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Match Report
Derek Scott

A splendid match which swung both ways on the last afternoon and ended with Corlett having one ball to remove the MCC Number 11. He failed. All this was in spite of having only 90 minutes play on the first day. Monteith, having resigned from Middlesex and thus being available for Ireland in the Nat West Trophy, was restored to the Irish team as captain. Prior was dropped and MA Masood, a Pakistani living in Dublin for four years, replaced him and thus became Ireland's first coloured player. Torrens was not available and Elder was restored for Hughes. Elder and Jackson both cried off injured and were replaced by Hughes and Bradley. Bradley had been wicket keeping substitute many times and now made his debut on his own ground.

MCC played three young professionals DA Wilson, R Hossain and M Veletta (an Australian wicket-keeper). Owen-Thomas had played for Surrey and made two centuries in the Varsity match in the early 1970s. Six of the MCC team had played in this match previously. The wicket was good but got damp and became worn. The Irish spinners did not bowl very well. They probably should have won the match on the last day. Instead Corlett bowled 30 overs out of 60. Halliday only bowled eight overs and Monteith only looked effective when he went around the wicket late in the day.

The match could not start until 3:15 PM and play was restricted to a continuous 90 minute period. At 21 Short drove at DA Wilson and was caught at gully. McDermott and Wills had a little luck on their side but were there at the end with the score on 75-1 in 23.1 overs.

Sunday was a fine sunny day with a reasonable crowd. The match started on time. Almost at once McDermott rushed at Don Wilson, head up, and was stumped. 76-2-40. Wills was playing well. He also reached 40 before being caught off Don Wilson. 93-3-40. That was the last wicket to fall. Anderson played doggo, 14 in 63 minutes, while Masood, on debut, played strokes. After two singles he hit Hossain, a young off spinner, for 20 in one over, one six, three fours and a two. He hit Hossain for another big six over long on. In 44 minutes he made 39 and 50 were added. The declaration came after 101 minutes today with the score on 143-3. It had obviously been agreed that MCC would declare on roughly the same total in roughly the same time providing, of course, they were not bowled out. In fact they led by eight runs with eight wickets down in 5 minutes less than Ireland's innings.

Lanchbury was caught at short leg off Halliday (who came on to bowl after six overs) at 28. The score at lunch was 40-1. Sandrock and Owen-Thomas went smoothly past 100 in the 48th over. Sandrock reached 50 in 132 minutes. Then he mis hit Corlett to be caught at midwicket. MCC now needed to speed up. In doing so they lost wickets, the next three all falling at 120. Veletta was stumped and Simmons skied one in the same Monteith over. Next over Hughes bowled an out of form Owen-Thomas for 36.

In the next over Mence hit Monteith for six but was caught off the fifth ball and Hossain was stumped off the sixth. Monteith's next over was the last and full of incident. The left handed Don Wilson hit towering sixes off the first, second and sixth balls. He took a single off the third. Stewart was stumped off the fourth and DA Wilson took a single off the fifth. Monteith had taken 5-56 in 18 overs. His five wickets had come within 14 balls for 20 runs, including those three sixes! MCC declared at the end of this over at 155-8.

With 6 hours + 20 overs left the "real" match started after tea on this second day with 127 minutes to bat to close of play. 38 overs were bowled in this time and Ireland were 111-3 at the close. With Don Wilson injured most of the bowling was done by Stewart, Savage and Hossain. Short and McDermott were not unduly troubled until McDermott was LBW to Savage at 42, having made exactly half of those. 50 came up in 19 overs and Short proceeded to 2000 runs in his 70th innings when his score reached 33. He was the quickest of the four to reach this mark. At 89 Stewart bowled Wills (25). At 93 Short (37) got into an awful tangle with Anderson and was run out. Anderson and Masood saw the day out at 111-3, a lead of 103.

The next day Anderson was out almost at once. 118-4-13. Masood and Harpur went along very carefully but yet kept the score moving with singles and twos to a defensive field. They had it easy for 101 minutes. Harpur was out at 202 for 31. Masood proceeded to his 50 on debut. It came in two hours. He celebrated by hitting a six and was 57 not out at the declaration. This came at 12:56 PM with the Irish score on 216-3. Stewart and Savage had bowled for two hours and each conceded about 2 runs per over.

MCC had 131 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs to get 209. This represented probably between 55 and 60 overs. In fact 60 were bowled. Before lunch Lanchbury was caught by Short near the wicket for the second time in the match. 7-1-7. The lunch score was 20-1 after six overs. 34 overs were bowled afterwards before the minimum 20 overs in the last hours started. In that time MCC had advanced the score to 107-2. Corlett bowled right through the innings except for changing ends after he had bowled 11 overs. Monteith bowled a six overs spell for 22 runs and Halliday eight overs for 24 runs.

Sandrock and Owen-Thomas went serenely on but perhaps not as quickly as they would have liked. Monteith came back for the 39th over and induced Sandrock to mis sweep to short fine leg. 105-2-44. Then Veletta came in. After another over the last hour began at 107-2. 102 were required with eight wickets to fall at a rate of five per over. In nine overs the next wicket added 42. This was the required rate and Ireland were now facing a defeat. Then, the tireless Corlett, who had been unlucky when bowling to Owen-Thomas, caught a sharp return catch. 147-3-70. This was to prove the turning point. In Corlett's next over, the 12th of the final 20, Veletta hoisted one to Hughes at long off. However 11 runs had been added. 158-4-24. The 15th over was bowled by Monteith (now operating around the wicket). He got Mence LBW. At the end of the over the score was 174-5.

35 now required in five overs. Wickets now tumbled. Corlett bowled Simmons in his next over. 175-6-4. Then Monteith bowled Stewart, 176-7. In the third last over Corlett saw Don Wilson play on. With the fifth ball of the last over Corlett had DA Wilson LBW but the final ball passed outside the off stump. Corlett, in 30 overs, had 5-76. He actually had 0-60 in 24 overs and then took 5-16 in six. This great effort nearly won the match but one still felt that it should have been Monteith and Halliday winning the match in harness on a good wicket which had been damp but which was now worn and drying.

Bradley's three stumpings in MCC's first innings equalled an Irish record held by four others. R. Lyons, in 1947, did so, like Bradley, on debut. AIB sponsored the match for 1000 and BP Oil gave a reception on the first evening.

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