and soundly attempted to find some way to get this relentlessly accurate bowling through a tightly packed field. Where they failed the remainder could do no better. The South Africans went after the necessary 61 runs with dispatch and in 46 minutes they had won by eight wickets. McLean had a very bright knock making 35 not out in half-an-hour including a massive 6 to mid-wicket off Boucher.

Ormeau, Belfast