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Match Report
Derek Scott

For the two Worcester games Ireland selected the 11 who played against Gloucester plus A McBrine and TJT Patterson to make a panel of 13. McBrine cried off (due to work) and Rea came in as Warke was in some doubt due to an injured foot. Brigade CC had not been used for an international since 1970 but, sadly, the pitch had not improved. It turned with inconsistent bounce from an early stage and Worcester could not give a batting exhibition. This was a pity because the crowd was large on a closed date for North West cricket, whose centenary match this was.

The great Graeme Hick, who had scored 309 against Ireland in Zimbabwe in 1986, had scored 405*against Somerset in May and also scored over 1000 runs before the end of May. Worcester did not bring Curtis, Dilley or Radford. Their captain, Phil Neale, had his benefit in 1988 and ICU gave pounds 1000 to his fund. The Northern Bank sponsored the match (Sterling 2500) and wished it to be played in central Derry. The match was one of 55 overs per side with bowlers restricted to 11 overs. Ireland played the team that had played in Bristol.

As usual in these matches the visitors batted first, opening at 11 AM with O'Shaughnessy and Lord to the bowling of Milling and Nelson. The opening stand was by far the best of the match. They put on 91 in 25.2 overs with O'Shaughnessy attacking and the left-handed Lord defending. Garth came on with the score at 41 and Halliday at 47 but Ireland did not try the spinners soon enough. 50 came up in 18.1 overs.

In Halliday's second over O'Shaughnessy was dropped by Milling at deep square leg when 46 and the total 58. He went to 50 in 82 minutes with his 10th four. After 22 overs Jackson retired with a pulled leg muscle with the score at 67-0. Warke took over as both captain and wicket-keeper and Patterson came out to field. O'Shaughnessy hit a six off Halliday and two more fours. Halliday, in his fifth over, began a sequence in which he took a wicket in four successive overs. At 91 Nelson took a huge skier at square leg, with Milling bearing down on him, to dismiss O'Shaughnessy. He had scored 68 in 99 minutes with a six and 12 fours.

Lord was only 18 when Hick arrived. Harrison replaced Garth (7 overs for 33) with the score at 92. At 93 Patterson caught Lord at cover off another skier. 93-2-19. In his next over Halliday got D'Oliveira caught at short leg by Cohen via bat and pad. 100-3-5. Hick was in for 25 minutes, hit three fours including two in the over in which he was out. He leaned back to cut the last ball of Halliday's eighth over and Patterson caught a low diving two-handed catch at cover. 123-4-21. At lunch (after 35 overs) Worcester were 131-4, Weston 12, Newport 0.

In 16.3 overs after lunch the remaining six wickets fell for 69 more runs. Halliday had two overs left and finished with 4-57, Newport hitting a six in his last over. Masood now bowled eight overs and Harrison switched to the Pavilion end to replace Halliday - this being the bad end. Weston and Newport both hit out and put on 43 in all.

Then Harrison, in his seventh over, had Newport, who had hit two sixes and two fours in his 25, caught by Lewis on the boundary at wide mid-on. 166-5. Masood now nipped in with two wickets in successive overs. At 168 he bowled Pridgeon (2) and at 176 had Iillingworth caught at extra cover by Cohen off a skier. Two overs later, at 195, Masood got Weston (37) caught by Milling at deep extra cover. Harrison, in his last over, had Rhodes caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Lewis. Nelson came back for Halliday and his third ball saw McEwan out, caught by Warke at the wicket. The score was exactly 200 in 51.3 overs and Masood had 3-30. It was ironical that Patterson should have caught Hick. In Zimbabwe Hick had been dropped off the bowling of Patterson when 17. He went on to make 309!

Warke and Cohen opened the Irish innings at 3 PM. It followed a course similar to Worcester's. The faster bowlers, Newport, Pridgeon and McEwan were not expensive but they took no wickets. Newport and Pridgeon were both hit for two fours in their first three overs. Illingworth, slow left-arm, came on for the 14th over at 37 and was hit for 12 in his first two overs. 50 came up in only 16.1 overs and, at this point, Ireland had a very good chance. Illingworth's 11 overs had to be treated with care as he was spinning away from the bat and now had only nine overs left. In his next eight overs however he took five wickets, the first 5 to fall.

The Warke- Cohen stand was worth 56 in 18.4 overs when Warke, driving, was caught at gully. He had made a steady 18. Masood was the great hope. 16 had been added in 13 minutes with Masood hitting two fours off McEwan. Then he lunged at Illingworth and was caught at the wicket. Cohen was fast bearing down on a fourth successive 50 when he, too, drove at Illingworth and was caught at gully. His tight defence and strokeplay had brought him seven fours in 73 minutes off 75 balls. 77-3-42.

Harrison hit Weston, who was given two overs, for two fours but lost Lewis for 1 at 87, caught at cover driving. Illingworth had taken 3-0 in 8 balls over three overs. Harrison and McCollum saw 100 up in 30.5 overs but, in his 10th over, Illingworth struck again. McCollum drove and Hick took the slip catch. 101-5-6. Tea was due in 2.3 overs when Garth joined Harrison. Off these 15 balls, delivered by Illingworth and Hick, (on with his off spin with the total at 88) 22 were scored. Garth, in Illingworth's last over, top edged a six over square leg and, next ball, carried the mid-wicket boundary for another six. Illingworth had now bowled his 11 overs and taken 5-40.

At tea (off 35 overs) the score was 123-5, Harrison 26, Garth 14. 78 were required in 20 overs and all depended on the pair at the wicket. Ireland certainly did not want an interval at that point as such intervals often change the game. So it proved. The remaining 5 wickets fell in 10.2 overs for 29 runs - 4 of them to occasional offspinner D' Oliveira. He came on in place of Illingworth bowling towards the "bad" end while Hick took the other end. 7 were added in two overs. Then Garth blocked four balls from D' Oliveira and tried to hit the fifth out of the ground. Newport caught him on the mid-wicket fence. 130-6-17.

D' Oliveira had Jackson caught at long leg at 134. Harrison hit Hick for a six but was caught at cover driving in D' Oliveira's next over. 145-8-41. Harrison had been in for an hour, faced 51 deliveries and hit a six and five fours in a splendid innings. Hick accounted for Halliday, stumped, at 151 and Milling was caught at long-on at 152 to give D' Oliveira his fourth wicket for 9 runs in 5.2 overs. He took the four in 23 balls for 5 runs.

There was some drunken fighting among spectators during the match and, afterwards, in the pavilion. At 1 AM there was an armed raid on the Pavilion as it was being locked up. Sterling 900 was taken but most of the day's cash had been removed. A bus to take both teams to Malahide did not arrive until 9:40 PM and did not arrive at Malahide until 1:15 AM. A back operation had prevented Ian Botham from coming with Worcester.

Beechgrove, Londonderry