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Match Report
Derek Scott

With great nonchalance Nelson and Jeffrey played out the last 23 deliveries to draw the match. JMA sponsored the game and Leinster set up a tented village for corporate clients. The crowd was poor despite a week-end date and reasonable weather. Lancashire last visited Ireland in 1959. They brought the best team that could, taking injury into account. Wasim Akram, Patterson, DeFreitas, Mendis and Fairbrother did not play in the previous Lancashire match. The captain Hughes and wicket-keeper Hegg stood down from the 13 who came, the team being captained by former Test fast bowler Allott.

Ireland dropped Garth for Vincent. The pitch was good. Lloyd, son of Test player David, and Speak opened to the bowling of Jeffrey and Nelson at 11:30 AM. Warke dropped two catches at second slip, the first at 6 in Nelson's second over off Lloyd. The openers were bowled out at 34. Jeffrey caught and bowled Speak (4) and Thompson in his first over bowled Lloyd for 30. Warke put down Titchard (then 1) at 36 off Jeffrey. 50 came up in 18 overs. Lewis replaced Jeffrey and was, as usual, expensive - but, again as usual, he took a wicket by clean bowling Jesty. 62-3-9. Harrison came on with the score on 86 and he too claimed a quick wicket, Titchard being LBW. 96-4-22. At lunch, after 31 overs, Lancashire were 101-4, Austin 28 and Fowler 0.

Austin went at 107, mis-hitting to square leg. The dangerous Watkinson hit a six off Harrison but was caught at the wicket in Thompson's 13th over. In Thompson's next over Cohen dropped Fitton off a hard gully chance. 150 came up in 45 overs. Then Fitton slashed at Harrison and was caught by Jackson. 152-7 was a splendid position, but now ex Test players, Fowler and Allott, took over. 60 were added in only 33 minutes and off seven overs. Allott hit Harrison for successive sixes but was stumped next ball. This brought the declaration with the score at 212-8. Fowler was 55*in 93 minutes. He hit eight fours with elegant left-handed strokes. Harrison (4-66) and Thompson (2-49) were the best of the bowlers.

In 50 minutes before tea Ireland got 41 in 13 overs for the loss of Vincent. He was out, LBW, to Allott's second ball. It had been decided to drop Warke down to number 4 to bolster the middle order batting. Martin and Allott bowled up to tea when Cohen was 13, Nulty 23. After tea Nulty added another 21 in six overs. 50 came up in 14.2 overs, but, at 64, Nulty was caught at wide mid-on for a brisk 44 (which included 7 fours) in 66 minutes.

Warke continued the good work with Cohen. 100 came up in 36.1 overs. Warke was playing well in defence and hitting the loose ball. It looked as if both batsmen would see the day out despite the use of six Lancashire bowlers. However, 10 minutes before the close Jesty, in his second over, had Cohen caught at the wicket. His 32 occupied 162 minutes. By the close, at 7 PM, Warke was 46, Harrison 0 and the total 135-3 off 47 overs. Warke had given a stumping chance off Fitton when 33.

Overnight there were discussions regarding the second day. It seemed to be agreed that Ireland would declare after half an hour and that Lancashire would set Ireland about 200 to win. In fact they set Ireland 243 in 56 overs (it could have been less overs if Ireland were pressing to win). Warke soon ran to 50 (after 115 minutes) and, in all, added 35 in 30 minutes with Harrison. The latter made only 4. He slashed at Fitton and was caught at the wicket. Warke finished in a blaze of glory, hitting Jesty for two sixes. He added 29 in the half-hour today. He had two sixes and eight fours in his 75 made in 130 minutes. Ireland declared 34 behind.

In 80 minutes up to lunch Ireland bowled 22 overs and Lancashire made 83-1. Five bowlers were tried. In his sixth and last over Jeffrey took the wicket of Lloyd caught at mid-wicket by Warke. 43-1-29. At lunch Speak was 39, Titchard 15. After lunch Harrison and Halliday made up an all off-spin attack. 100 was up in 24 overs, Titchard hitting Halliday for three fours in one over. Then Harrison took wickets in successive overs. Speak was caught by Jackson for 49 with the total on 116 and Titchard caught at square leg for 38 at 119.

Austin arrived at number 5 to play an extraordinary innings. He batted for 45 minutes, faced 33 balls and was last out - without scoring! While he was in the score went from 119 to 208. Thompson returned for Halliday. Jesty hit him for a six and a four in his first over but was caught at the wicket off the last ball. 129-4-12. Enter Watkinson. He batted 31 minutes, faced 33 balls, reached 50 in 20 minutes off 23 balls, and hit 68 in boundaries, 8 sixes and 5 fours. He hit a six in Harrison's eighth over but really set to work in Harrison's next over which read 6-6-6-4-6-4, 32 in one over. All the sixes were big but he was dropped at deep square leg by Halliday off the last ball. Watkinson was already 40 and the score 170. Austin then blocked an over from Thompson. Halliday had another go at Watkinson or, perhaps, it was the other way round! This over read 0-6-6-6-4-1, 23 in the over and 55 off 2. The score rose from 152 to 200 in four overs. Nelson replaced Harrison (2-83 in 10 overs). He was hit for two fours but then Warke caught Watkinson on the boundary at long-on. 208-5-76. It had been a memorable half-hour. In the next over Nelson had Austin caught by Jackson and Lancashire declared.

There was now an hour to go to tea and in all 128 minutes +20 overs in the last hour to get 243. In the hour until tea, Martin, Allott and Fitton bowled 15 overs, Ireland scored 45 without loss (Cohen 20, Vincent 21) and Lancashire dropped five catches! At 12 Cohen (then 3) was put down by Austin in the gully off Martin. At 14, in the same over, Vincent (then 6) was dropped by Speak at second gully. At 18 Cohen (then 5) was put down by Watkinson at second slip off Allott. David Hughes had come on to the field for the sick Fowler and he dropped the next two, both off Martin, in successive overs at slip. Vincent (then 19) escaped first with the total on 40, then Cohen (also then 19) at 44. After tea 50 came up in 16.2 overs. Watkinson came on for the 17th over and bowled Vincent (26) in the 19th. Eight balls later, with the total still on 62, Cohen (32) was caught at the wicket. Warke hit a four and a three but popped the first ball of Watkinson's next over to forward short leg. 69-3-7.

Harrison joined Nulty and a good partnership got underway. Harrison started slowly but 100 was up in 29 overs. Speak was given four overs which cost 20 runs. The score was 125-3 in the 35th over with 22 overs remaining to get 118. The field had been kept in with, at times, up to 7 or 8 fielders at slip or gully. A very quick ball from Watkinson got Harrison LBW at 125. He made 23. Lewis was probably out first ball off bat and pad but was given not out. "Verbals" were then exchanged for a while. After 37 overs the last 20 were called with the total on 127-4.

In the fourth over of the last 20 Nulty was caught off Fitton for a good 39 made in 69 minutes. In his next over Jackson skied Fitton to square leg. 148-6-1. With the total at 160 Thompson was bowled by Fitton's faster ball. Austin came on to bowl the 13th over of the last 20. Lewis hit him for two fours but was LBW in Austin's second over, pushing his front foot into the line of the ball. 170-8. Hegg, the County wicket-keeper, was now fielding substitute and he caught a brilliant right handed catch at second slip to dismiss Halliday in Austin's next over. Nine wickets were now down and 23 balls remained as the fielders crowded Nelson and Jeffrey. Jeffrey faced 14 of these and both players were bold enough to hit a four. Ireland were 51 run short when Nelson and Jeffrey were cheered home. The pounds 50 sponsor's awards went to Nulty and Watkinson.

Match Programme
Rathmines, Dublin