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Match Report
Derek Scott

This was a fine match of 979 runs played on three glorious mid-week days before a sparse crowd on a good, if slow, wicket. Jackson was still injured for Ireland and Harte was retained as wicket-keeper. Corlett and Anderson were not available. They were replaced by the recall of JA Prior and by a new cap, PM. O'Reilly, a young tall fast bowler from Belvedere College who was 18 years and four days old when the match began. The Welsh team was much as before with a new opening bowler in M Heames.

Ireland were surprisingly put in and had a bad start which could have been much worse. In the first 10 overs Eames and G Williams accounted for Short (bowled), McDermott (LBW) and Wills (caught at the wicket) for 33 runs. Short had earlier been dropped at cover, Masood was probably out when six, back gloving the ball to the wicket keeper. Prior was dropped before scoring on a skier to Ellis at midwicket. A wondrous stand then followed between Masood and Prior with one more palpitation with the score on 54 when a bad call by Prior could have run out Masood if the throw had hit the wicket. Prior came in for the 20th ball of the 10th over with the score on 33-3.

65 minutes later Prior was out off the fifth ball of the 27th over. He had made 70 out of 110 added while he was at the wicket with four sixes and eight fours. It was a marvellous display of controlled hitting with clean strokes. Edwards (slow left arm) and Ellis were the main sufferers. Prior went to 50 in 50 minutes and was eventually stumped when he deserved a century. Masood had made 31 runs in this stand including one six. Masood went to his 50 in 86 minutes and had another long stand with Harte. The score at lunch (taken after 135 minutes) was 173-4 off only 35 overs. The 150 had come up in the 29th over. The first 50 runs took 50 minutes, the second 39, the third 27! At lunch Masood was 71, Harte 8.

The pair took the score to 223 when Harte (24) was caught at the wicket off Ellis - possibly a mistaken decision. By this time Masood had gone to his century in 142 minutes in his fourth innings for Ireland. At 235, palpably tired, he was out, caught, for 109 scored in 173 minutes (one six and 16 fours). His wristy strokeplay was a joy to watch. Monteith and Torrens now added 62 with Torrens missed at slip when two. Torrens made 39 (one six and six fours) in 49 minutes before being LBW. Monteith made a well compiled 28 in 72 minutes and was out when the score was 300. Halliday and Elder, both 0, were together at tea. 300-8 in 71 overs was the score at this point. Only one more run was added for the loss of the two remaining wickets. It had been a rousing innings lasting 72.5 overs and 266 minutes with 67 runs coming per hundred balls.

114 minutes remained of the six hour day when Harries and Samuel began to O'Reilly and Torrens. At 27, in his sixth over, O'Reilly caught a high left-handed return catch to dismiss Samuel. A bad call by Harries, with the score on 44, saw Jones run out. Monteith came on with the score on 35 and Elder at 40. Roberts launched an attack on Monteith in his fourth over and scored all his 20 runs in four balls, 4-4-6-6. Next over he swung once too often and Monteith bowled him. 72-3-20. Harries (45) and Slade (1) played out time with the score on 83-3 in 29 overs.

Harries and Slade continued for an hour on the second morning. 100 came up in the 38th over and the score had reached 128 when Monteith bowled Slade. 128-4-21. In the next over Prior caught a marvellous low right-handed catch at wide slip to dismiss M Williams for 0 off Torrens. In the next Torrens over the obdurate Harries (64 in 194 minutes) left to a very good low right-handed catch by Short at first slip. 134-6. Edwards and Ellis then put on 37 before Halliday, in his fourth over of the day, had the left-handed Edwards LBW sweeping on the front foot. The lunch score, after 65 overs, was 179-7, Ellis 30 Davies 4. In 40 minutes after lunch the remaining three wickets fell for 35 runs - all to wicket-keeper Harte who kept a competent wicket throughout. Ireland's lead was 87. Monteith emerged with 4-52 and O'Reilly, used in four short bursts, had a satisfactory first International bowl.

Ireland went in again at 3:20 PM and batted for the rest of the day (up to 7 PM). They got 213-3 in 59 overs and so led by 300. Most of this time was occupied by a 155 run opening stand by Short and McDermott which was only six short of the 161 run record set in 1879 against MCC at Lords by N Hone and DN Trotter. By tea the score was 66 in 20 overs, Short 26 McDermott 39. Both were in good form, especially McDermott who outscored Short. McDermott reached 50 in 104 minutes, Short in 114 minutes and 100 was up in the 33rd over.

Heames was injured and could only bowl five overs. McDermott was bowled by Edwards for 80 trying an ambitious shot. He hit one six and 12 fours and batted in all for 150 minutes Wills came in and kept the tempo going by scoring 20 in 40 minutes. He saw 200 up in the 54th over before being caught off Roberts, the sixth bowler tried. Short went to his third century for Ireland and his second in successive matches against Wales, in 190 minutes. Tiring visibly he was out 3 minutes before the close at 210, caught at short midwicket off Roberts. He hit two sixes and 11 fours in 197 minutes and was out in the 57th over. Masood (4) and Prior (1) were together at the end. Short gave two chances and McDermott one with the score between 26 and 80.

The third day began at 11 AM and ran to 5 PM. To get tactical use of the heavy roller Monteith batted until Prior was bowled by the third ball of the day. Wales now needed 300 to win in 248 minutes + 20 overs. O'Reilly took a wicket in his fourth over with a long hop. Harries hooked to long leg where Torrens ran 20 yards, dived and caught a splendid two-handed catch. 18-1-14. Next over O'Reilly got one to leave Jones and he was caught at the wicket. Roberts struck 4-6-4 off the remainder of the over. In his next over Samuel hooked an O'Reilly skier to Torrens at deep square leg. 37-3. Halliday bowled the 14th over but a change of ends was decided so Elder bowled the 17th over - his only one of the innings as he had an injured leg. His last ball was deposited into Torrens' hands at deep square leg by Ellis. 78-4-22. Roberts was having a charmed life. He was nearly run out at 41 and dropped twice when the score was 54, once by Masood at gulley and once by Wills at long off. Meanwhile Monteith caught and bowled M Williams off a full toss at 98. Roberts went to his 50 in 70 minutes but was stumped off Halliday for 62 just before lunch. The score at lunch was 142-6, Edwards 21, Davies 4. Wales were well up at the rate but six wickets were down.

Davies was out at 157 caught at short leg off Halliday. Slade joined Edwards. They put on 55 in 66 minutes. Edwards reached 50 in 79 minutes With 13 minutes and 20 overs to go Wales needed 88. Then, at 212, Monteith spun one back a lot at the left-handed Edwards and he was LBW with the bat aloft. Still the tail proved obdurate but Monteith finished them off with 45 minutes remaining. He had taken 4-28 and 8-80 in the match. O'Reilly emerged with 3-84 in 19 overs.

Rathmines, Dublin