Disappointment! The Triple Crown was not won when Wales, without a win, outplayed Ireland in this final match of the trophy. Neither was the trophy itself won - chiefly due to the weather at Moseley were England where playing Scotland. England won a 30 over per side match and ended up with a slightly better strike rate per wicket (balls bowled divided by wickets taken throughout the three matches).
Events at Moseley conspired against Ireland. If any one of the following had not happened Ireland would have been the first Winner of the Frank Elliott (Vice Chairman of NCA) Cup.
1 The Moseley match was reduced by rain to 30 overs per side.
2 England batted first and made over 200.
3 Scotland had to try for seven runs per over.
4 Inevitably they lost wickets.
5 For England to win the cup Scotland had to lose eight wickets in their 30 overs. They lost the eighth in the last over when all hope of winning had gone.
The Cup and Winners mementos had been sent to Wolverhampton. Not alone that but there were put on display outside the Pavilion as Ireland were losing. There were still there when Ireland's fate was known! They were then packed up and brought to Moseley. Still Ireland would have settled in advance for two wins including one over England at Edgbaston.
Cohen was injured and replaced by P McCrum, thus weakening the batting. Rutherford replaced Moore and would keep wicket. Rain delayed the 11 AM start until 1:30 PM. Winning a third successive toss Ireland had to field because more rain might come and give the team batting second the advantage of less overs. No more rain came so 45 overs per side was played. P McCrum took a wicket in the third over, Harries being well caught low at slip by Warke, his 50th catch for Ireland including one as a wicket-keeper.
Ireland had to wait until the 31st over for the next wicket by which time the score was 98. Evans and Sylvester added 92 and Ireland had tried five bowlers, C McCrum's three overs for 18 being expensive. Sylvester did everything the Irish were not doing. He placed and deflected into gaps and the running was very good. At 98 Evans swept Harrison to deep square leg. It looked a six but the tall Nelson jumped high in the air to take a wonderful two-handed catch over his head.
100 was up in 31 overs. For the last 14 overs Wales scored 78 and lost six more wickets. Lewis was the sixth bowler. Derrick skiing his fifth ball to a huge height over the stumps. Rutherford circled under it and eventually had to dive to catch it. 105-3-1. Sylvester went to his 50 in 85 balls. At 121, in the third and last over to be bowled by Lewis, - it was the 36th and cost 13 runs - Nelson took a hand again - he fielded wonderfully throughout. He raced around the boundary to long off for a Sylvester stroke. His pickup and throw to Lewis over the stumps was deadly accurate and Ball was run out. 121-4-7.
Nelson replaced Lewis for the 38th over. Off his first ball Sylvester tried one short run too many. Smyth's throw from short mid-wicket was a direct hit on the bowler's stumps. Sylvester had scored a very well made 68 off 106 balls. In his next over Nelson had Puddle LBW. He was down the wicket but the ball was straight. 149-6-11. The next three overs only yielded 11 runs and Curry was on as a seventh bowler. The fourth ball of the 43rd over saw Richards stumped and the next two balls were "dots". 160-7 was the total now with two overs left to bowl. Newbold and Griffiths were in. These two overs may well have won the match for Wales. The 44th, bowled by P McCrum, yielded 7 and the last, bowled by Curry, yielded 13 with the last ball of all getting Griffiths stumped. Curry had 2-23 in four overs. Nelson's nine overs was the best bowling performance. His figures were 1-22.
At 4:50 PM Rea and C McCrum, a new opener, set off for the Triple Crown requiring exactly 4 runs per over - a rate Ireland rarely aspire to. In the sixth over both openers were out. McCrum was LBW to Derrick playing across the line as he had done against England while Rea slashed and was caught at the wicket off Newbold.
Warke and Smyth (a vastly improved player) set about repairing the damage and did so very well. Smith and Lloyd, the former Glamorgan off-spinners, were both on in the 20s. 50 was up in 15.1 overs. In all the pair added 80 with only five boundaries between them (2x6 to Smyth) the score had got to 94 in 26 overs, with 87 required in the remaining 90.
Then came a complete collapse. Warke hit Lloyd into the wind and a long-distance but into the hands of Evans at long-on. In Lloyd's next over, and his last, Smyth danced down the pitch and was stumped for 46 off 73 balls. The next wicket, three overs later, was a tragic comedy! Lewis was hit on the box by Griffiths. He collapsed in his crease. Curry charged on the pitch for a run. Lewis got up and fell again - this time outside his crease. Curry steamed past. Lewis was out for one - his only run in the three matches in which he had received 15 balls, 12 of them in this match. 104-5-1.
Next over, the 33rd, Harrison chipped a caught and bowled to Sylvester and Curry chipped Griffiths to short mid-wicket in the 34th over. 108-7-3. Rutherford was LBW 10 balls later. Now Hoey and P McCrum were in. 63 were needed in 8.4 overs. They tried. Two runs in the remaining four balls of the 36th over, four in the 37th, seven in the 38th, four in the 39th, 11 in the 40th. 35 were still needed five overs by which time Ireland knew they must win to win the cup. Seven came in the 41st over. The first ball of the 42nd saw Hoey bowled for 20 by Derrick. Eight more came in seven balls before Sylvester bowled McCrum with 20 still needed from 16 balls. Four Welsh bowlers took two wickets each.
Alan Oakman, former Test player, gave Sylvester the Man-of-the Match award for his 68 and 2-22. It had been a great 3 days and all countries wished to repeat it. For Ireland it was excellent practice for the Kenya Mini World Cup to be held in February 1994.