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Match Report
Derek Scott

SF Bergin was not available for this game. The team played as selected.

A disappointing match for Ireland. Set to make 113 to win off an attack from which they had made 168-6, they collapsed badly and were all out for only 75. This gave MCC their second win in 12 games at Lord's since the series began in 1925.

A crowd larger than had watched the Middlesex v Notts game the previous day were delighted by the display of Ireland on the first day. The day ended with the visitors 13 runs in front of the MCC with four wickets in hand. The MCC batted on a soft wicket which took spin slowly. The first four wickets fell for 24 runs and MCC never really recovered. The bowling of Kenny and Ingram had edge and aggressiveness and by lunchtime MCC had lost seven wickets for 72. Only Wyatt of the early batsmen gave any trouble and he batted 85 minutes for his 25 runs. It was an unrivalled performance of ruthless patience. He was caught at slip off an Ingram leg break that lifted slightly. Other notable victims of the morning's play were Bird, the Worcestershire captain, bowled playing over the top of a beautiful in swinger from Ingram, and Manners, lbw, using his pads instead of the bat.

After lunch Sims and young Nicholls from the Lords groundstaff put up the best stand of the innings, taking the score from 65 to 127. Both batted very well but on the whole there were few strokes in the innings that were worth recalling. Nicholls swept Ingram to leg three times a la Compton and Wyatt pulled a full toss into the crowd at mid-wicket where a gentleman in a grey suit made a delightful catch. The bowling and fielding of the Irish team were first rate and one got the impression of a concerted attack. Except for a four over spell by Wilson (which broke the Sims-Nicholls partnership) Ingram bowled unchanged into the wind from the Nursery end. He cleverly mixed the in swinger and the leg roller but was never mastered. Kenny, Webb and Boucher were all steady at the other end. Kenny, by taking wickets in his first and third overs, gave the side a great start. Boucher, happily, returned to form in what must be his last game at Lord's. Webb's accuracy was invaluable. In the field Haughton casually plucked a one-handed catch out of the air at deep mid-on, and the newcomer, Jaffey, kept a competent wicket.

In spite of Jacobson's dismissal off the third ball of the innings, Ireland's rate of strike was always in front of the clock. Pollock knocked up 25 in 20 minutes and O'Maille showed us that he knew the technique of an opening batsman. In the 50 minutes to tea 52 runs were scored. For 15 minutes after tea there was a harlequinade of pulling and cutting until O'Maille got too far under a long hop and was caught at long leg. He had made 32 out of 82 added for the stand. Wilson was unfortunately run out for six and Ingram was caught at slip for eight. Pollock, meanwhile, had raced to his 50 in 95 minutes, but now he rightly reduced his tempo in order to keep one end safe. Haughton, lucky to survive his first ball from Sims, drove and cut 25 runs in 20 minutes. He hit three successive fours off White and was bowled by the fourth ball. Warke came in and just when it looked as if he and Pollock would see the day out the latter was dismissed. Sims came back to bowl the last over of the day. Pollock came down the wicket to his second ball and was stumped. His 82 in 145 minutes was an intelligent and valuable innings, marred by only one stumping chance when he was 74. His 10 fours came from short arm pulls and hammer blow cuts. This innings, together with Ingram's bowling, put Ireland in a position to win an international cricket match for the first time since Scotland were beaten at Belfast in 1949.

There was rain overnight but a hot sun shone from early morning. Pollock declared Ireland's innings closed at the overnight score of 168-6, a lead of 13. One presumes that he did not wish to bat on the drying wicket but, rather, to wait and bat when it became easy again in the afternoon. Pollock assessed the wicket correctly but his batsmen let him down. Set to get 113 to win they failed lamentably before the medium-pace in swingers of Dowling (born in Kilkenny) and the lef-breaks and googlies of Sims.

A redeeming feature of the game was the bowling. The pattern of the Irish bowling in the second innings was similar to that of the first. Ingram, unchanged, bowled into the wind while Kenny, Webb and Boucher shared the other end. Words cannot describe Ingram's magnificence from the Nursery end. He bowled for 3 hours and took 3-29 in 38.3 overs. In the match overall he took 8-85 in 72 overs - including his 150th wicket for Ireland (that of Sims). Ingram is now bowling more leg breaks than in swingers and is a better bowler as a result.

Boucher again bowled very well and, on this form, he is by no means the "spent force" that many Dublin cricket followers think him to be. Kenny, as usual, picked up a few wickets, and Webb contributed by getting Blake, even if it was with a bad ball. The fielding was again high-class and one must give special mention to O'Maille, Haughton and Warke in this department. The MCC scored at an ever diminishing rate. They scored 40 in the first hour, 35 in the second and 28 in the third. The wicket was never really difficult in that the ball did not come at varying heights, so all credit must go to the four Irish bowlers for this slow rate of run getting. After two wickets had fallen for 22 runs, Bird and Wyatt (back from Leicester after selecting the England team) came together in a partnership of stately leisureliness and unwavering watchfulness. Neither could force the ball away and their 47 run stand lasted 70 minutes. Then Bird was caught at square short leg by Warke off Boucher and numbers 5 to 11 gave no trouble. Wyatt, 60, was ninth out at 122 having "a go". O'Maille taking a good catch at very wide mid-on.

Ireland had to get 113 to win. Jacobson hit a four off Dowling and was then lbw for the second time in the match - offering no stroke on this occasion. O'Maille was late with his stroke and was yorked at 21. Pollock, on whom so much now depended, was lbw at 32 and both Wilson and Haughton were bowled. At tea the score was 42-5 - and Dowling had taken all the wickets. Six runs later Sims took a wicket when he trapped Warke in front. A ray of hope followed in the shape of an 18 run partnership between Ingram and Boucher. Once Ingram left, bowled with his head up at 66, one knew there was no real hope. Simms deceived both Jaffey and Webb in one over with googlies and Dowling finished the innings by bowling Boucher who tried to turn a straight ball to leg. Dowling and Sims had bowled well but a touch of Irish overconfidence was probably the real explanation for the collapse.

This was G Wilson's last game for Ireland. In the nine matches he played he averaged 17.27 runs. He was a stylish but somewhat unlucky player.