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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

EA Clark captained MCC in this match. He won the toss and stage-managed the match beautifully. The finish was exciting, Ireland needing four more runs to win at the end of what virtually became two one-day matches. The sun shone, the wicket was good but too near the Tavern boundary. Ireland had to send for J Harrison when O'Riordan and Harper were unfit to play. Hughes was left out and Monteith took over the captaincy. MCC had three Notts players, CEB Rice (a brilliant South African all rounder), RA White and DR Doshi, an Indian slow left armer. Latchman had played for Middlesex against Ireland in 1966.

Norman and Day opened to Ireland's only two seam bowlers, Corlett and Elder. Corlett bowled Day in his fourth over. 9-1-4. While Norman played quietly, Rice began at once to hit boundaries, including a six off Halliday over the short mid-wicket boundary. Halliday came on with the total at 22 at the Pavilion end and was hit for 36 in six overs. With the total on 63 Monteith came on for Corlett at the Nursery end. Rice hit him for six over extra cover into the Mound stand. Monteith switched ends and Anderson bowled three overs. Rice went to 52 out of 89 in 61 minutes. 100 came up in even time in 31 overs. Elder returned and bowled Norman for 45 scored in two hours. Lunch came at 1:15 PM after 31 overs, with the total on 139 for 2, Rice 81 Clark three. In an hour after lunch Ireland bowled 19 more overs. MCC scored 65 runs and then declared. As 156 Monteith deceived Rice and had him stumped for 93. He batted in a Barry Richards like manner for 170 minutes with three sixes and 10 fours. Groves was caught behind off Corlett at 183 and when Clark was LBW to Corlett at 204 he declared. Ireland bowled their overs quickly and Corlett, Elder and Monteith did a good containment job.

Ireland had three hours to bat. In that time MCC bowled 58 overs, all but 16 of them by the spinners. Ireland began badly losing three wickets for 55. Anderson and Harte staged a recovery. When MCC found they could not break through they tried to make sure Ireland came up level before close of play so that a declaration would be made. Anderson scored a very brilliant century in the midst of all this strategy. It was his fifth for Ireland, thus breaking RH Lambert's record of four.

All went well for Ireland for an hour. O'Brien opened with Short with Smith scheduled to go in at number six. 38 runs were scored when Latchman, the leg spinner, came on just before tea. O'Brien played too soon at a leg spinner and was caught low to the right by Clark at slip. 38-1-12. Tea was now taken. Harrison hit the first ball after tea to square leg for four. The next was a high full toss which he top edged to Doshi at square leg. Anderson now arrived at 4:37 PM. By 6:30 PM he was 103 not out! At 55 he lost Short who was caught and bowled by Latchman for 21. Harte came in at 4:54 PM. 34 more overs were bowled in the remaining 96 minutes, all by Latchman, Doshi and White. The latter conceded 45 runs in seven overs of off spinners. The stand realised exactly 150 runs of which Harte's supporting role share was 42 not out. 100 came up at 5:30 PM. Anderson hit two successive fours to wide long-on off White to go to 52 in 75 minutes, with the score at 138. Next over came two more fours, to square leg and then a lovely high straight hit. White was then hit square into the Mound.

When 74 and the total 162, Anderson was dropped by Latchman at backward short leg off White. Next over from Latchman saw Harte (28) missed on a stumping chance by the young ground staff wicketkeeper, P.Morris. Anderson finally saw White off with another six to the Mound stand. Harte now saw to it that Anderson got strike to complete his century. This he did with a single in the last over, bowled by Doshi. The second 50 had come in only 35 minutes In all he batted 113 minutes with two sixes and 10 fours. Harte's secondary and unselfish role was all-important. He was missed again at 180, when 32, by Clark at first slip off Latchman.

Ireland duly declared next morning. Rice opened with Day and saw the latter run out by Harte from mid off at one. Groves came next and, at 35, Corlett bowled him for 17 when he tried to pull a ball too near to him. Monteith replaced Corlett at 57. At 81 he got Clark who played on from outside off stump. Rice, again in great form, went to his 50 in 84 minutes 100 came up in 95 minutes in the 26th over. Elder's 10 overs cost 41 and Corlett came back for him. At 115 Rice mishit Corlett and lobbed the ball to Harte at short mid-wicket. At lunch, MCC were exactly the same number of runs as on the first day, 139, but Ireland bowled five less overs. White was 27 and Latchman 12. White and Latchman added 54 in all. 30 came in 38 minutes after lunch. Then Monteith bowled White for 42.

Halliday had come on before lunch with the total on 125 and he and Monteith bowled out the innings. Latchman, when 33, was missed at deep mid off from the bowling of Halliday. This was a hard chance. MCC then had a period where the policy seem to be "waste time but don't get too many runs". However, Ireland were keeping runs down by keen fielding. Halliday bowled Pigott at 196. Latchman brought up his 50 with a four which also brought up 200. Next ball was a full toss from Halliday which Latchman hit into Harte's midriff at mid-wicket. Latchman had batted for 98 minutes Wing skied Monteith in the next over. This gave Harte his third catch of the innings and at this point MCC declared.

Ireland now had 55 minutes to bat until tea, 55 minutes after tea plus a minimum of 20 overs to score 207 to win. The faster bowlers, Rice, Wing and Pigott got through 14 overs in the 55 minutes up to tea. In this period Ireland scored 13 for the loss of Short. He was bowled by Rice for two when the total was 14. Pigott and Latchman shared the bowling after tea. In the sixth over of this period, with the score now at 50, Harrison (16) was out to Latchman. This was a good catch at short mid-off by Rice who knocked the ball to his right and caught it. Enter Anderson with 33 minutes to go to the start of the final minimum 20 overs. White came on at 51 and a run out of O'Brien was badly missed when Pigott at gully threw badly to the bowler. At 5:15 PM the score had only got up to 59. Doshi replaced Latchman probably because the latter was too difficult to score off. Now the slog began but perhaps it could have started earlier. In the next six overs from Doshi, White and Latchman 44 runs were scored.

So Ireland were 103-2 after 31 overs, O'Brien 33, Anderson 37 (made in 33 minutes). Doshi bowled the first over of the final minimum 20. O'Brien failed to get to the pitch of the first ball and was caught by Rice in the covers. His 33 in 115 minutes was perhaps a bit too slow although a useful anchor innings. 103-3-33. 104 were now required and Corlett came next. Doshi and Rice shared the first six overs. The target was five runs an over. 29 had been scored after six overs and Anderson arrived at 50, with the total at 132, in 58 minutes White bowled the seventh over, of which eight were scored, so Wing came on for the ninth over and bowled to the end with Rice. The 10th over was a set-back for Ireland. It was a maiden and Corlett was out LBW. 155-4-22. Now 52 were needed off 10 overs. Smith came in. This surely was a mistake with Harte in such good form plus his running ability and improvisation of shot. However, the run rate was kept up, principally by Anderson's brilliant strokeplay and marvelous running. By now the boundaries were sealed off. After 15 overs the score was 182 with 25 required off five overs.

Then came a bad over for Ireland. Anderson took a single off Rice's first ball. Smith could not score off the next five. 24 were now needed off four overs. Five came from the 17th over, bowled by Wing. Now 19 off three were needed and it required a good over next. Four runs came but Anderson, cutting at the last ball, was caught at the wicket. 192-5-81. Anderson was in for 111 minutes for a chanceless 81. It did really only need one or two more blows from him to win. Now 15 had to be got from two overs. Monteith came in himself when again Harte seemed a better bet. Wing was hit for six but from three balls no runs were scored. Nine now were required off the last over from Rice. Despite much heaving and swinging the first four balls only produced a single each - some of them hair raising. Five now were needed off two balls. Monteith missed the fifth ball, but a single was taken to the wicket keeper. Smith heaved at the last ball but missed. The match finished at 7 PM, the 20 overs taking 90 minutes to bowl. Thus this tour of 9 days cricket in 10 ended on a note of high excitement.

After this match Jim Harrison announced his retirement from international cricket after 32 matches since 1969 in which he scored 1347 runs at an average of 25.41.