An extraordinary match and Ireland's best chance of winning in 10 attempts. The greater chance came on the second day as Derby stood on 95-7. Holding (10) skied Thompson to mid-off. Garth seemed to sight the ball and settled himself. He then claimed the sun blinded him (he had no cap on) and went to ground with his hands protecting his head. The ball fell 5 yards away. This would have made the score 95-8. 35 were added before the wicket fell and Holding's 32 was the top score of the match by 16 runs.
Ireland brought in Nulty (new cap), Halliday (for the unavailable McBrine), Jackson (who was captain) and Jeffrey (who last played in the 1987 Nat West match). As well as McBrine, Semple, Rutherford, McCrum dropped out. Derbyshire were at full strength. Barnett had been on the losing England side at Lords the previous day against Australia and Holding was the recently retired West Indies fast bowler.
On an overcast damp morning Ireland won the toss for the fifth successive time in Nat West matches. They had wanted to bat but in the conditions sent Derby in - a good decision! Play was four times interrupted and there was no play after 3:20 PM. By this time Derby were 66-5 and Ireland much chuffed. Barnett and Bowler opened at 10:30 AM to Nelson and Jeffrey. In the first 85 minutes of play there were three interruptions of 14, 18 and 24 minutes. Only nine overs had been bowled for 17 runs and the wicket.
At 11:55 AM play got underway again with Jeffrey bowling to Bowler. The third legitimate ball (there had been a wide) saw Jackson take a very good catch. 18-1-8. Morris hit a four but was LBW in Nelson's next over. 23-2-4. Sharma added 11 with Barnett. Then the latter - a prize wicket - was run out. He attempted a suicidal second run to Lewis at cover. The ball had been stopped but got away from Lewis. His recovery was quick and his throw strong and accurate to Jackson. 34-3-16. Two overs later Gladwin was LBW to Jeffrey. 43-4-8. This wicket fell at 2:51 PM after another hold up from 12:19 PM during which lunch was taken. At 52 Roberts (5) was missed by Halliday at first slip in Nelson's 10th over - the ball going for 4. After he had bowled 10 overs (2-44) Garth replaced Jeffrey. The score had moved up to 66. After both his first two balls Garth collapsed with apparently an injured back. There were long delays each time. His third delivery left Sharma off the pitch and was caught by Warke at slip. 66-5-10. At that point play terminated for the day with Roberts 13 not out.
The second day was fine and sunny with conditions less in favour of the bowler. Garth finished his over and bowled four more. Nelson bowled out his two overs in the second of which he collected the third LBW of the innings - Roberts for 13. Now the score was 69-6. Newman joined Maher who sensibly was grafting, there being 36 overs left. Thompson replaced Nelson. He bowled 4 wides in his first four overs but there were no runs from the bat. In his fifth over he conceded a 2 and next ball had Newman taken by Warke at second slip. 85-7.
Lewis (one wondered why not Halliday?) had replaced Garth and Holding had arrived. In Thompson's eight over, with the score at 95, came the dropped catch referred to above. 100 came up in 40.2 overs. At 109 Halliday replaced Thompson. He it was who took the 8 and 9th wickets but Holding had hit Thompson for a 4 and a 6 in his 11th over. Maherwas in for 100 minutes for 14 when Halliday, in his third over, got one to stop and bounce which Maher lobbed to mid-on. 130-8-14. Next over Holding advanced to Halliday and was bowled. 135-9-32. This 32 in 67 minutes was vital.
The last pair added 10. Then Lewis bowled Malcolm with one that kept low - lunch having been delayed to complete the overs. The last wicket fell after 56.1 overs. The six bowlers all did well and each of them took at least one wicket. Nelson was outstanding with Thompson and Halliday close behind. At 1:26 PM Warke and Cohen started to Holding and Mortensen. The latter had played against Ireland at Rathmines in the mid-1970s. He is a very good, if injury prone, fast medium seam bowler. In 10 balls he demolished the Irish innings. For 8 overs Warke and Cohen resisted some very hostile bowling. Then Holding bowled Cohen. 9-1-7.
No runs had been scored off Mortensen's four overs. In his fifth he had Warke caught at third slip. In his sixth over Lewis was LBW to the first ball, Garth flicked the 2nd to the wicket-keeper on the leg side and Harrison was LBW off the last. Mortensen had 4-1 and Ireland were 13-5 in 12 overs. Nulty and a very apprehensive Thompson added 20, Thompson hitting two off-side fours off Holding. Malcolm came on with the score at 32 and bowled Thompson in his first over. 33-6-12. At 37 Mortensen had Nulty caught at slip. 37-7-8. Jackson and Halliday added 17 in seven overs.
Then Mortensen, in his last over, took his sixth wicket for 14 runs when Halliday was caught at slip. At the same score Malcolm bowled Jackson who had scored 16 off 23 deliveries. Nelson and Jeffrey had the best stand of the Irish innings and the second best of the match. The put on 28 runs in 30 minutes off six overs. Jeffrey got 15 of these and saw Newman (medium pace) and Sharma (off-spin) come on to bowl. Eventually, with the total on 82, Sharma bowled Jeffrey at 3:38 PM. Cyril Washbrook made Mortensen Man-of-the-Match for his 6-14 in 12 overs. He kept a full length at fast medium. The pitch helped and he hardly bowled a bad ball. The Irish "might have beens" centred around Garth's catch. The second round tie at Worcester would have been the prize.