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Match Report
Derek Scott

This was a dull match with neither team willing to risk anything. It was played on a slow pitch which gave spin some help but the ball did not come on to the bat. Moore replaced Thompson and Taylor was the other player left out - a mistake! The first session was a two-hour one which had an eight minute rain break after 85 minutes play. Evans and TC Hughes put on 67 in 76 minutes as the Welsh opening stand. They put Cohen out of the day's play with a crack on the shin. Thompson came on as substitute fielder and caught 2 good catches. McCrum bowled nine overs for 23 but Moore's 7 yielded 35 runs with Hughes hitting 3 successive balls for 4 in his last over. Hoey came on with the score at 53 (50 had come up in 15 overs) and Dunlop at 64. They took all 5 wickets that fell in the day and bowled unchanged except for 2 overs by McCrum at the day's end. Hoey struck twice before lunch - in his 3rd and 6th overs. At 67 he bowled Hughes (35 with 6 fours). At 71 a lifting delivery got Oxford Blue Morris caught at silly point by the substitute Thompson. In 32 overs to lunch the score was 88-2 in 114 minutes, Evans 34, Harris 10.

Play could not resume until 6:08 PM due to rain but it was agreed to extend play from the scheduled close of 7 PM to 8 PM. In those remaining 116 minutes 3 more wickets fell in 40 more overs. There was now bright sunshine and the second 50 took 25.4 overs. At 106 Dunlop had Harris (15) caught behind. Puddle helped to lift the rate, his stand of 36 with Evans taking 26 minutes. Evans' slow 50 took 162 minutes. At 142 he was caught at cover off Hoey for 53. In Dunlop's next over Puddle gave Smyth a very sharp gully chance which went down. It was not expensive. At 148 Dunlop had Puddle caught at the wicket for 19. Lloyd and Pearce (who never looked likely to stay!) added 56 up to the close in only 40 minutes (150 to 200 came in 12 overs). McCrum came back and Pearce gave Dunlop at slip chance at 198 off McCrum. The score at close of play was 204-5, Lloyd 30, Pearce 19. Between them they had 8 fours. 30 extras during the day did not help the Irish cause. Hoey bowled very well with the soapy ball. The second days play was scheduled from 11 AM to 7 PM. 12.5 overs and 43 minutes sufficed to take the remaining 5 wickets. In McCrum's second over Lloyd was caught at slip - one of 3 slip catches taken by Warke during the morning. 206-6-31. 3 overs later, at 220, Hoey took two wickets in one over. Pearce was caught on a running catch by Cohen at mid-on. The batsmen crossed and four balls later Warke caught Griffiths at slip. Ikram and Davies added 26 in 18 minutes - 22 of these to Ikram. Dunlop came on for the somewhat expensive McCrum. Hoey got Davies with the score at 246 when Warke completed his hat-trick of catches. Next over Dunlop had G Hughes caught at long-on, another good running catch, this time by Smyth. It was a tidy performance by Ireland. Hoey had bowled 30 overs unchanged to take 6-82. Dunlop had 3-46 in 26.5 overs and the spinners bowled 61.5 of the 84.5 overs. Taylor's left-arm spin was badly missed.

Ireland were slower than Wales taking 101 overs to finish 8 behind at 243. However they were 115-5 at one point. The feature was the last wicket stand of 58 between McCrum and Moore. In 66 minutes to lunch 69 were scored for the loss of Cohen (4) caught behind in the fourth over with the score on 6. Vincent really rattled along. In 14 overs (there were 17 in all up to lunch) he hit 43 with 5 fours. G Hughes, the wicket taker, conceded 36 runs in his 6 over spell. Warke was 18 at lunch. Vincent did not score at all after lunch and was caught at slip in the sixth over after the break. 76-2-43. 50 had come up in 12 overs but the next 50 took 22 overs.

At 101 Lewis rushed at the slow left armer Ikram and was stumped. After a 7 minute rain break but in the same Ikram over Patterson suffered a similar fate to Lewis. At 115 Smyth gave Davies a hat-trick of stumpings! Warke went to a steady 50 in 157 minutes - his fourth 50 in 1991 of eight scored by Ireland. The stand with Dunlop was 32 when Ikram had Warke (58) LBW with the score 147. Hoey lasted 20 minutes but was then caught at silly point. One run later tea was taken with the score at 158-7. The session of 144 minutes saw 52 overs bowled - all by the spinners and Ireland lost 6 wickets for 87. At tea Dunlop was 16, McCrum 1.

The stand was taken to 185 when Dunlop (28 in 96 minutes) was the 4th to lose patience and give Davies a fourth stumping. Numbers 4 to 7 had all been out stumped! Bailey was out in Lloyd's next over and so began the last wicket stand between McCrum and Moore. It lasted 64 minutes, 23 overs, saw the spinners off and added 58 runs. In 1932 against Scotland at Greenock FJ Ready and RW Alexander added the same amount in the last wicket stand which was the prelude to an Irish victory. The best such stand is also against Wales. At Cardiff in 1923 WR King and W Sproule put on 84.

McCrum began slowly but when he got confidence he began to hit out. He hit 5 fours and faced 121 balls in making his 63 in 102 minutes. Moore made 5 scoring shots in facing 58 deliveries. Eventually it was medium pacer Griffiths who had McCrum caught. For the welfare of the game it would have been better if Ireland had declared during the stand rather than coming up level with, now, only 7 hours left. The 2 Welsh spinners had bowled 77 of the 101 overs and took 4 wickets each.

46 overs remained. Ireland got a bonus in the second over. TC Hughes went for a second run off a Moore no ball. McCrum threw to Bailey for the run out. 3 overs later Morris gave McCrum a difficult caught and bowled chance. Hoey and Dunlop were on before the close which came with the score on 22-1 in 15 overs, Evans 2, Morris 13.

Despite overnight promises by both captains the third day was a terrible borel. Wales laboured to reach 207-6 in 82.4 overs and left Ireland a target of 216 in 80 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs in the last hour - a rate almost twice the Welsh rate. After 5 overs in the morning Hoey was banished until near lunch- a strange decision. In the 2 hour period 36 overs were bowled, 2 more wickets taken, while Wales added only 86 to their overnight 22. Moore bowled 3 overs in mid-morning and had to retire hurt. Lewis bowled a 7 over spell for 38 runs but Wales did not look like a team wanting to reach a declaration total. At 32 Hoey caught and bowled Morris, the ball rebounding of Patterson's shin at short leg. 50 took 26.5 overs and at 56 Taylor (on as substitute) dropped an easy catch at mid-on offered by Harris off Dunlop.

6 overs later, at 75, Harris was well stumped off Dunlop. Evans moved to 50 in 143 minutes and was 58 at lunch with Puddle 4. Dunlop bowled unchanged after lunch and took the 3 wickets that fell. In another 100 minutes (31.4 overs) Wales went to 207-6. Puddle was caught at mid-off with the score at 111 (100 had come up in 45.1 overs). Pearce was bowled at 145. 150 then came up in 69.4 overs. Evans (then on 79) was dropped by Smyth at extra cover off McCrum with the total on 154. Evans and Lloyd added 66 in 63 minutes and, at last, Wales had speeded up a bit Evans's second 50 was almost a slow as his first. He arrived at 100 in 205 minutes, hit Dunlop for a six and was caught next ball. The declaration came with his dismissal. Dunlop had taken 4-50 in 30.4 overs and 7 in the match. Hoey had lost his first innings zip. Late nights on the tour were catching up with some and there was a disciplinary hearing for Dunlop and Hoey in November but no action was taken.

Tea was taken. 24 overs were bowled before the last hour started. The spinners were soon on and Warke was caught at mid-wicket at 44 for 17. Cohen played a gem of an innings. He got 46 out of 77 scored in 77 minutes with 7 fours. He was very well caught at wide mid-off just before the last hour started. 138 were still needed but Lewis and Patterson were out quickly. Patterson hit a 4 to take him to 1001 runs for Ireland in his 41st innings, the 27th player to pass this mark for Ireland. Vincent and Smyth put up the shutters and played out time, the match being called off with 7 minutes to go. Vincent made 12*in 83 minutes. He faced 78 balls and scored 1 run off the last 63! The tour had ended with 4 drawn matches, but 3 of these had been good games.

Vincent retired (aged 26!) after this match. He had 21 appearances (1986-91), scored 534 runs at an average of 19.07. This was also KR Bailey's last match as wicket-keeper. His 11 appearances (1985-1991) were as substitute for PB Jackson. He took 13 catches and 3 stumpings.