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Match Report
Derek Scott

A big crowd attended this AIB sponsored match (pounds 1100). The day was much warmer and Ireland did much better. They still faced 305 to win in 330 balls! Leatherdale (76) came in for McEwan in the Worcester team. For Ireland Lamba would not be released by Cliftonville CC, and Cohen had a side injury. Spence and Smyth (Brigade CC) came in, the latter gaining his first cap. He batted number six and made 59*in two hours with 9 fours - the first Irish born player to make 50 on debut since GP O'Brien against Holland at Downpatrick in 1976.

Ireland again made a reasonable start. After 36 overs Worcester were 145-5 but the last 19 overs realised a further 160, with Botham and Hick batting at numbers seven and eight. McCrum tucked up Weston in his second over and bowled him. 3-1-2. Curtis and D' Oliveira went along quietly. 50 came in 17 overs. Nelson and Harrison were tried and it was Nelson who got Curtis (38) caught at square-leg by debutant Smyth at 75. At once Lewis came on for Harrison and not Spence.

D' Oliveira hit his first ball for six and his four overs cost 26. In the over after he got Curtis Nelson also dismissed D' Oliveira who skied to mid-off. 82-3-39. Neale and Leatherdale saw 100 up in 27.2 overs. Johnston returned for Lewis and saw Jackson, most unusually, drop an easy catch offered by Neale (then 22) with the score on 121. It was not expensive. In his next over Johnston dismissed Neale, Harrison taking a good catch at backward square leg. 132-4-23. Johnston followed this with another wicket in his next over. He brilliantly caught Rhodes low and right-handed about halfway up the pitch. Botham came in and two overs later lunch was taken with the score at 157-5 in 38 overs, Leatherdale 38, Botham 8. 150 had come up in 37.1 overs.

Most of the post lunch bowling was shared by Nelson and Harrison with McCrum bowling three overs at the end. Leatherdale upped his tempo. He reached 50 in 62 minutes and got a further 26 in 17 minutes. 200 was up in 42.2 overs. Leatherdale hit 6 fours and 4 sixes before being stumped off Harrison off a ball that was called a wide! 218-6-79. 73 run stand came in 28 minutes.

Hick now came in and Botham was 26. When he was 30, and the total 222, Patterson dropped him at long-on off Nelson. The pair added 40 in 15 minutes, 250 coming in 48.4 overs. Botham went to 50 in 42 minutes, hit another 6 and 4 and was caught by Smyth off Harrison at wide long-on. 258-7-61. Botham hit 7 fours and 2 sixes. Hick got 24 in 18 deliveries and was caught at deep long-off by Lewis off Nelson. Nelson accounted for Lampitt at 289 and with the third last ball McCrum bowled Stemp. McCrum was the least expensive bowler, 2-32 in 8.4 overs, but Nelson took four wickets for 81 in 13 overs. 33 fours and 8 sixes had been hit.

At 3:08 PM Warke and Vincent opened to Newport and Weston. Each took a wicket. Weston had Warke (3) caught at slip with the total on 11. Vincent was missed at slip by Botham off Newport at 11 but he got Lewis next over. Once again D' Oliveira was the slip catcher. Hick and D' Oliveira, both off-spinners, came on. At 25 D'Oliveira had Vincent caught at mid-wicket by Irish 12th man John Hoey who was fielding for Worcester. 25-3-10. Harrison and Smyth stopped the rot and Lampitt and Curtis were given a bowl. In Curtis's first over D' Oliveira, at slip, threw down Harrison's wicket before he could get back after playing a shot. 52-4-17, and the 50 had taken 22.3 overs. Patterson joined Smyth and at tea, after 29 overs, the score was 66-4, Smyth 16, Patterson 6.

After tea Stemp, a young slow left armer, bowled all the time at one end taking 3-47 in 13 overs. Botham, who did not intend to bowl due to a strained thigh, bowled the first five overs at the other end. He had Patterson, dropped at slip before he had scored, caught at extra cover jumping out to drive. Hick, off spin, joined Stemp for the rest of the innings.

Smyth, now playing very well and at ease against the spinners with no outfielders, was joined by Spence. In 34 minutes they put on 58. Going from 23 to 45 Smyth struck 6 fours, mostly good cover drives. 100 came up in 42.4 overs. On they went, until at 138 Spence gave John Hoey another catch - off Stemp. Spence hit three fours in his 22 and saw Smyth reach 50 in 96 minutes just before his dismissal. McCrum fell in Stemp's next over, caught by McEwan (another substitute fielder, but at least a Worcestershire one!) at mid-off. 140-7.

Jackson made 12 in 13 balls before being caught at extra cover. Smyth and Nelson saw out the last over. Smyth hit 9 fours in his 59*in 121 minutes off 107 deliveries. He won the Man-of-the-Match Award for Ireland as did Leatherdale for Worcester. The Worcester party was very friendly and co-operative in every way. Four days later they beat Nottingham at Trent Bridge to enter the B and H final.

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