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Match Report
Derek Scott

The good people of Norton delivered the party back to Harare early on the morning of Monday, January 13. Here it was learned that could be no rest day on Thursday. The final three game match has to be played over Thursday, Friday and Saturday if the Zimbabwe XI were to be strong due to league matches on Sunday. The party now went out to Wedza by bus - a 45 mile drive to the South East of Harare. There was a visit to a 4000 acre Game Reserve at the Travers farm and lunch "Al Fresco" during the drive around the Reserve. Accommodation would be in private houses for two nights.

There was a 9:40 AM start the next day. Seven of the team at Norton reappeared for Mashonaland and there was also Butchart, a well-known Zimbabwe International all-rounder. Haire, Harrison, Dennison and Vincent were left out of the Irish team but nobody was now unfit except Lewis with his bad back. He bowled three overs in this match but it was poor stuff.

The day was very hot but with some breeze on a ground which was big and at some time in the past was reclaimed from the Bush. Mashonaland elected to bat and scored 228 in 59.5 overs. They were 68-4 in the 23rd over. Butchart's innings swung the match but he was dropped off a skier with the score on126. Also, the last two wickets put on 40. Ireland were doing well in reply at 87-2 in the 31st over, but Warke and Prior could only manage 18 in the next 10 overs. The game was lost at that stage.

McDevitt was given the new ball with Milling, Patterson being held until the end. Milling had Travers caught at mid-off in the ninth over. 22-1-11. In the next over McDevitt had Seager caught at the wicket, giving Jackson his 50th victim for Ireland. 24-2-10. Jackson took another catch in the 11th over off Milling, Ziehl being out for nought. 25-3. Butchart arrived to join Staunton. Lewis came on at 36 to relieve McDevitt (who had bowled six overs). He bowled three wides in three overs and gave way to McBrine. Halliday had come on for Milling and saw Staunton (then 7) dropped by Masood at gully with the score on 48. This miss cost 20 runs as Staunton (18) was not dismissed, caught and bowled by Halliday, until the score was 68.

There was a 15 minutes tea break with the score on 74-4 after 25 overs. With Halliday and McBrine in harness the scoring was slow - 78-4 at the halfway mark of 30 overs. 100 came up in the 39th over. This was the first over bowled by Patterson and from this point the scoring rate accelerated. McDevitt replaced McBrine for the 44th over with the score on 125. There was then a crucial miss. Butchart, when 49, hoisted McDevitt's third ball, a skier to mid-off, which McBrine dropped. This gave Butchart his 50 in 109 minutes with the score on 127. 24 runs came in the next two overs including a Butchart six off McDevitt. Then, at 164, McDevitt bowled Ervine (31) in the 40th over. This stand was worth 96 in 80 minutes. Patterson's six overs cost 36.

Milling bowled the next six overs, replacing Patterson. For a while the pace was stemmed and McDevitt had Butchart caught at extra cover in the 52nd over. 183-6-84. Butchart batted 144 minutes and faced 126 balls. McDevitt bowled Dolphin in the 54th over and in the same over, his last, had Timms caught at mid-off. Patterson returned for McDevitt and the rate went up again. In 3.4 overs Viljeon and Langlois added 20. Then Viljeon was caught at the wicket. Locke joined Langlois and another 20 were added including a 6 to Locke, two balls before Patterson bowled him. McDevitt's 5-51 in 12 overs was very good and the first five wicket haul by an Irish bowler in a limited overs match. Patterson conceded 58 in 8.5 overs.

Lunch was taken between innings. The Irish reply began badly, two wickets falling for 16. Warke and Lewis then put on 71 and the score was 87-2 after 31.5 overs. After the dismissal of Lewis the next 10 overs (with Warke and Prior together) put on only 18 runs. Then the last seven wickets fell for only 38. Cohen opened with Warke but was LBW with the score on nine. Three overs later Masood met the same fate. Then came the Warke-Lewis stand. Lewis was lucky with the total on 20, being dropped at second slip. Tea came with the score at 71-2, Warke 28, Lewis 27.

It was the slow bowlers, Staunton (off spin) and Dolphin (slow left arm) who did the damage later on. They both came on in the early 70s. They bowled out their 12 overs and between them took 5-60. At 87 Lewis hooked Staunton to long leg. 87-3-31. Prior arrived at the worst time for him with the slow bowlers on. In the next 10 overs he faced 23 deliveries and scored only four. Warke faced 37 deliveries and scored 11. Warke was caught in the gully in the 42nd over after batting 143 minutes for 50. 105-4-50. Two overs later Dolphin had Patterson caught. Prior was Dolphin's third victim in successive overs bowled by him. Prior was bowled for 20 having faced 39 balls. 122-6-20. With his last ball Staunton took the seventh wicket at 130, McBrine being caught at extra cover without scoring. Viljeon then bowled two overs and took a wicket in each. He caught and bowled Halliday (0) at 132 and bowled McDevitt (5) at 140. The opening bowler Locke, finished the innings on 143 in the 52nd over by bowling Milling. The last seven wickets had fallen in only 10 overs.

The dismissal of Ziehl in the Mashonaland innings was quite hilarious. Milling bowled a very wide ball which the umpire turned and signalled too soon. He did not see Ziehl chase the ball a long way and snick it to Jackson whereupon Ziehl "walked". He was three quarters of the way back to the Pavilion while the Umpire continued to signal "wide".