After performing reasonably well in the field, Ireland were bowled out for 39 in 26.4 overs on the fast Hove wicket. It was a glorious sunny day but the Irish batsmen has seen nothing but rain and wet wickets for two months. This, plus the speed of Le Roux from South Africa, Imran Khan from Pakistan and Pigott, an England Test player, was too much for the young team.
The selectors left out Cohen for whom Davy Dennison came in. It was intended to bring 12 to Hove but this rose to 13 when Jackson got injured and Keith Bailey of Dublin YMCA was added to the party as reserve wicket-keeper. He, in fact, played having just displaced Shaun Bradley as the reserve wicket-keeper. Rea was in Bermuda with the under 19 team and Lewis and Patterson were fit again. Harrison was left out on the morning of the match. A very good crowd was present when Ireland sent Sussex in.
In Corlett's second over Bailey caught a splendid diving catch to get rid of Mendis. 8-1-3. Patterson, not looking really fit, gave away four wides in two overs and was replaced by Lewis. His first over contained two fours, one wide, one no-ball and, most important, a wicket when he bowled Green. 27-2-6. Lewis bowled four overs in which there were 12 runs off the bat, six wides and three no-balls! Halliday came on for the 14th over with the score at 68-2 and McBrine for the 15th over. The latter had a great spell for one so young and inexperienced. His flight, line and length were very good. He bowled three maidens, and was hit for only 22 runs -15 singles, 1x3 and 1x4. The two slow bowlers stemmed the flood of runs and neither bowled a no-ball or wide.
When McBrine came off 37 overs had been bowled and the score was 133-3. Imran rushed at McBrine in his seventh over and was bowled. 105-3-38. CM Wells came in and was dropped by Corlett, when six, at 117, in McBrine's 10th over. It was a difficult running catch to short fine leg. At lunch 42 overs had been bowled and the score was 158-3, Parker 52, Wells 23.
In the remaining 18 overs post lunch 125 runs were added. Elder had come on for the first time for the 41st over. He bowled 10 overs for 69 runs. Patterson and then Corlett bowled at the other end. Corlett's last five overs cost 38 runs. At 229 Parker (72) was dropped by Patterson off Corlett on the long on boundary, the fielder having strayed in too far. At 259 Warke caught Wells on the boundary off Elder. Wells was in for 100 minutes, added 154 with Parker and hit seven fours and one five. 259-4-76. Parker went to his century in 187 minutes. Then Elder bowled him for 109, scored off 166 deliveries and containing eight fours. One more wicket fell. At 282 Patterson caught Greig at long on off Corlett. It was the second last ball of the innings and was Corlett's 200th wicket for Ireland in his 55th match and 91st innings in which he had bowled. He followed Boucher, Monteith and O'Riordan to this mark. Despite the run rate of 74 runs per 100 deliveries, Ireland averaged 17.48 overs per hour. Giving away 16 wides and 10 no-balls was, however, inexcusable.
Warke and Dennison opened to Le Roux and Imran (off a short run). All went well for seven overs. Then in his fourth over Le Roux dropped one short to Warke who was late on a pull shot and was bowled. The pace had beaten him. Wills was LBW next ball without playing a shot. The score advanced to 15 at which point four wickets fell. With the first three balls of his sixth over Le Roux did the hat-trick. Dennison was LBW, Prior bowled and Patterson caught at slip off a terrible shot. It was the first hat-trick against Ireland since 1959. Imran joined the fun by bowling Lewis in the next over. Now the score was 15-6. Le Roux went off with 5-7 in seven overs and Imran 1-13 in eight. Grieg and Pigott took up the bowling - and both were pretty quick. McBrine drove Pigott to extra cover in his first over. 28-7. Corlett and Halliday added 11. Then Waller came on, slow left arm, and had Halliday caught in his only over. In two successive balls in his next over Pigott had Corlett caught at the wicket and clean bowled Elder. Corlett's 11 was the only double-figure score in the Irish innings. The innings lasted 95 minutes. Ireland had made 39 once before - against Scotland at Castle Avenue in 1977. This 39 at Hove was the lowest score made in the Nat West Trophy by any team to date. Roy Marshall, ex West Indies and Hampshire, gave the Man-of-the-Match award to Paul Parker.
This was the last match for Robert Wills of Woodvale for Ireland. He had played 25 successive matches since his first, as a substitute, against Scotland in 1981, opening with the score of 48. He scored 863 runs, at an average of 25.38, with one century and 5 Fifties. In his 35 innings he reached 20 on more 18 times.