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Match Report
Derek Scott

This match was played under foul weather conditions which prevented any play until nearly 2 PM on the first day and allowed no play at all on the third day, by which time Ireland required seven runs with three wickets in hand to avoid an innings defeat. The feature of the match was Sir Leonard Hutton's first appearance in Ireland and his innings of 89. Hutton was England's captain between 1952 and 1955 and he was successful in his two campaigns against the Australians. He made over 40,000 runs in first-class cricket. GH Chesterton was again captain of MCC and Blake Murray Rudd Bedford and Norton had all played here before. MH Bushby was the Cambridge Blue of 1952-54 (and captain in 1954); OJ Wait, a seam bowler was a Cambridge Blue in 1949 and 1951; and AR Duff, batsman and leg spinner, was a current Oxford Blue. DB Carr, the Derbyshire Captain, had to cry off due to injury. For Ireland R Bernstein, the young Merrion fast bowler, was given his first cap and did very well. WR Hunter and WI Lewis were dropped and PA Neville was brought in. So, for the first time this season, O'Riordan had a genuine opening bowler partner.

Despite the covers no play could start until 1:50 PM. The bowlers run ups were still very wet and the outfield very slow due to the long grass that could not have been cut due to the rain of the previous few days. McCloy and O'Maille opened and put on 20 in almost an hour. Blake gave McCloy a life behind the wicket and very soon Norton, slow left arm, was on at the Pavilion end and he bowled unchanged until tea at 4:15 PM. At 20 O'Maille hit a full toss from Wait to Bedford at square leg. McCloy had made 21 and appeared well set when he cut Norton to Duff at first slip with the total on 35. Two balls later Neville was bowled. Warke made 15 in 25 minutes before being caught at square leg off Norton. The score was now 57-4 and just before tea Bedford bowled Martin whose 22 took 80 minutes. None of the remainder offered much resistance except Hope who showed good judgement in making 21 in about 35 minutes. The innings ended at 5:30 PM for 105, scored in 200 minutes. 76 overs were bowled and Norton took 6-57 in 35 overs.

This may have been slow scoring but MCC only scored 13 runs in 45 minutes to close of play. Hutton took 35 minutes to open his score and finished with three not out. Bernstein bowled five overs for only one run and clean bowled Blake at nine and beat Hutton at least once. On the second morning Ireland dropped a number of catches which, had they been held, MCC's lead would have been only very small, if, indeed, they managed to lead at all. O'Riordan opened with three maidens and had Murray well held by O'Maille at square leg off the first ball of the fourth over. Bushby came in and 49 were added in the next hour, but Hutton was twice dropped off Duffy - once by Huey at mid-off and, two balls later, by McCloy in the gully. O'Maille gave Bushby a life on an easy chance at mid-on off Hope whom Bushby proceeded to hit for two sixes. Bushby was caught by Martin at long on off Huey at 69 but Duff and Hutton were still there at lunch when the score was 106-3 - 93 having been added in two hours. Hutton had made his 50 in 2 hours.

The first over after lunch McCloy dropped Duff in the gully off Duffy. Then Warke bowled four overs which give away 22 runs and this seemed a grave tactical error on Huey's part. At 149 Hutton was stumped off Huey after making 89 in 3 hours. Many of the shots would have gone for four but for the slow outfield - in fact he hit only four fours. A few minutes after Hutton's dismissal O'Riordan and Bernstein took the new ball and between them finished the innings for a further 34 runs. After bowling 15 overs O'Riordan had conceded only nine runs and in the end he took 4-21 in 19.2 overs and Bernstein 4-23 in 19 overs. More use should have been made of the two quick bowlers.

After tea Ireland began with a deficit of 78 to make up. In fact they never did so. An appeal against the light was upheld at 6:25 PM when the Irish score was 71-7. At 16 O'Maille padded up to Chesterton and was LBW and, next over, Bedford brilliantly caught McCloy at backward short leg off Wait. Martin made 16 quickly but at 38 he was bowled by Chesterton. Bedford had come on for Wait and had Warke LBW as 49 and bowled Neville - driving - at 60. O'Riordan and Bernstein fell to Norton who had relieved Chesterton leaving Duffy and Huey together at the end. Perhaps mercifully the third day's play was washed out!

MCC, minus Hutton, then played NICC at Ormeau to celebrate the centenary of North and MCC won by 104 runs

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