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Match Report
Derek Scott

The West Indians arrived in Belfast fresh from a 10 wicket victory in the First Test at Old Trafford. Their captain, FM Worrell, their great all-rounder, GStA Sobers and their fast bowler WW Hall did not travel to Ireland. Five of the victorious Test team played - Carew, Murray, Griffith, Butcher and Hunte who captained the team in Ireland. Valentine was the only survivor of the West Indies team who had played in Belfast in 1957. For Ireland B Donaghy, CJM Kenny, MH Stevenson and SSJ Huey were not available. R Matier, a left-handed batsman, was a new cap and WR Hunter played for the first time since 1961, having toured South Africa with the Rugby Lions in 1962. WI Lewis was also recalled and the survivors of the 1957 match in Belfast were Bergin and Duffy.

The match unfortunately was ruined by rain which prevented any play after lunch. This was very bad luck for the Irish Cricket Union because the morning's gate was 250 which probably would have been trebled. But what a two hours of cricket there was! 209 runs were scored for the loss of four wickets. Carew and McMorris took strike at 11:30 AM in cloudy warm weather on a good wicket which was not ultrafast. The first three overs brought only singles and then McMorris straight drove Ferguson for 4 to start what ultimately became a run riot without, in any way, becoming wild slogging.

Carew, a left-hander, was a splendid leg side player and McMorris got most of his runs with a straight bat - using the drive in an arc between mid-on and cover point. In an hour 88 were scored, Carew 41 and McMorris 44, and ultimately the opening stand reached 109 in only 75 minutes before both openers were out at the same score. Carew mistimed an on-drive and was caught by Ferguson at wide mid-on while McMorris did not quite get to the pitch of McQuilken and Lewis at deep mid-off took a good catch.

S Nurse and B Butcher (soon to score a century in the Lord's Test) kept the score moving and after 90 minutes 135 had been scored. At this point Duffy came on and his second ball lifted a little and Nurse was caught at slip by Lewis. C Hunte joined Butcher and a further 33 were scored in 20 minutes. Then Hunte leapt down the wicket to McQuilken, missed, and was stumped. D Allan joined Butcher and there followed a fierce onslaught on the Irish bowling by Butcher. In the 10 minutes remaining to the lunch interval 41 runs were scored of which Allan made one. Butcher hit Duffy for four wonderful fours in one over - 2 to the off and 2 to leg - and completed 50 in 37 minutes. Butcher then turned his attention to McQuilken. He hit him for 6 to mid-wicket and for three fours to different parts of the field. It was all done by perfect footwork and timing and with no fuss or apparent effort.

Ireland's bowlers did their best. They did not bowl short but the West Indian batsmen seemed to be able to improvise shots for every ball regardless of length. The fielding on a bumpy outfield was quite good and no catches were dropped. The whole thing was an exhilarating performance and what a pity the crowd could not have seen more of it.

Ormeau, Belfast