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Match Report
Derek Scott

From the team selected for this match PA Neville cried off and was replaced by WR Hunter.

This splendid game gave MCC their fourth successive victory at Lords. It bore a remarkable similarity to the 1935 match. In that game Ireland were set 192 to win in 120 minutes and they won. This year MCC required 191 to win in 115 minutes and they won. In all 935 runs were scored in 780 minutes throughout the match. MCC pitted two great players against Ireland. Sir Leonard Hutton captained the team. He was now in his 44th year and had retired in 1955. He captained England in Australia in 1954-55 when the Ashes were regained. He played 79 tests and scored 6971 runs, at an average of 56.67. His 80 in the first innings of this game, scored in 85 minutes, indicated no waning of his powers.

KR Miller, the Australian, was the greatest post-war all rounder. In 55 tests he scored 2958 runs and took 170 wickets. Miller, a great personality, was 39. The Maharajah of Baroda, manager of the Indian team then touring England, also played. GE Tribe, an Australian unorthodox left-arm bowler, regularly did the double over Northamptonshire. "Old friends" of Ireland also playing were GH Chesterton, GE Blake and MP Murray. MA Eagar played for Ireland in 1957. For Ireland Warke returned as captain and also back were GA Duffy, SSJ Huey and T McCloy. Quinn, Fee, Hunter and Finlay were left out. In fact Neville cried off and Hunter returned to make scores of 43 and 68 - both not out!

The weather and wicket were excellent and the outfield very fast when Warke won the toss. Miller and Chesterton opened the bowling but it was Kimmins who took the first wicket in his first over when he bowled Bergin. 22-1-11. McCloy was dropped by Tribe at slip off Kimmins when he was 18. He was, however, batting very well and he and Martin put on 83 in 65 minutes before Martin played on for a polished 35. Stevenson was in rollicking form and was severe on Tribe. He made 37 out of 59 in 45 minutes. He was bowled by Chesterton and lunch was then taken at 164-3. McCloy, Warke and Duffy was soon out after lunch and the score became 188-6. McCloy had made 73, by far his best innings to date for Ireland, and his first "50". O'Riordan played a gem of an innings just when it was needed. He made 34 and he and Hunter added 52 in 40 minutes. In the remaining 40 minutes to tea Hunter and Hope scored a further 36. Hunter was 43 not out including a 6. MCC's bowling was not very good. Chesterton was accurate but Tribe and Cable, the spinners, bowled badly.

MCC began sedately enough. O'Riordan bowled two maidens to Hutton and Warke bowled Murray in his first over. O'Riordan then became expensive and conceded 35 runs in his remaining seven overs. Blake made 17 out of 62 and then skied a full toss from Huey. A strangely subdued Miller came in but, in 35 minutes, 51 were added, mostly by Hutton who was very severe when Huey overpitched. In one over he made 17 off Huey but two overs later Huey bowled him when he was yards down the wicket. He had made 80 out of 117 in 85 minutes. Ireland's field placings were not good for the great man - we could well have had two extra covers on the boundary in the latter stages of his innings. Hope bowled Miller before another run was scored. In the remaining half hour 33 were scored, 24 of them to Baroda thus 6-4-4-4-2. He hit his first ball for six. The closing score was 150-4, Baroda 24 and Diment 8.

By 12:30 PM on the second day MCC had established a one run lead for the loss of one further wicket, that of Baroda who was bowled by O'Riordan for 34 as 176. Eager, 58, and Diment, 66, then added 101 in an unbroken sixth wicket partnership. Both were missed off stumping chances and, indeed, Colhoun had an unhappy match. Hope with 1-38 in 19 overs bowled very economically and might have been given more to do. Duffy bowled for the first time at 228 and bowled only four overs. The new ball was taken rather belatedly at 258. Hutton declared with his one run lead.

Ireland's second innings proved what a wonderful game of changing fortunes cricket can be. The start was disastrous. Bergen was bowled round his legs for two by Kimmins and at 11 McCloy nibbled at the same bowler and was caught at slip. Martin played on to Kimmins for the second time in the match and the lunch score was 41-3 with Stevenson 21 not out. The tactics had appeared to be to occupy the wicket as long as possible and hope for a draw. This was accentuated when five wickets went down for 60 years 3 PM. However, O'Riordan gave a splendid innings of 27 in only 25 minutes with four fours and a six and Duffy contributed a valuable, if Chancey, 25, but by 3:40 PM the score was 124-7. Things looked a bit brighter 35 minutes later at the tea interval when Ireland declared at 191-7. Hunter was responsible for this change of fortune. He rightly farmed the strike and scored 57 runs to Hopes six in an unfinished stand of 67 in 35 minutes. A great percentage of these runs came off Caple, the young off-spinner who conceded 96 runs in 15 overs. Hutton, perhaps, left him on in order to give the batsmen easy runs and thus encouraged a declaration but the flow of runs was probably greater than anticipated. 22 runs came off Caple's last over before tea, 19 of them to Hunter who finished with a six. He also hit eight fours in his 68 not out scored in 51 minutes. It should be mentioned that Tribe bowled consistently better in this innings taking 2-17 in 13 overs while Miller, mixing things as usual, took 1-15 in seven overs. Chesterton's 12 overs only cost nine runs. Bergen score of two bought his aggregate of runs to Ireland to 1629, one above E. Ingram. Now only RH Lambert, with 1995 runs, has scored more for Ireland. Bergen has played 62 innings to Lamberts 83. In this season's five Irish matches Bergin made 429 runs in 10 innings twice not out. He is the first player to exceed 400 runs in a season for Ireland.

MCC now required 191 in 115 minutes. O'Riordan bowled Murray in his second over, thus bestowing "a pair" on this player. In half an hour the score was 27 when Blake called Hutton for a run which was not possible to a man of 43. Bergen's return ran out Hutton for 15. This possibly lost Ireland the match! Miller came in and in 44 minutes hit 54 runs with a six and nine fours. Miller was very severe on O'Riordan and Huey and the partnership added 91 in those 44 minutes before Hope caught and bowled Miller. 40 minutes remained and 73 runs were required. Blake continued serenely to the end and took only justifiable risks. Baroda scored 18 (four fours and a two) in a stand of 32 in 22 minutes and Diment hit and ran splendidly in a 21 run stand in only seven minutes. Warke had to leave the field at 6 PM and Huey took over as captain. Panic however had set in and field placings were not as thoughtful as they might have been. Dement was bowled at 171 at 6:21 PM. Eager was run out for nought by Bergen and next ball Hope had Tribe LBW sweeping. Kimmins came in with one ball to face from Hope and time for two further overs. 15 runs were required. Kimmins snicked his first ball between bat and wicket for four. 11 were required when O'Riordan started the second last over. Three singles were scored and then Kimmins scored 2-4-2 to win the match. His four was a very difficult chance to Stevenson on the mid-wicket boundary and his winning two was not far from Duffy at long-on. The last half hour was played in great excitement with a small attendance cheering and the batsmen running to the wicket.

Ireland bowled 41 overs in the 115 minutes period and off only two overs were more than 10 runs scored, thus indicating the evenness of the MCC assault. Blake's innings of 75 not out was the kernel of the victory for his side and his generalship throughout the innings was superb. He hit 10 fours.