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Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland returned to Arundel after a four year absence and, unlike 1981, this was a match for which caps were awarded. Also, unlike 1981, the day was chilly but luckily no rain fell. This allowed Allied Irish Banks to entertain their 150 guests in a marquee in relative comfort. Sterling 3000 was given by AIB to the ICU and the team was also entertained to dinner in the Norfork Arms Hotel in the evening.

Norfolk's XI requested that the match be 12-a-side but Ireland refused. They did agree to Norfolk's XI playing 12 providing only 11 field. On the Norfolk side Howarth and Willey were Test players. As well Brown (who had just scored a century against the Australians) and Tomlins came from Middlesex, Briers and Parsons from Leicestershire, Thomas from Surrey, Reeve and the captain, Barclay, from Sussex and Spencer was the former Blue and Sussex player. Ireland were unchanged from the match against CCC.

Howarth and Brown opened against Elder and Milling with Lewis replacing the latter for the 12th over. Howarth hit three fours before Elder bowled him in the 13th over. 38-1-21. Willey came in and scored 40 in 46 minutes (batting 12 overs) off 37 balls. He got four singles and 9x4, mostly off Lewis. 100 came up and at once Willey miscued Milling and was caught on the boundary at square cover. With Briers in the lunch score was 118-2, off 34 overs, Brown nearing his 50. He reached this mark in 120 minutes and then increased his pace. He got to 77 when Milling had him caught at the wicket with the total on 154.

In his next over Milling had Briers brilliantly caught one-handed at slip by Halliday for 16, all made in singles. 159-4-16. Tomlins and Reeve were now together. They dealt severely with McBrine and Halliday and added 43 in 25 minutes and saw the 200 up. Then Reeve was unluckily run out when backing-up. Elder deflected the ball on to the wicket. When Blundell joined Tomlins only nine runs came in 21 minutes. After 53 overs Barclay declared at 223-5. Perhaps he went on a shade too long. Milling's 3-61 in 18 overs was easily the best of the bowling.

Warke and Masood opened with 15 minutes to play until tea. Thomas and Parsons were the bowlers. Howarth dropped Masood at first slip off Parsons before he had scored. This was a lucky escape as Ireland may well have lost if the catch had been taken. Masood accelerated smoothly but lost Warke (9) caught at the wicket off Parsons with the score on 13. Dennison also began briskly and by tea (taken after 15 overs had been bowled) the score was 49, Masood 21, Dennison 10.

There now remained 50 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs to get 175 more runs. Three more wickets fell quickly after tea and despite Masood's century Ireland were never in with a real chance. Spencer came on with his accurate medium pace seam bowling. In his second over he caught and bowled Dennison (17) and bowled Anderson (1). Prior stayed in for 26 minutes for 1 run before he too fell to Spencer. 77-4-1.

Masood hit Morrill for a six and went to his 50 in 130 minutes. He now accelerated in an endeavour to win. His next 50 occupied only 32 minutes! Blundell replaced Spencer and this gave both batsmen a better chance. The start of the minimum final 20 overs was signalled at 94-4, so 130 were still required. Masood did his best. He lost Lewis (14) with the score on 108 but with McBrine he added 69 for the next wicket, of which McBrine only made 13. Masood fired out some great drives and cuts. He hit two more sixes and reached 100 in 145 minutes.

Spencer came back and 51 were still needed off four overs. Then Masood was out for 111, with the total on 177, well caught by Reeve at long-off off Spencer. Masood was in for 148 minutes, faced 153 deliveries, hit 4 sixes and 12 fours. McBrine hit a six onto the sponsor's tent and the day ended (52 overs having been bowled) at 181-6, Spencer 4-25 in 13 overs. Masood's century was the 50th scored for Ireland.