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Match Report
Derek Scott

The objective of this match was to play in central Belfast for the first time since 1971. This was achieved although very few people actually attended. Freddie Millett had managed the 1974-76-78 MCC teams in Ireland. He brought an MCC style team. He hoped to have a few stars but ended up with only HJ Rhodes, the ex-Derbyshire fast bowler, who played two Tests against India in 1959 and whose action became suspect; RMO Cooke who had played for Essex and HK More, the Scottish opening batsman. For Ireland Anderson was not available and DW Harrison was selected in his place. AV Smith cried off, due to business, and was replaced by T Harpur. The days of the match were overcast and cold. NICC's ground looked very well even if the pitch was not too good at one end. The rebuilt Pavilion was magnificent. British Airways again flew the visitors in free of charge.

Millett's team won the toss and batted. Johnston at first slip dropped More in Corlett's first over but Colhoun atoned with a fine diving right-handed catch in Corlett's third over. 10-1-4. Shippey and Cooke then put on 82 in 87 minutes with all four bowlers being tried, Halliday being the last with the score on 81. At 57 Harrison, at deep square leg, dropped a knee high catch off a Monteith full toss to let off Shippey (21). In his third over Halliday got one to bounce at the left-handed Shippey and Corlett took a diving catch at gully. 92-2-21. Cooke went to his 50 in 19 minutes and at lunch, taken after 37 overs, the score was 109-2, Cooke 57, Andrews 6. These two were both left-handers as was Cass due to come in at number five.

At 125 Andrews was run out by Corlett who threw the wicket down from a position in front of point when Cooke called a single. 125-3-7. Cass helped Cooke to add 55 at a run a minute. Cass was missed off a catch at mid-wicket off Corlett but was out in the same over. Before this, Cooke went to his century in 159 minutes and, with the total on 180, was caught at the wicket off Corlett for 104. This had come in 171 minutes with 14 fours and was chanceless. Vallance met the same fate at 188 and, in the same over, with the total on 191, Cass (24) was caught at short third man. Monteith had been sharing the bowling with Corlett and he had Honey caught off a skier with the total on 198. At this point Millett declared with perhaps a few less runs than he would have liked. Corlett had 4-52 in 25 overs. He had now reached 99 wickets for Ireland.

Reith and Short had 50 minutes batting before tea. Rhodes, with his somewhat suspect action, bowled seven overs for 13 runs. He clean bowled Reith with the total on 30. The score at tea was 45-1, Short 24, O'Brien 4. Andrews came on to bowl with his medium left arm, and bowled O'Brien at once with a yorker. 12 runs later he repeated this on Short (25). The next 27 overs up to close of play were bowled by Cooke (leg spin) Andrews, Bainbridge (slow left arm) and Millett (off spin) with Bainbridge bowling all the time. The field was mostly a run saving one. Harrison and Johnston scored 107 without being parted and Johnston was 30 minutes getting off the mark. It was "buns for the elephants" as Millett bowled Ireland up to a declaration total. Harrison seized his opportunity with both hands. He went to 50 in 89 minutes and was 74 not out in 101 minutes at the end. The less fluent Johnston was 42 not out. Millett bowled two of the last three overs in which he conceded 18 runs.

The second day was again overcast and cold. Ireland declared with a 34 run deficit in a day which was scheduled for 5 1/2 hours play. Elder bowled Shippey with his first ball and More left LBW to Corlett with the total on 20. This was Corlett's 100th victim for Ireland in his 23rd match and the 44th innings in which he bowled. With the total still on 20 Cooke was caught at third slip by Short off a slight lifter from Elder. Andrews and Cass then added 71 in 69 minutes with Corlett and Monteith doing most of the bowling. At 49 Colhoun, standing back, missed Andrews, then 7, off Elder. At 91 Corlett bowled Andrews for 32. By lunch the score was 105-4, Cass 49, Vallance 3 Halliday had come on at 99 and he was now to take four of the last six wickets for 16 runs in 9.3 overs. Vallance was run out by O'Brien at 105. Then Cass went to a 94 minute 50. At 108 Colhoun missed Honey (0), standing back, off the long-suffering Elder. It was not an expensive miss. At 118 the real collapse began. Cass (60) was stumped by Colhoun off Halliday. In his next over, at 119, Halliday had Honey caught by Colhoun and he bowled Bainbridge. Corlett came back and had Millett caught off a mis hit at 120. Rhodes and Galpin had to play for time. They survived for 8 minutes and 10 runs. Colhoun missed a stumping chance given by Rhodes off Halliday at 126 but at 130 Halliday bowled Rhodes off a short ball which kept low. So, without any second declaration, Ireland were set 165 to win in 84 minutes plus a minimum 20 overs.

The first session was one of 49 minutes up to tea. 14 overs were bowled by Rhodes and Galpin and Ireland lost two wickets for 25 runs. Reith (3) driving at Rhodes with his head up was caught at slip. At 20 Short (13) was caught by wicket keeper Cass glancing. More had kept wicket in the first innings. O'Brien was 4 and Harrison 2 when tea was taken. The next session was one of 35 minutes up to the start of the minimum final 20 overs at 4:30 PM. 12 overs were bowled by Rhodes and Bainbridge and the score was advanced to 57 without any further loss. Rhodes went off for Andrews. He then injured his foot while fielding and had to retire thus being unable to help stem the run flow which followed. 108 were required and from the start the average of five an over was maintained. The third over by Andrews yielded seven, the fourth by Bainbridge yielded eight. In the fifth over, bowled by Andrews, Harrison was caught at the wicket cutting. 87-3-32. Monteith promoted himself but Galpin came back for the sixth over and had Monteith caught at the wicket. 88-4-1. Harpur now came in and O'Brien released a stream of shots. Nine came off the next over from Andrews and then eight off Galpin. Then Andrews was hit off with 10 in one over. 39 were now needed in nine overs. O'Brien had gone to his 50 in 98 minutes Next over from Galpin he was run out for 65 with the total on 129. He popped a ball to mid-off who could not reach it. O'Brien ran and mid off hit the wicket from close in. This was a shame as O'Brien deserved to be there at the end. Harpur now took over. With four overs to go 16 were needed. Then Harpur hit Millett for 16 in five balls including a six. The match was won with 19 balls to spare with Harpur 31 not out. It was a well timed effort against the clock.

After this match OD Colhoun was selected and duly confirmed his availability to play against Scotland. 48 hours later however, on Monday July 23, he cried off and retired from international cricket. His 87 caps was a record, the last 76 of them being in succession. First capped in 1959 against Lancashire, he played in 87 out of 88 matches. JK Hopkins was preferred to him against the Australians in Dublin in 1961. Colhoun retired with 148 catches and 48 stumpings to his name.

Ormeau, Belfast