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Match Report
Derek Scott

This was the best display by Wales since the series resumed in 1971. With 18 overs to go rain finished the match with Wales needing 107 more, having scored 76-3 in 16 overs. In all 918 runs were scored and only 23 wickets fell. The wicket at Rathmines, under their new covers, was good throughout. Wales had four new players. L. Williams, who had opened the bowling for Glamorgan; M Mansell, a seam bowler; H Slade, an off spinner and I Morris, a batsman. Williams bowled only three overs before pulling a leg muscle and Morris broke a knuckle after scoring two runs. N.Owen was missing for the first time but D Jones, the captain, continued to be an "ever-present". Ireland left out Harrison and Johnston as batsmen. T. Harpur was recalled and MF Cohen, a brilliant 19-year-old from Dublin, was given his first call up. Cohen had just come back from successful trials with Middlesex and Glamorgan. Bushe was recalled as wicket-keeper and Elder came back for his substitute AJ Hughes.

Wales travelled overnight by car and boat so Sunday's play did not begin until 1 PM. Short hit Williams for three fours in the first over and he hit 18 off Mansell's third over. Carey came on to bowl the seventh over in place of the injured Williams with the score on 36. Reith hit him for six over extra cover. Ellis came on for the eighth over with the score at 44. At 47 he got Reith, Samuel taking a good catch at square leg. 47-1-10. O'Brien played himself in, then hit three fours. At 79 he drove at Ellis without getting his foot over and Bell took the slip catch. 79-2-14. Meanwhile Short had gone to his 50 in 70 minutes with nine fours. He now slowed a little and was out at 89 also to a slip catch by Bell off Ellis. 89-3-54.

Anderson reached 3000 runs for Ireland when he had scored four. It was his 111th innings in 65 matches. Cohen hit his first ball, a full toss, for four past mid-on off Ellis. When 6 he was dropped by Bell at slip off Carey when the total was 99-3. This was an easier catch than the two which Bell had held. After 135 minutes there was a 15 minutes break with the score on 127-3 off 38 overs, Anderson 18, Cohen 23. In the next 110 minutes up to the tea interval proper Ireland advanced to 249-5, losing Cohen in the same over to Slade. In this period Wales tried six bowlers in various combinations with Ellis and Slade doing most of the work, and Harries conceding 23 in a five overs spell. Anderson reached 52 in 108 minutes with his sixth four, beating SF Bergin's record of 17 scores of over 50 for Ireland. Cohen looked like scoring a "50" on debut. He hit Slade for a four but advanced wildly to the next ball and was stumped. 194-4-43. He and Anderson had put on 105 in 99 minutes.

Harpur scored two off his first ball but, three balls later, pulled at a long hop with his head in the air and was LBW. 196-5-2. Monteith came in with 45 minutes to go until tea. 54 were put on with Anderson doing most of the scoring. The score at tea, after 71 overs, was 249-5, Anderson 78, Monteith 16. The post tea session lasted 37 minutes when rain stopped play at 6:25 PM. 39 more were scored. With a pulled six off Ellis Anderson went to his seventh century for Ireland in 171 minutes. Slade bowled Monteith (28) with the first ball of his 21st over after a stand of 92. At the end of that over rain fell. Monteith declared after 84 overs and 281 minutes but rain and bad light prevented further play, 55 minutes being lost. Anderson slowed after his century and was 105*at the end in 197 minutes with a six and 13 fours. Carey (0-49), Ellis (3-76) and Slade (3-55) bowled 67 of Wales's 84 overs.

Monday was a long days play (11 AM-6:45 PM) and Wales laboured through it to score 330-7 declared off 120 overs. Ireland then scored 11 without loss off six overs in the last 17 minutes. When the Welsh innings was established after the loss of Hopkins (caught and bowled by Corlett in the first over) and Morris (retired hurt at 13) they should have gone a bit quicker and declared earlier. Their 42 run lead had made the Irish task of providing a finish just that much harder. Halliday came on at 40 (after 18 overs) and Monteith at 62 (after 29 overs). At lunch, after 43 overs, Wales were 85-1, Harries 44, Jones 25. In the afternoon Halliday did most of the work, bowling unchanged between lunch and tea with Monteith in harness with him most of the time. At 112 Jones was caught at slip off Halliday having added 99 with Harries since Morris retired hurt at 13. 112-2-41. At 141 Ellis (10) gave Harpur a very difficult chance at cover off Monteith. Halliday bowled Harries for 79 with the score on 163. At 190 Monteith might have caught and bowled Samuel (then 4).

The captain's bowling arm gets lower and lower and his fielding is declining rapidly. Tea came after 92 overs with the score on 250-4, Samuel 30, Bell 11. Meanwhile Ellis had come and gone for 67 - bowled Halliday. His was the quickest of the three Welsh 50s, it coming in 73 minutes. In all he hit 10 fours in his 67 and was out at 221, his runs coming out of 109. Corlett resumed with the new ball (in the 93rd over). Elder stuck with it. At 268 he had Samuel brilliantly caught at backward short-leg by Anderson for 46. Bell now began to score rapidly. 300 came up in the 113th over.

A message came out from the Pavilion which seemed to indicate a declaration. Slade had faced 36 balls for 11. Then he slashed and was caught by Bushe off Elder as was Carey next ball. 311-7. Reith was tried for Corlett. Then Bell hit 10 off an Elder over to reach 55 and Wales declared at 330-7 in 120 overs. Elder was the most persevering and successful of the Irish bowlers (3-62 in 27 overs). In six overs to the close of play Short and Reith made 11.

Next day Short was caught at the wicket off Mansell for 17 with the score on 28. O'Brien was in good form and hit three fours off one Mansell over. At 52 he was dropped, when 16, by Samuel at short-leg off Mansell. Reith was caught behind off Carey with the total on 55. Lunch came after 44 overs at 107-2, O'Brien 47, Anderson 21. Afterwards Wales mostly kept their field in hoping for an Irish declaration, so there were some open spaces. O'Brien struck out in a series of fours and his first Irish century looked a certainty. Then, at 148, when 70, he was run out, a throw from deep gully by Jones hitting the bowler's wicket. O'Brien batted 125 minutes with 12 fours. Nine runs later he was followed by Anderson (47) who was caught at midwicket off Slade. Cohen was LBW at 164. Harpur hit 27 out of 38 added with Monteith. He hit a six and four fours in his 29. He was caught at mid-off with the total on 202 and Corlett followed him at 204. 20 came in the next over from Slade, all to Monteith, 4-4-4-2-4-2. Monteith then declared having scored 33 off 45 balls. 224-7 had come in 76 overs.

Tea was taken and after tea Wales needed 183 to win in 56 minutes plus 20 overs. Ellis and Harries went in and got 20 in six overs. Then Harries was caught at extra cover. Jones arrived and was soon dropped by Short at point off Corlett. 38 was up in nine overs. Then Jones skied Elder to Halliday at square leg. After 14 overs the score was 62 and the final 20 overs began. 9 came from the first by Corlett. Then Ellis was run out. Samuel hit a catch to Corlett at midwicket. He dropped it, recovered, and ran out Ellis for 33. At the end of the over fierce rain prevented any further play, Wales needing 107 more off 18 overs.

Rathmines, Dublin