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Match Report
Derek Scott

Rain only allowed each side one innings in this match. Three hours were lost on the first day and the whole of the third day. Welshpool was a new venue, a nice market town. The ground was slightly narrow but had quite good length had not the Welsh Cricket Association instructed the club to restrict the straight boundaries to 55 yards. The result was 92 fours and 12 sixes, 440 runs out of 642 in boundaries! G Edwards could not play for Wales who had newcomers in Puddle, Tremellen, Lloyd, Morris and A Davies. Dennison was still injured and could not play but did both field and keep wicket (when Jackson became ill).

The pitch did not look great but played quite well. Ireland were sent in and soon lost Cohen. In Kitson's third over he touched an outswinger and was caught at the wicket. 7-1-3. Ellis replaced Morris, after the latter's six overs. In Ellis's third over Warke tried to run the ball down to 3rd man and was caught at second slip. 37-2-24. Rea and a very circumspect Masood were now together. Masood faced 19 balls before he scored, got to 10, and then faced another 19 before scoring again. 50 came up in 26 overs. At 55 Rea gave a difficult chance to short mid-wicket off off-spinner Lloyd. At lunch (taken at 2 PM), 37 overs had been bowled, the score was 67-2 with Rea 19 Masood, in 54 minutes, 20.

There was 24 minutes play after lunch before rain caused a delay until 5:42 PM. In those 24 minutes eight overs were bowled and 37 runs scored. 100 came up in 44.5 overs and at the break the score was 104-2, Rea 27, Masood 49 having scored 29 in those eight overs. At 5:42 PM a further 22 minutes play was possible. 5.3 overs were bowled and the score taken to 120-3. Kitson returned after the break got Rea with his second ball - caught at second slip. 104-3-27. With Harrison in Masood reached 50 in 83 minutes, despite the slow start. His aggregate was now over 500 for the season, the first ever to reach this mark. He was 57 and Harrison 8 when further rain caused the last scheduled 56 minutes to be lost.

An extra hour (11 AM-7:30 PM) was agreed for the second day in view of the time lost. In contrast the second day was warm and sunny. Ireland suffered a mid-innings collapse and were rescued, not for the first time in 1987, by the tail. They were all out 16 minutes after lunch for 321 off 97.3 overs. The last 47 overs of the innings yielded 201 runs. 120 of these came in a 90 minute eighth wicket stand by Patterson and Jackson. Morris finished an over begun the previous day. Masood hit the first ball for 4. Morris retired at the end of the over with an injured foot and did not bowl again. Masood was soon into his stride against Kitson and the seamer A Davies. He only dealt in boundaries. He hit four fours and a six off Kitson to carry him to 79. 150 was up in 56.2 overs, the last 50 coming in 11.3 overs.

Then, with the score on 151, both batsmen were out caught at the wicket. Harrison was out cutting at Davies. 151-4-17. Masood followed in Kitson's next over chasing a wide ball. For the fourth time this year Masood was out in sight of a century, 89, 84, 91 and 79. He was in for 128 minutes and faced 127 balls, with a six and 15 fours - 66 of his 79 in boundaries - due to the very short boundaries. Two more wickets fell quickly. Corlett was LBW to Davies for 10 with the score on 163. Ellis replaced Kitson and had McBrine caught at mid-off, at the second attempt, at 175. McBrine had hit three fours in his 14 but met this ball on the rise. 175-7 was a far cry from 151-3 after only 45 minutes play.

Patterson was still scoreless when Jackson joined him. Patterson had a terrible start hardly getting bat to the first 21 balls he faced. Jackson had "a look" for a couple of overs and then began to hit fours with consummate timing. He trashed his way to 52 in an hour off 51 balls with 11 fours and only three singles - his first 50 for Ireland. 200 came up in 72.5 overs and 250 10 overs later. Tremellen was tried and his four overs yielded 29 while two from Roberts cost 15.

When Kitson came back Patterson hit him for six. 120 runs came in an exhilarating 90 minutes off 26 overs, the second best eighth wicket stand after Corlett and McBrine's 150 against Scotland earlier in the season. Five minutes before lunch Patterson was caught at the wicket (M Davies' fourth catch) pushing forward at Lloyd. 295-8-43. Lunch, taken after 94 overs, came with the score on 296-8, Jackson 70, Halliday 0.

3.3 overs were bowled after lunch. Jackson got up to 89 with 17 fours and only 11 singles off 85 balls in 116 minutes. A century for the Irish captain seemed certain. He was left stranded. Off successive deliveries from Kitson Halliday was caught and bowled and Elder caught at slip. Jackson had played extraordinarily well - his timing and execution of shots on both sides of the wicket being excellent. Kitson, in 21.3 overs, took 5-76.

Wales set off at 2:40 PM needing 172 to avoid a follow-on. In 4 hours (71 overs) the scored 321-8, thus equalling Ireland's score. The bulk of this came from a 218 run partnership for the fourth wicket between Roberts and Puddle in 150 minutes - an away record for this wicket against Ireland. When Puddle was 5 he was caught by Jackson off Elder, a low catch, but given not out. There was a big deflection but the umpire must have decided it did not carry. Had the square leg Umpire been consulted, he would have said that it did!

Wales went off at a great pace, and with one wicket down had 50 up in 12.3 overs. By the 18th over three wickets had fallen for 65 - all to Patterson. At 28 he bowled Elward with a swinging full toss which went from knee to stumps. At 51 Corlett caught Ellis at deep square-leg after making a lot of ground. At 65 Francis had an awful heave and was bowled. Patterson bowled 10 overs and took 3-44 when he had to come off with a sore foot and could not bowl again. Elder and Halliday were now bowling. Roberts opened with a six and then came the Puddle "incident" mentioned above. 100 was up in 24.5 overs. By tea (taken after 31 overs) the score was 138-3, Roberts 42, Puddle 35.

In 40 overs after tea to the close 183 runs were scored! 150 came up in 35 overs and Roberts reached 50 with a six, his fourth, in 71 minutes. He had also hit five fours. Puddle took a minute longer over 60 with a five and eight fours. Halliday suffered some big blows and McBrine's two overs cost 18. Masood (seven overs for 21) and Corlett (seven overs for 34) stemmed the flow but 200 was up in 45.2 overs. At drinks break at 243 Jackson retired with migraine. Dennison was allowed to keep wicket with Warke taking over as captain. Ian Johnston was also in the field for Patterson. 250 came up in 55.4 overs and in the same over Roberts reached 103 in 152 minutes, with 80 coming in boundaries.

Elder and Halliday were now bowling again and did so until close of play. The 200 stand came in 142 minutes. At 283 Harrison put down Roberts off Elder, a swirling chance at deep extra cover. Roberts was out in the next over, caught by McBrine at long-off off Halliday. 283-5-127. This left hander batted with great power and assurance for 168 minutes and faced 141 balls. He hit eight sixes and 13 fours - exactly 100 in boundaries. In five matches against Ireland he has had a score of over 50 in all five. The stand of 218 came in 150 minutes and spanned 42 overs.

Puddle was now 91. With Tremellen in he went to 100 in 159 minutes with a six, a five and 16 fours. It was the eighth century against Ireland in 1987. Now wickets began to tumble. Five fell for 30 runs in the last 11 overs. At 294 Halliday got Tremellen, without scoring, on one that kept low and Tremellen played on. 300 was up in 63.3 overs. At 307 Puddle was out for 110. Warke at mid-wicket held a skier coming over his shoulder off Halliday. The latter had now taken three wickets in four overs. Puddle was in for 176 minutes, faced 141 deliveries, and hit a six, a five and 17 fours. At 313 Cohen held a good head high catch at square leg off Elder to dismiss M Davies for 4. At the same score Lloyd had a head up heave at Halliday and was bowled. A Davies (2) and Kitson (6) were together at the 7:30 PM close of play. Seven bowlers were tried. All conceded at least 4 runs per over except Masood. Patterson's absence was missed in the last session. Halliday had 4-93 in 18 overs, after having been 0-63 in 12.

It rained all the third day which was scheduled for 6.5 hours play.

This was the last match for two of Ireland's best players over the previous 14 years. SC Corlett (1974-87) played 73 matches, scored 1045 runs, at an average of 17.41, and took 233 wickets, at an average of 23.12. Only Monteith and Bouchier were ahead of him in terms of wickets taken. His ability, fitness and keenness were a great asset to this team over 14 seasons. He was 37. JWG Elder (1973-87) played 37 times and took 70 wickets at an average of 24.67. He also was 37. Both of these players were a very big loss to Ireland.