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Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland won off the first ball of the last possible over when Anderson bowled Lawlor. Ellis, 44 not out, at the other end had been unable to score a single in order to face this last over. Wales were set 296 to win at about four an over. It was probably too many and Ireland seemed to be running out of time when Mansell, at number 10, stayed with Ellis for 51 minutes.

The three days were fine and the wicket a very good one. 1053 runs were scored. This was the eighth Irish match in which 1000 runs were scored and the first since 1970 against MCC at Castle Avenue. 1020 runs were scored in the match against Wales at Ormeau in 1926. Ireland's aggregate of 591 runs was the best for 56 years (639 against Scotland at College Park in 1925). Warke replaced Harte in the Irish team. DA Jones had played in every match for Wales since the series was resumed. He and J Bell were now engaged for Marchwiel in the National Villages semi finals.

Ireland lost McDermott for 0 in Mansell's first over - caught at the wicket. Short and Wills went on nicely facing four Welsh bowlers in the 90 minutes before lunch. At 69 Wills snicked off-spinner Slade and was caught at first slip. 69-2-30. Anderson, 2 and Short, 34 were in at lunch when the score was 71-2. In all this third wicket pair added 105 in 32 overs. Short reached 50 in 122 minutes. He then quickened and reached his second century for Ireland in a further 56 minutes. A six, square, off Ellis carried him to 99. A single off the next ball saw him reach 100. He had been severe on Mansell but was bowled by him for 104, pulling across the ball. He batted 184 minutes and hit one 6 and 16 fours. Prior came next and in 34 minutes to tea scored 32, with seven fours, out of 42 scored in that time. Three came in one over off Mansell. The score at tea was 216-3, Anderson 44 Prior 32. Both were out soon after the interval. Anderson was LBW to Ellis for 48 - not a great decision! He had batted carefully for 140 minutes, with a five and only two fours. Prior hit one more four but drove Ellis to extra cover in that bowler's next over.

Warke was in for 17 minutes but failed to score before Slade bowled him around his legs. 222-3 had now become 230-6. Harpur and Corlett were on hand to repair this damage and ensure a high score. They added 108 in 69 minutes off 24 overs. Both scored at the same pace but Corlett was more spectacular with three sixes including one off the last ball he received to bring up his 50. He also hit four four's. Harpur also reached 50 in 79 minutes, his first for Ireland. He hit seven fours. Ireland scored their runs in exactly 100 overs. A new ball was due in 85 overs but there was not one available! Ireland agreed to use only one ball also in the Welsh first innings.

Wales had 26 minutes to bat and scored 27-1 in eight overs. Harries was LBW to the last ball of Corlett's fourth over. Samuel was nine and a night watchman, Lawlor, 0. In the two hour pre lunch session on the second day, Wales scored 134 runs and lost two wickets. Lawlor stayed for 30 minutes and scored 17 before Torrens bowled him. Four runs later Torrens repeated this on R Williams. Samuel was 29 when the youthful Roberts came in. Samuel with one four and 12 twos went to his 50 in 104 minutes but Roberts made the same mark in only 60 minutes with two sixes (off Halliday) and seven fours. When he was 35 Warke dropped him at the screen off Halliday. The lunch score was 161-3. The pair carried on to add another 41 with Roberts again giving a chance off Halliday, to second slip when 67. Eventually, at 202, he was caught at mid-on for 73 off the luckless Halliday. Roberts batted for 109 minutes. At this point Samuel was 84.

Anderson was now tried for the first time, in the 47th over. He bowled Morris in his second over. 218-5-1. After 223 minutes Samuel went to his century - the first by a Welsh player against Ireland since NVH Riches got 239 not out at Ormeau in 1926. In all Samuel hit eight fours. He was out almost at once, bowled by Torrens for 108 with the score on 241. Ellis scored 22 out of 28 and was caught at fine leg by Corlett off Halliday. The tea score was 269-7 off 78 overs, Hopkins 12, Carey 0. Eight more overs were bowled by Corlett and Halliday before Wales declared, 42 behind, at 296-8. Halliday got Hopkins at 292, caught by Corlett at fine leg. The most effective bowlers were Torrens and Halliday. Anderson bowled only nine overs for 21 runs but Corlett conceded 73 in 19 overs.

100 minutes remained when Short and McDermott began the Ireland second innings to Mansell and Ellis (who replaced Carey with the new ball). 30 overs were bowled and Ireland got to 97-1, Short 42, Wills 11. McDermott got 25 out of 60 in 63 minutes before being caught at the wicket for the second time in the match. Wills gave two chances early in his innings, both when he was one, and both off Carey - to the wicket-keeper and to mid-wicket. Ireland batted 103 more minutes on the last day. They added 156 more runs in a further 32.3 overs, scoring over the innings at just over four runs per over. Lawlor, with off spin, did the bulk of the bowling at one end with Mansell, Ellis and Slade sharing the other end. In 27 minutes Short and Wills took the score from 97 to 139, a partnership of 79 in all. Then Wills hooked Lawlor to long leg. 139-2-35. Short had gone to his 50 in 110 minutes but was caught at short leg for 59 with the total on 149. He had now equalled Bergin's and Anderson's record of two scores of over 50 in a match three times.

Anderson was six when Prior came in. They added 56 in 23 minutes. Prior made 41 of these in that time by dint of three sixes and five fours, mostly well timed strokes off Lawlor. His exciting innings ended when Slade took a hard caught and bowled opportunity. Warke joined Anderson and eventually got away from "a pair" with a boundary. 48 more were added of which Anderson made 32. He went to 50 with a six in 75 minutes. Next ball he was caught at long on for 52 and the declaration came. The five scores of over 50 in the match equalled an Irish record. The persevering Lawlor (who played only as a substitute) took 3-89 in 19.3 overs.

155 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs remained for Wales to score 296 or for Ireland to bowl them out. This would represent about 70 overs and seemed a little too small to bowl Wales out if they closed up. Harries (five) was caught at the wicket off Corlett with the total on six. By lunch 10 overs were bowled and the score was 28-1, Samuel 14 and the promoted Hopkins eight. For 63 minutes after lunch this pair remained together and took the score to 86, by which time 29 overs had been bowled. Halliday came on for the 17th over and bowled for the rest of the innings apart from changing ends twice Anderson's arrival was perhaps unduly delayed until the 28th over. In his second over he caught and bowled Samuel for 48. Two balls later Hopkins drove Halliday to mid-on. 86-3-27. Hopkins had been missed behind the wicket off Torrens when 30. Two more wickets fell at 96, one to each bowler. This was the end of Wales' winning hopes.

A six was Williams only scoring shot, the 14th and last six of the match. Next ball he was taken by Torrens, the only slip. The next over, Anderson's fourth, saw the end of the dangerous Roberts. He, too, was caught at slip. Ellis was now in and was joined by Morris. In 17 minutes to tea 21 were added. On the stroke of tea, Morris (one), hitting across the line, was bowled by Halliday. 117-6 (Ellis 18) off 40.1 overs was the score at tea. 25 minutes now remained before the final minimum 20 overs started. In that time Ireland got Carey and Slade out - again one wicket to each bowler. Carey fell at 121 caught at short leg off Halliday. Then nine overs were packed into 12 minutes. With the second ball of the 50th over Slade was LBW to Anderson. Mansell now arrived and a last ditch stand began. The 52nd over was the first of the last hour. After nine overs of spin Corlett was given three overs. Ellis was hogging the strike very well and there was obviously no shifting him. Anderson and Halliday again got into tandem. With a charming smile Ellis began to waste time, mostly by "Gardening" and then with a finger "injury". 20 overs were bowled in 45 minutes with Mansell mostly taking Halliday and Ellis receiving from Anderson. Two overs later, with 11 minutes to go, Halliday spun one past Mansell and bowled him. Lawlor came in and played the one remaining ball of Halliday's over. Anderson bowled a maiden to Ellis. Lawlor got away from Halliday with a single off the first ball. Ellis could not do so to face what had to be the last over from Anderson. Lawlor lunged at the first ball which spun through "the gate" and hit middle stump. The two spinners had won the match and Halliday's declaration was vindicated at the last gasp.