CricketEurope Ireland logo
Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Again G Wilson was unavailable for selection. There were two changes as compared with the team as selected. RI Gill (for what proved to be his last Irish cap) and SSJ Huey replaced E Ingram (who had been selected as captain) and FM Quinn. JS Pollock took over the captaincy from Ingram.

This was a dull game which had to be abandoned at 1:10 pm on the second day due to a downpour. The only redeeming feature of the match was Donald Shearer's century. Shearer had been out of the side since 1947. He had returned for the South African games and has scored 15 runs in four innings. There was much criticism when he was selected to go to Lords but he answered his critics by becoming the first member of an Irish team ever to score a century at the Mecca of Cricket. Ingram had injured himself and Pollock captained the team for the first time. MCC won the toss and batted drearily for four hours to total 192-8. Aird spent 126 minutes over 30 runs but de Saram compensated by making an attractive 36 in an hour. He and Aird put on 53 for the second wicket - the best stand of the innings. Skinner, at number five, concentrated deeply and scored exactly 50 in one and three-quarter hours before Boucher bowled him. Boucher took a wicket with his first ball and, in all, took 5-74 in 33 overs on a soft slow wicket.

At tea Aird declared and in the remaining two hours Ireland made 98-4. The start was unhappy. McCloy was bowled by Deller after taking a boundary off him. Pollock followed but was not destined to stay long. He gave a sharp chance to slip and was then bowled by a good ball from Deller - a young Middlesex fast bowler. Bergin had been very confident right from the start and when Shearer came in the score began to move along quickly. 56 were added in 46 minutes and Shearer hit Sims, the former England leg-break bowler, for 10 in one over. The partnership ended abruptly at 78 when Bergin pulled a shortish ball from Sims to short square leg where Aird made a good catch. 8 runs later MH Stevenson - the Cambridge Blue - was out for a duck - a sad debut. He attempted a big hit off Thompson and committed the sin of lifting his head. Shearer and Gill played out time. Shearer was 40 not out scored in 80 minutes. He had batted very well after a few narrow shaves early on when he attempted to make strokes before really settling down.

The next day was made memorable by Shearer's century. Play began at 11 am and the policy was to get a first innings lead as quickly as possible and then declare. The declaration was made at 12:40 pm which meant that 102 runs had been scored in 100 minutes. Shearer's share of these runs was 61 so that in all he made 101 not out in three hours. It was a splendid innings without a chance which went to hand. This great player proved that he was not a spent force. He produced many beautiful shots which revived again his pre-war glory. He hit one 5 and nine 4's - none better executed than a straight drive off Deller which took from 92 to 96. Gill was run out when Shearer was 99, Shearer's only mistake! Boucher batted in a gay mood and 49 were added in 43 minutes. The total was 148-6 when Boucher was out and 45 were still required for a lead. Armstrong put the matter beyond doubt by staying while 36 were added. With Bowden at the wicket the lead was obtained, Shearer got his century and finally the 200 went up. Pollock declared and the MCC were 11 for 0 wicket when the rain came and further play was impossible.

The MCC had in their side Sims and Young, both of whom were Middlesex and England bowlers. Thompson and Deller were also Middlesex professionals. FC de Saram was a Blue and well-known in Ceylon cricketing circles while RJO Meyer is a former Somerset captain.