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Match Report
Derek Scott

For the second successive year Surrey came to Dublin, this time to Castle Avenue. The visit was to celebrate the centenary of the 1879 match. A plaque commemorating the centenary was presented to the Surrey Captain (RDV Knight) by the ICU President, (NC Mahony) at a dinner in Elm Park Golf Club on the first night of the match. Rain ruined the game although both sides did their best to manufacture a contest on the second day. Ireland brought in RI Johnston for his first cap to replace DW Harrison. Johnston (30) had scored 89 in a recent Guinness Cup Match and could bowl a bit. Surrey had seven newcomers including ST Clarke, a young West Indian Test fast bowler; P I Pocock, the former England Test off spinner (he had played for MCC against Ireland in 1967) and GS Clinton, a recent signing from Kent. M Stewart, the former England batsman and captain of Surrey's 1971 Championship winning team was now Manager. Rothmans sponsored the match (3000) and Aer Lingus flew the visitors in free of charge. This year Surrey were to finish third in the Championship and reached the Benson and Hedges Cup Final.

A lot of rain had fallen in the two days before the match. The tarpaulin covers leaked at one end. In spite of this the wicket played well and was kept covered whenever it rained. Only 160 minutes play was possible on the first day which was still and overcast. The crowd was almost non-existent! Clinton and Lynch negotiated 11 overs from Corlett and Elder. Monteith tried a few overs and Elder changed ends. Elder had bowled eight overs for 16 runs when rain stopped play with the score on 46-0 in 57 minutes (Clinton 20, Lynch 25). They did not resume for 93 minutes, until 2:30 PM. Johnston and Corlett bowled. Lynch increased the pace. At 82 Lynch, 48, was dropped by Anderson in the covers off Corlett, an easy chance. 100 came up in 111 minutes. With the total on 107, there was another 22 minute rain break. Previously, with the score on 105, both batsmen were out in successive overs from Corlett. Clinton (44) gave Smith a swirling catch at cover and Lynch spooned one to O'Brien at mid-on. Smith hit Monteith for six but at tea (148-2) it rained again and there was no more play for the day. Surrey declared at the end of this day.

The second day began 30 minutes late because more rain had got under the covers. Knight (ill) and Clinton (arm injury) did not field all day. They were replaced by M Stewart and M Whelan (Ireland's 12th man). Ireland batted badly and scored 77-7 off 41 overs, 29 of which were bowled by the spinners Pocock and Butcher. Short (3) was caught and bowled by Jackman. At 12 there was an 18 minutes rain break. Pocock appeared and had Reith (8) caught at the wicket at once. O'Brien hit him for two and a four but, at 28, was caught at short leg off bat and pad . Johnston faced 11 bowls without scoring. He then played a horrific shot at Butcher and was bowled. 29-4 was now the score. Anderson was playing steadily and the lunch score was 38-4, Anderson 15. Butcher bowled Smith (7) with the score on 54 and repeated the exercise on Anderson (22) at 59. Monteith hit about him but lost Corlett at 66. After being dropped at deep mid-on by Whelan (the Irish substitute) Monteith declared - 71 runs behind. Butcher, slow left-arm, had 3-18 in 14 overs.

Surrey set out to bat for about an hour to add to their lead and set Ireland a target in the last two hours. In 15 overs Surrey made 102-2! Surrey opened with Butcher and Jackman. The latter was caught at square leg off Elder at 16 and Richards holed out to mid-on, also off Elder, at 24. This brought in Clarke, the West Indian fast bowler. He batted for 34 minutes and hit three sixes and five fours. Corlett conceded 29 runs in four overs. Monteith replaced him. He should have had Butcher stumped second bowl. Then he was hit for 39 in four overs! The last over when to 1-6-6-2-6-4, the last 24 to Clarke who lost three balls with straight hits. Monteith had himself to blame. At 56 he missed a caught and bowled off Clarke.

After the Surrey declaration, Ireland had to get 174 to win in 65 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs. Roope kept wicket instead of Richards. Wilson and Smith bowled seven perfunctory overs before the spin came on. However, Smith had Reith caught at slip at 17. Pocock came on with the total on 18 and Butcher when it had reached 26. Short and O'Brien set about quick scoring. Short took 10 off a Butcher over to put up 52 in even time. Then six came off Pocock's next over. Clarke replaced Butcher and conceded six. Then he had Short caught at leg slip. 70-2-33. Monteith arrived at number four. 10 more were added. 104 had been required in the minimum 20 overs. Pocock changed ends and Butcher returned. At 80 however, Monteith caught O'Brien for an off side single which was "not on" and the latter was run out for 25. Monteith began to score quickly and the score rose to 96 in the ninth over of the final minimum 20. Then Anderson glanced Butcher to fine leg and ran two. When he arrived at the conclusion of the second run he found Monteith still there and was run out. Monteith's reply was to hit 2-2-2-6 off the last of four balls of that over. Now 64 were needed off 10 overs. Two overs later Monteith took another nine off a Butcher over. 53 were now needed in eight overs. However, the pace slackened. As 123 Pocock got Corlett caught at midwicket and Monteith caught at square leg off successive balls. Monteith's 39 came in 40 minutes with one six and four fours. The chase was now called off but Pocock in his next over bowled Smith. Now it was 123-7 with four overs of the final 20 still to go. Johnston and Halliday held on and Surrey squeezed in an extra over in which Johnston broke his duck in his first match.

Despite the weather the two teams had contrived to produce an enjoyable game. JF Short, in making 33, had arrived at exactly 1000 runs for Ireland in his 37th innings and 20th match. He was the 20th player to do so. His average is 27.77.

Castle Avenue, Clontarf