A most notable match in the annals of Irish cricket. The outstanding feature was the innings of the Australian Captain, Allan Border. He reached 100 in 36 minutes off 46 deliveries and was in for 15 overs in all for his 111. He beat John Prior's innings for Ireland against Warwickshire in 1982 by 15 minutes and five balls in reaching 100.
Australia came to Clontarf 2-0 up in the test series, with one draw. They used Slater, Mark Waugh (returning to Clontarf after his 1986 triumph there for MCC), Border, Healy, Julian and May of their test team. AIB sponsored the game and a huge crowd (gate Irish Pounds 7000) turned up. The weather was kind after a poor morning. Ireland played badly but Border gave the crowd its money's worth. Justin Benson, the Leicestershire professional, born in Dublin, made his Irish debut. Cohen and C McCrum were not available and Jackson was injured - letting in Benson, Doak and Millar.
Australia were put in to bat by Ireland and started at 11:30 AM. 23 minutes were lost to rain in the first hour. Slater (who scored 15and 0 for MCC at Downpatrick in 1992) and Hayden went off at a great rush against P McCrum and Moore. 50 was up in 10.2 overs and the opening bowlers conceded 74 in 14 overs! Benson could not stem the flow when he came on (25 in four overs), nor could Lewis, 36 in three overs! In an hour (17.3 overs) 100 was up. Hayden, a beautiful player, got to 50 in 67 minutes and Slater got there 10 minutes later. Curry and Harrison were now on stints of 12 overs each. 150 came in 22.2 overs but Curry, in his second over, bowled Slater for 56 with the total at 155. Mark Waugh then came in and by lunch, taken at 1:45 PM, after 130 minutes play and 34 overs, 202 were up on the board, Hayden 96 and Waugh 30.
The 48 minutes after lunch were quite extraordinary. 15.4 overs were bowled for 159 runs! In the first over after lunch, Waugh hit Harrison for a six and, two balls later, was caught at square-leg. 208-2-26. Enter Border at 2:30 PM. He was out at 3:15 PM for 111! He reached 50 in 22 minutes, and 32 balls; 100 in 36 minutes and 46 balls and 111 in 45 minutes and 54 balls. He was in for 15 overs he hit 15x1, 4x2, 10x4, 8x6, 88 out of 111 in boundaries. He scored off 37 balls, a bye and a leg bye were scored of two balls and he played 14 "dot" balls. From 34, he then scored 76 off 22 balls in a row with no "dot" ball. He went from 50 to 100 in 14 balls and, in the 47th over - the only one bowled by Dunlop -, he went from 68 to 100. He straight drove and pulled five successive sixes. The delay in finding a ball probably prevented a sixth six - the last ball going for two! 32 runs had been scored in one over. The 44th over from Curry cost 23 and in all six balls were lost. These 15.2 overs were delivered as follows: -
- Harrison 5.2 overs - 38 runs,
- Curry 5 overs - 42 runs,
- Dunlop 1 over - 32 runs,
- McCrum 1 over - 15 runs,
- Moore 2.4 overs - 23 runs.
The last 50 took 2.1 overs! Hayden went to 100 in 131 minutes, 117 deliveries and the stand of 153 took 45 minutes and out of that Hayden made 37. His masterful innings was overshadowed by Border. In the 50th over, when Australia were going to declare, Border pulled Moore to McCrum at long-leg. An unforgettable innings was over.
Ireland started at 3:28 PM and lasted only 42 overs. Holdsworth got Benson in the first over. He mis hooked to square leg. In the 11th over Holdsworth got two more wickets. Rea was LBW and Warke caught at the wicket by Zoehrer. The score was now 22-3. May (off spin) and Reiffel (seam) came on. Lewis and Harrison added 17. Then Reiffel bowled Lewis. 39-4-14.
Tea was taken one over later with Harrison and Curry in. Curry was caught at the wicket off Reiffel in the first over after tea. 41-5. Dunlop then came in. After 24 overs Zoehrer gave up the wicket-keeping gloves to Healy and bowled leg breaks to the end of the match. He and Slater, occasional bowlers, were at the other end. At 59 Dunlop was caught at second slip off Hayden. Zoehrer took the next two wickets. Harrison was bowled for 15 (the top score of the innings) at 65 and Miller caught at 85. Slater joined in when Doak was caught at the wicket at 88. The same fate befell Moore off Zoehrer with the total on 89. Extras - 17 was Ireland's top score. The pitch had deteriorated a little and Ireland played well below form but seldom was the Amateur/Professional gap more apparent.
Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, met the teams before the start and stayed for 30 minutes play. The Australians golfed at Portmarnock and Royal Dublin on Friday and Sunday. The corporate dinner was staged in the Conrad Hotel on the eve of the match. Dennis Compton, Deryck Murray and Judge Michael Moriarty were the speakers but only Des Rundle (manager) of the Australians attended. An honoured guest both at the dinner at the match was Neil Harvey, former Australian great, and his wife.
- Mark Waugh batting as Brian Millar keeps
- Allan Border
- A huge hit from Allan Border
- Michael Slater batting
- A burger for Allan Border
- Australia's Matthew Hayden and Irish wicketkeeper Brian Millar
- Pace bowler Eddie Moore who finally got Border's wicket
- Allan Border off drives
- Allan Border hits another six!
- Garfield Harrison lets this one go through to Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy