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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

The batting was better than the bowling on both sides and the match petered out into a draw. Played on 2 fine days on a flat but slow pitch there was not time, in the end, for a result. Midway through the second day Ireland were only 114 runs ahead with six wickets down. Noel Nelson saved the day with his maiden international 50 in his fifth match and fifth innings. By the time the crisis was averted there was no opportunity to set Matabeleland a realistic target. Ireland left out Bailey, Alan Nelson (injured), Nulty and Rea. The latter was missing his first tour match but had shown no form. All the available bowlers played.

Ireland won the toss and batted, surely a mistake in a two-day match in sunshine. It deprived Ireland of a fourth innings chase. Warke and Dunlop opened to the bowling of Dube and Crocker. Warke scored all the first 9 runs. He was out to a bat/pad catch in the fourth over - given by Joey O'Meara, Ireland's team manager and a stand-in Umpire. Smyth joined Dunlop and began a marathon innings. Dunlop whacked 5 fours in his 25 before being caught in the 14th over with the score at 39. 50 came up in the 18th over although Vaghmaria bowled 4 maidens in his first five overs. Lunch was taken after 27 overs with the score at 84-2.

On they went with Lewis doing most of the scoring. He reached 50 in 76 minutes and eventually fell for 61 in the 43rd over with the total at 150. He was caught at extra-cover on the boundary having hit a six and 7 fours. The stand of 111 between himself and Smyth had come in 29 overs. Smyth was given a life when 16 and was now 42. The back foot driving of Lewis was a feature of the innings - his third 50 of the tour. Harrison came in and was bowled for 13 by Vaghmaria in the 49th over with the score on 171. Smyth had now advanced to 49 and completed his 50 in the same over in 166 minutes with Patterson as his partner. This pair put on 24 before Dekker, who had been expensive, bowled Smyth for 57 in the 54th over with the total on 195. Smyth hit 5 fours in his patient innings which lasted three hours. Patterson and Jackson had their usual lively stand of 26 in 13 minutes during which Patterson hit his customary straight six. Jackson and Nelson were out before the end in pursuit of quick runs. Patterson was 27 not out when the declaration came at 229-7 in 58.4 overs on the dismissal of Nelson. Vaghmaria's 3-55 in 19.4 overs was good slow bowling.

Tea was taken and then O'Reilly and McCrum gave Matabeleland a bad start. McCrum bowled six overs for 17 runs and O'Reilly nine overs for 28 (10 coming off his last). It was O'Reilly who took the wickets bowling fast and well. At 8 Price was caught at slip and Shoko lobbed one to leg-slip with the score on 27. Nelson replaced McCrum and Hoey came on to bowl the 20th over in place of O'Reilly. Hoey took wickets in his first two overs. At 65 he had opening bat Blatch caught in the gully and at 71 Van Rensburg skied a long hop to fine leg. In the next over Nelson had Crocker caught off bat and pad and five wickets were down for 71 in the 23rd over. Dekker and Querl prevented any more Irish successes and added 38 in 9.4 overs up to the close. Querl got most of these and finished on 28 with 5 fours. Dekker was 31 and the score 109-5 in 32 overs. Early on the second day there was a wicket and a dropped catch. Jackson dropped Dekker off McCrum but in the fourth over of the day O'Reilly collected his third wicket when Querl (28) was caught off a bat pad catch at short leg with the score on 113. There Ireland's success ended. Ranchod joined Dekker and in 17.3 overs they put on 66 before a declaration came with them 53 behind. Dekker went to his 50 and one run later McCrum dropped a skier off Harrison at mid-on. Dekker, in for 43 overs, made 64 and Ranchod 28.

Ireland had a slow start to their second innings against Dube and Crocker. Six overs brought 7 runs when Crocker had Warke (2) caught low at short leg. In Crocker's next over Dunlop (7) was caught at the wicket when he "hung his bat out to dry". Lewis made 20 out of 22 put on with Smyth in 24 minutes. He hit a six and 3 fours and caused Jones to come on for Crocker. Lewis hit his first ball from Jones for 6 and was caught at short leg off the last ball of the same over. Lunch was taken with the score on 45-3 after 17 overs, Smyth 11, Harrison 4. Smyth hit Dube for a 4 after lunch (his third in 15 runs). Three balls later he pushed to extra-cover and set off on an improbable run. He was sent back but did not get there. 49-4-15. In the next over from Jones Patterson drove into cover point's hands. 50-5.

In his sixth over Jones bowled Harrison for a careful 10. At 61-6 defeat loomed. Ireland then had some luck. Jackson hit Jones for 3 fours in his next over and, early in his innings, Nelson was dropped at the wicket. In 42 invaluable minutes this pair put on 31, to extend the lead to 145. Jackson was LBW at 92 on Crocker's return. McCrum joined Nelson who was missed on a stumping chance at 96 off slow left armer Price. 100 came up in the 37th over which yielded 9 runs off Price. With McCrum defending Nelson began to strike out and was severe on Dekker who went for 21 in 5 overs. Nelson reached 50 with a four off Vaghmaria in the 45th over. He hit another four in the same over and Warke declared with the score at 142-7, a lead of 195. It was only the third 50 ever scored by Nelson. He hit 7 fours and batted for 69 minutes. The declaration came at 2:51 PM with tea scheduled for 3:15 PM.

Tea should have been taken between innings but Warke protested that his declaration was based on two intervals and the Umpires gave way. Only 96 minutes playing time remained so the rest was aimless. Tea was taken after three overs with the score on 6-1. Blatch was caught at slip in O'Reilly's first over but it was a no-ball. Next ball Jackson caught him at the wicket. In his first over after tea O'Reilly bowled Price. McCrum bowled Shoko with the score on 28. At 31 Van Rensburg was caught behind off O'Reilly. O'Reilly went for 15 in his next and last over as Dekker and Crocker set about the bowling. In 11 overs they put on 49. The game was given up as a draw after 12 of the last 20 overs were bowled with the score on 80-4. Warke bowled the last over - his first ever bowl for Ireland. Crocker hit 6 fours in his 31. Dekker was also 31 at the end. In four matches against Ireland he had made 282 runs in 6 innings at an average of 70.50. O'Reilly took 6-74 in the match to easily top the cap match bowling analysis for the tour.

The party flew back to Harare after this match. On the next day (Easter Sunday) they watched Worcestershire beat Zimbabwe by one wicket at the Sports Club. A hospitality tent had been arranged and Bailey's Liquer was dispensed to return the wonderful hospitality received. The flight home was that evening and a wonderful tour had ended. Of the nine matches played, including the three non-cap matches, three were won, five drawn and one (the first) lost. In 13 innings the Ireland team was only bowled out once and bowled out the opposition three times, also in 13 innings. Despite his six wickets this was Peter O'Reilly's last match for Ireland. He made his debut as a most promising very young owler against Wales in 1982 aged 18 and 4 days. He spent 1983 and 1984 with Warwickshire but lost his action and direction. After a 6 year gap for Ireland he came back in 1990. In all he played 13 matches, and took 39 wickets at an average of 21.69