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Match Report
Derek Scott

As compared with the selected team L Warke and FJ Miller replaced G Wilson and V Craig.

As in 1950 the MCC paid us the compliment of sending a very fine side. FG Mann, FR Brown and RES Wyatt are all former England captains while SC Griffith has kept wicket for England in recent years. Marlar is the Cambridge captain for 1953 and Chesterton and Legard are former Oxford Blues. Kenny and Stevenson, the two Cambridge Blues, came into the Irish side - Kenny getting his first cap. Rain ruined the game but Ireland put up a better bowling display than at any time during the season. This was chiefly due to the introduction of Charles Kenny who proved a god-send as a user of the new ball and as a fast-medium stock bowler. He went through the MCC tail like a knife through butter.

The first day's play ended half an hour after lunch when Ireland had scored 104-5. For the first time this season (this was the seventh innings) the Irish opening pair had a stand running into double figures - 12. At the score Bergin was caught behind the wicket after a wretched shot off Hall, the fast bowler. Jacobson fell in similar fashion at 31 - Freddie Brown being the bowler. Pollock and Shearer were now together and both batted well. Pollock was more at ease than at any previous period this year and had made 34 in just over an hour when he attempted to sweep a full toss from Legard to fine leg. The ball swung in and Pollock was lbw although he appeared to have snicked the ball on to his pad. Stevenson was out in exactly the same fashion in Legard's next over - but there was no doubt about this decision. 70-4. Legard had taken two wickets off full tosses and poor Stevenson had been lbw for 0 in his two innings for Ireland to date. At 76 Shearer did not spot Marlar's top spinner, played for the off-break and was caught at the wicket for a patient 16. Lunch was then taken. Afterwards Ingram and Warke were doing nicely and had added 28 when rain finished the day's play.

The miserable weather of the second day was compensated for by interesting cricket. Ireland were all out for 166 and MCC got a lead of four runs on first innings. Ingram and Warke continued steadily until the score had reached 142. Then Warke was bowled by a full toss from Marlar after staying 75 minutes for 70. He was batting very well and the stand realised 66 runs. Without addition to the score Ingram was caught at deep square-leg by Legard off a short ball from Brown. His 35 was the top score of the innings and it was a pity to see him go out when batting so well. Huey, Boucher and Kenny were soon out and the total was 166. Brown's four wickets for 52 took him to within one wicket of the coveted 1000 runs and 100 wickets double - a goal he was not to achieve.

MCC opened with Griffith and Crouch and with the score at 17 Kenny got one up at Crouch who was caught by Shearer at short-leg. Blake, a left-hander, was badly fooled by Ingram who bowled three out-swingers to him and then turned one back to gain an lbw verdict. Griffith and Wyatt took the score along to 81, both playing very easily. Huey came on and Griffith hit his first ball in the air to deep mid-wicket where Jacobson made ground and took the catch. He had made 45 in 85 minutes and looked a very attractive batsman. Brown came in and hit very hard. He had two glorious sixes - straight drives off Huey. At 125 Wyatt was surprisingly out. He had batted 85 minutes for 40 and looked like going serenely on when he failed to get over an off drive off Huey and Kenny took a magnificent catch at short mid-off. It was high above his head and one-handed. Brown batted only 40 minutes for his 45 runs. He was caught low down at forward short leg by Shearer off Kenny. In the same over George Mann, who never looked comfortable, was caught at the wicket, nibbling at Kenny.

The tea interval was extended to 68 minutes by rain. Play began again at 5:12 pm. 17 minutes later at the MCC were all out for 170. Marlar was bowled by Ingram at 168. One run later Hall became the third MCC batsmen to be out "caught Shearer bowled Kenny". Next ball Legard was caught and bowled off a ball that lifted and Ingram bowled Shaddick in his next over. So from 151-4 the MCC were all out for 170.

At 5:40 pm Ireland began again and in the one over possible before the rain came Jacobson was struck on the side of the head when trying to hook Hall and he retired hurt. At 6:15 pm Bergin and Pollock returned to the wicket and paid out the remaining 15 minutes. The score at the close was six for no wicket. The third day was rained out so Brown was still one wicket short of the double and this was his last game of the season. From an Irish point of view the highlight of the match was Kenny's 5-65 in 20 overs. He bowled very well on his debut and one hopes that he will be available in future seasons. Ingram also bowled better than for some time and his 3-33 in 18.4 overs was invaluable support for Kenny.

This was Donald Shearer's last match for Ireland. A beautiful batsmen he played 32 games since 1932 and scored 1300 runs at an average of 23.21

College Park, Dublin