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Match Report
Derek Scott

For this match CJM Kenny and NC Cantwell were not available. The team as selected actually played. R O'Brien (Cambridge University) and MA Edgar (Oxford University) were not available for the whole season.

GH Chesterton, on his fourth successive visit, captained this MCC team. It included the former Worcestershire captain, RE Bird, and recent Varsity Blues in Knightly-Smith, Fellows-Smith and Delisle. Bedford, who had bowled us out at Lord's last season, was also included. Ireland restored Huey and Pollock to the team.

On the first day 21 wickets fell for 213 runs and MCC led by 117 with nine wickets in hand. The wicket was very soft and each time the ball landed a piece came out. By the time Ireland batted the whole top was knocked off the wicket and Chesterton bowled Ireland out for 48. In 15.4 overs he took 7-14, mostly with away swingers which jumped from a length. The MCC innings lasted three hours and, with the exception of some hitting by Fellows-Smith was not very attractive. For Ireland Warke opened the bowling with Ferris to Knightly-Smith and Bird. In his second over Warke had Bird caught at second slip. 9-1-1. Delisle came in and the score was slowly taken to 33. Fee had come on with his off spinners when the score was 20. Delisle hit in the air to deep mid-off. Warke misjudged the catch and then held it with his right hand over his head! 33-2-14. JMA Marshall came in now but, at 54, the awkward looking Knightly-Smith was well caught at short leg by Pollock. He had made 27 out of 54 scored in 1 hours. In this period Fee had a spell of seven successive maidens.

Murray-Wood (the former Kent captain) joined Marshall but both were out before lunch. Murray-Wood was bowled by Fee while Marshall was caught by Pollock at short leg. The latter had batted an hour for 12. The lunch score was 80-5, with Fellows-Smith and Stevenson in. 45 minutes after lunch the innings was over. In that time 53 were scored while Fee and Huey shared the attack. At 95 Stevenson was caught at the wicket off Fee. Whitcombe then helped Fellows-Smith to add 23 for the seventh wicket before being caught at leg slip by Martin. In the space of 10 balls Pollock took three fine catches at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Featherstonhaugh, Fellows-Smith (a six and three fours) and Chesterton. Fee was the bowler in each case and he finished with figures of 7-56. This was virtually his debut as he only bowled two overs in the rain-ruined Sussex match. Pollock took five catches in the innings to set up an Irish record. MCC were rather lucky to reach 135. After lunch they went for the bowling and many mis-hits fell just out of harms way. IBJ Wilson bowled his slow medium left armers for the first time for Ireland in this match. He was inclined to over pitch and was lucky to have mostly bowled at the careful Knightly-Smith.

After being 23-1, Ireland soon became 32-9. Chesterton bowled unchanged from the Pavilion end. Martin and Bergin put on 15 then Bergin was caught by Bird at leg -slip. Warke, Pollock and Neville were all out to close catches off Chesterton with the total at 23. Tea was taken with the total at 25-4. On resumption Martin was caught in the gully at 26. He had batted 65 minutes for six. Fellows-Smith and Chesterton disposed of the tail, the only bright spot being a stand of 16 for the last wicket between Wilson and Ferris. Wilson became top scorer with 12. Nine catches were taken - most of them excellent. In one spell of 15 balls Chesterton took 4-0 and in a spell of 63 balls had 6-4

MCC, with an hour to bat, had a lead of 87. Knightly-Smith and Bird went slowly and by 6:20 PM had put on 25. Fee had opened with five maiden overs and in his sixth over he had Bird caught at short square leg. 25-1-19. Bedford came in as "night watchmen" and was four not out at the end. Knightly-Smith was seven not out after an hour. The score was 30-1 at the close.

Heavy rain and a soaked wicket delayed play until 3:17 PM on the Monday. Fee bowled unchanged from the Pavilion end and took a further seven wickets thus equalling Huey's two-year-old record of 14 wickets in a match. Wilson dropped an easy catch at extra-cover from the number 11 Chesterton. Wilson then added to Fee's ire by taking Chesterton's wicket in his next over thus depriving the off-spinner of a new record. After only scoring 30 runs in an hour the previous day MCC now went more quickly and in an hour until tea made 50 for the loss of Bedford, for 20, and Knightly-Smith, for 17. Delisle and Marshall were together at tea but shortly afterwards the score became 85-4 when Marshall was bowled by Wilson, who thus took his first wicket for Ireland. At 92 Delisle, who was playing very well, was run out when Fellows-Smith failed to respond to his call for an easy single. Murray-Wood and Stevenson stayed while Fellows-Smith hit. In one over from Wilson the burly Fellows-Smith swept two sixes into the trees. Fee, however, kept pitching the ball up and had Murray-Wood out at 106, caught at slip, Stevenson at 126, caught at extra cover, Fellows-Smith at 132, caught at short leg, and Featherstonhaugh at 132, caught at deep mid-wicket, Pollock's sixth catch in the game. Then came Wilson's dropped catch. Next over Chesterton was caught at the wicket and the innings ended at 137. Fee had figures of 7-44 in 28 successive overs. The drying damaged wicket gave him both lift and turn.

Ireland set out to make 225 to win at 5:45 PM on the second evening. No one gave them much hope on this wicket against the quickish attack of Chesterton, Whitcombe and Fellows-Smith. In fact they got 202 in what was a very creditable performance. Bad light stopped play at 6:17 PM when Ireland were 13-0. Bergin was six not out and are thus recorded his 1000th run in international cricket. It was his 23rd game.

Play began at 11 AM on the third day and it was not until 12:25 PM that a wicket fell. The stand achieved 61 runs before Martin pulled a short ball to Stevenson who made a good catch at backward square leg. Chesterton could not extract the same life from the pitch as on Saturday while the wicket in no way suited Bedford's leg-spin. In 15 overs bowled in two spells the latter conceded 49 runs. However Bergin should have been stumped off his googly before adding to his overnight score. It was Whitcombe who got Martin's wicket and 72 he also bowled Bergin. Martin had made 33 in 110 minutes, and Bergin 28 in 136 minutes. Two overs later Whitcombe had Pollock caught in the gully. Thus the former captain had two batting failures. Neville joined Warke and both scored freely off Marshall and Bedford although Whitcombe was very steady at the other end. The lunch score was 109-3. 116 were still required in a possible 170 minutes.

After lunch nine runs were added then Neville drove Chesterton and saw Bedford at deep mid-on make a wonderful two-handed catch while leaping in the air. Neville had played Bedford well but did not look safe against the quicker bowlers. 118-4-17. At 122 Lewis was caught at second slip off Chesterton. This was a disaster which swung the game definitely toward an MCC win. Fawcett stayed with Warke who was now batting well but at 147 both were out. Chesterton got one to lift and Warke was caught by Bird at second slip. He had made 46. It was a good innings after he had given a chance very early on. Bird caught Fawcett at first slip off Fellows-Smith with the total unchanged. Now Huey and Wilson were together. Wilson hit very well and in 45 minutes 31 runs were added for the eighth wicket. Whitcombe had come on again for Chesterton and he it was who had Wilson caught in the gully by Stevenson. 176-8-18.

College Park, Dublin