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Match Report
Derek Scott

A Middlesex team with seven Test Match players, a fine Saturday with virtually no cricket in Dublin, but a disappointing crowd. JM Brearley, a former England captain, took over the job again three days after this match. Barlow, Radley, Edmonds, Selvey and Downton (just dropped as England's wicket-keeper) had also played for England and Daniel for West Indies. Gatting, Emburey and Butcher (12th man) were engaged in the second test against Australia at Lords. JR Thompson, Middlesex's Australian fast bowler, was in hospital. SP Hughes a student, was probably the best young uncapped fast bowler in England and at one time he had 4-2 in this match.

Rothmans were again the sponsors (2,500) and they gave Man-of-the-Match awards to both teams. Harpur for Ireland and Hughes for Middlesex. Rothmans also made a presentation to BA O'Brien who attained his 50th cap in this match and was also captain. Aer Lingus flew in the visitors free of charge.

Anderson was not available for Ireland and CCJ Harte was recalled after three years. R Torrens (recalled after five years) replaced AJ Hughes and TDMcK Kane was a debutante who replaced JWG Elder (unavailable for the rest of the season). The wicket was a little slow, the ball seamed on it, but the bounce was consistent.

Brearley and Barlow began sedately enough. After 12 overs from Corlett and Torrens the score was 34. Johnston replaced Corlett. In the 16th over Barlow hoisted Torrens an immense distance in the air to mid-off where O'Brien took the catch. 41-1-16. Torrens bowled out his 12 overs and did very well to concede only 27 runs. After 24 overs the score was 72. A double change brought on Halliday and Kane. Kane took a wicket in his third over when Radley was caught at cover point. 84-2-18. With a two off Halliday Brearley went to a smooth 50 in 15 minutes out of 98. He hoisted his next ball to Warke at long-on. Johnston came back for Kane after the latter had bowled six overs. Lunch came after 39 overs with the score on 121-3, Slack 20, Tomlin 14.

At 125 Johnston yorked Tomlin.125-4-5. At 129 Edmonds drove at Halliday and gave Jackson a low catch which was dropped - a vital miss. Halliday completed his 12 overs from 35 runs. 47 overs had now been bowled and 154 runs scored. The next over was Johnston's last. Slack whipped him fast and wide of mid-on where substitute fielder JA Prior made a fine catch. Slack made 33 consisting of five fours and 13 singles. 154-5. Prior was sub-fielding because Torrens injured a finger earlier in a valiant effort to catch Brearley. Downton now joined Edmonds in a prolific partnership. They added 58 in 11 overs bowled by Corlett and Kane. Some chances were missed. Warke had a chance to run out Edmonds (28) with the total on 168. One run later the unfortunate Warke missed Edmonds off Kane at short extra cover. At 175 Downton (9) was missed by Prior off Corlett at short mid-wicket. At 55 overs the score was 176 and restricting Middlesex to 200 looked possible. However, 49 runs came from the last five overs. Corlett conceded 11 in the 57th over and Kane 16 in the 58th. Downton got most of these but was caught for 37 in the 57th over - Kane taking an excellent catch at square leg. 212-6-37.

Edmonds finished with 44 and Selvey with 8. The newcomer, Kane, had 1-24 in his first nine overs but conceded 32 off the last three. It was reckoned better for Torrens to bowl his 12 overs in one stint (he is inclined to stiffen) so Kane had to bowl the last three overs when the pressure was on. Ireland's fielding was wonderfully good and the bowling in general did better than expected.

Ireland's innings was in tatters from the start. By the 20th over the total was 29-6! Short pushed the second ball of the innings back to Selvey. O'Brien hit two fours in one over from Daniel. He was 13 out of 13 when Warke, who faced 23 balls without scoring, was caught at second slip of Selvey. The brilliant young Hughes replaced Daniel. He took two wickets in his first over. O'Brien snicked his first ball to second slip and Johnston was palpably LBW to the last. 17-4. Merry replaced Selvey (2-4 in seven overs). Harpur was busy and determined from the start. He lost Harte at 25, caught at second slip in Hughes's third over. Hughes now had five slips and a gully. In his fourth over, at 29, he bowled Corlett. He now had 4-2!

Harpur now found a staunch partner in Jackson. Hughes was hit for 11 in his last two overs. Tea came at 25 overs with the score on 58-6, Harper 19, Jackson 8. Tomlins then bowled one over to let Merry change ends. Harpur hit it for 9. Edmonds put an end to Harpur having him LBW in his first over. 69-7-30. In his third over Edmonds had the gallant Jackson caught at mid-on. 84-8-16. Torrens hit two fours, saw 100 up, and departed caught at deep mid-off. Halliday hit six off Edmonds from the last ball he faced. It was the only one of the match. Next over Merry bowled Kane. 113 all out in 37.2 overs. After the match Brearley spoke at length to the Irish players regarding the tactics of 60 over cricket. He is the great brain of current English cricket and his talk was extremely valuable and perceptive.

Rathmines, Dublin