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Match Report
Derek Scott

Another Nat West match in which Ireland had its moments. Put in, Sussex lost their fourth wicket with the total on 96. Then, prior to lunch, taken at 118, Imran Khan was dropped, when 13, by Harrison running in from long-on to take an immensely high hit off Halliday. The fifth wicket then did not fall until the score had reached 182. When Ireland batted they reached 94-2 in the 33rd over due to a brilliant innings by Masood. The decline was to 107-7 in the 41st over. Masood reached 50 in 86 minutes and batted in all for 128 minutes after being skilfully given singles to keep him from strike. He hit eight fours and looked the best batsman in the match. He was given the Man-of-the-Match award by TG Evans who had played 91 tests as England's wicket-keeper. Masood received a gold medallion, a tie and a cheque for sterling 100. He was the first Irish player to receive such an award.

Ireland dropped Cohen and brought in Warke who was in very good form for Ulster Town. Anderson then cried off due to business and RI Johnston replaced him, recalled after a two-year absence. Sussex brought their best team. Imran Khan, the Pakistan Captain and currently the World's greatest all-rounder was unable to bowl due to a shin injury. He, Mendis, Barclay, Phillipson, Pigott, Waller and Parker (who had since got one Test appearance) all played on the Sussex team beaten by Ireland in 1977 at Pagham. The day was overcast and the crowd a poor one - 300 adults and 108 boys making a total gate of 800.

Ireland started well. Harrison took wickets in his fourth and seventh overs. At 19 Mendis (11) spooned a catch to Warke at cover. At 37 CM Wells played on to a ball which kept low. Corlett bowled six overs for 17 and Harrison eight for 18. Prior and Monteith were next. Prior got through eight overs for 28, with 11 coming off the last. Monteith bowled himself out in one stint, 11 of his 12 overs being bowled before rain drove the players to lunch 15 minutes early with the score 118-4 in 39 overs. In his seventh over, the 30th of the innings, Monteith turned one past Parker to hit his off stump. 92-3-40. Halliday had replaced Prior for the 29th over. In his second over he induced Barclay (48 in 94 minutes) to sweep at a ball which popped behind the wicket. Jackson, going to his left, recovered to grab the ball. 96-4. In Halliday's next over Imran gave his chance to Harrison when the score was 98.

Play resumed after lunch at 1:10 PM so no time was lost. Monteith bowled his 12th over and came off with figures of 1-32 to be replaced by Prior who was hit for 12, all singles, in his remaining four overs. Halliday became expensive and was hit for 26 in his last three overs (he came off after 10 overs). This included two sixes in the 10th over, one by Imran and won by Gould. Gould, when 18, gave Short a fierce chance to his right at short extra cover off Halliday. Corlett bowled the 49th over and remained on until the end. In his second over of the spell he took a wicket. This was the fifth to fall, but he conceded 46 in his remaining six overs. Johnston replaced Prior and bowled three overs. There were eight runs conceded off his first. Next over Corlett bowled Gould who rushed at him. 182-5-46. His 46 came in 58 minutes Johnston's next over conceded another eight but the fifth ball left Imran and bowled him. 190-6-41. 49 balls remained to be bowled in the innings and off these 75 runs were scored. Johnston bowled one more over but the main assault by Le Roux, Phillipson and Reeve came off Corlett and Harrison. In the 56th over Harrison took another wicket when Prior judged a high catch beautifully at long off to dismiss Le Roux at 221. The remaining 26 balls saw 45 runs scored and another chance missed - Phillipson (17) by Johnston at deep mid-off from the bowling of the unfortunate Corlett. Harrison emerged with 3-42 in his 11 overs.

Masood was in wonderful form when he and Short opened at 2:30 PM to the South African Le Roux and Pigott. Pigott only lasted two overs, conceding 11 runs and was replaced by CM Wells. After six overs Masood was 24 by means of five fours and two twos. He pierced the field on both sides with elegant drives and pulls. In the fifth over Short was LBW to Le Roux to a ball which looked to high to Short who was well forward. 16-1-2. Wills came in and began well. Le Roux bowled six overs for 11. CM Wells changed ends and took over from him while Waller (slow left arm) came on.


Masood was now progressing mostly in singles with the field spread deeper for him. 50 came up in the 18th over but then Wills hit Waller to mid-on, called a run and had the bowler's wicket thrown down. 50-2-10. This was a tragedy. Now it was Johnston. Barclay (off spin) took over from Wells and bowled around the wicket. Johnston began with a single and his next three scoring shots were fours. With a four and a single off Waller Masood reached 50 scored out of 80 in the 28th over and received a prolonged ovation. He hit six fours and was in for 86 minutes Next over, the last before tea, he hit another four and was nearly run out. He hit one to deepish mid-on, called a single which was not on. He was sent back, failed to beat the throw to the wicket-keeper who then got his gloves caught in his pads and Masood reached very lucky safety. The score at tea was 85-2 in 29 overs. .

Reeve (recently signed by Sussex from Hong Kong) at medium fast pace and Barclay shared the bowling after tea. Ireland reached 94 in the 33rd over. Then, in nine overs, five wickets fell while the score subsided from 94-2 in the 33rd over to 107-7 at the end of the 41st. Johnston played a careless shot at Barclay and was bowled. 94-3-70. Harrison was promoted to get a left-hander in but he was bowled around his legs by Reeve. 95-4-0. In his next over Reeve had Warke LBW pushing forward. 97-5-0. Masood was now being offered singles and in four overs only nine runs were scored. Masood swung at the first ball of the 41st over (Barclay) and was well caught on the distant mid-wicket boundary by Phillipson falling forward. 106-6-69. Masood had batted 128 minutes with eight fours.

Four balls later Barclay had Prior LBW - hit on the front foot while sweeping. 11 more overs produced 84 more runs, 22 of them to Monteith. Waller had Corlett caught in the last of his 12 overs with the score on 130. Reeve, with the last ball of his 12th over, bowled Jackson, swinging wildly. Phillipson, a seventh bowler, came on for the 53rd over. His third ball bowled Monteith. Barclay took 3-28 which, allied to his 48 runs must have run Masood close for Man-of-the-Match. TG Evans, however, said that Masood produced by far the best innings of the match. In the following 10 days he scored 150 and 204*for Phoenix. As usual Aer Lingus flew in the Sussex party of 14 + the two Umpires, Nigel Plews and Jack Birkenshaw.

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