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Match Report
Derek Scott

Two more glorious days and a high-scoring match - 928 runs for the loss of 24 wickets. Despite the young Middlesex off-spinner, Dutch's feat of 13 wickets the batting was better than the bowling on both sides. The wicket was perfect but was no more than 45 yards from the Tavern boundary. Despite this four Irish batsmen were caught on this short boundary in the fourth innings run chase. 136 were needed when the last 20 overs began, with eight wickets in hand. 80 had been scored in 12 overs with only two more wickets down. Then began an undue rush and hari-kari to such an extent that Moore, at number 11, had to play out the final over.

MCC had some ex-County players. Also the England Amateur batsmen MJ Roberts, the captain of Zimbabwe, DL Houghton and the MCC Captain, Giles Toogood, had played at Coleraine in 1990. Cohen replaced Gilmore for Ireland.

Having won the toss Ireland sent MCC in to bat. After a sedate start McEvoy and Roberts upped the pace and 50 came up in 14.2 overs. Eight overs later 100 appeared with a Lewis four over spell costing 37! Dunlop, the fifth bowler, got a wicket in his second over, the 27th of the innings. McEvoy (33) was well caught at wide mid-off by C McCrum with the total on 120. In Dunlop's next over Houghton was caught and bowled. Robinson joined Roberts. 150 came up in 40.5 overs and Roberts went to a pre-lunch century in 143 minutes (the session being one of 150 minutes). By this break Ireland had bowled 45 overs (using six bowlers) and MCC were 162-2, Roberts 102, Robinson 70

30 runs later Hoey bowled Roberts after a stand of 69. Roberts had 2x6 and 13x4, he batted 176 minutes and faced 164 balls. Robinson got to 51 before Hoey had him caught at deep long-on. 227-4. One more wicket fell, Goften being caught off Dunlop with the score on 243. The innings was declared at 3:30 PM, after 231 minutes, 67 overs, with the score on 260-5. Dunlop emerged with figures of 3-60 in 15 overs and Hoey, 2-61 in 25.

Cohen and Rea negotiated the hour before tea, scoring 42 in 16 overs, Cohen 17, Rea 22. The latter gave a sharp chance to gully when on 15. The final two hour session of the first day saw another 37 overs bowled, mostly by the spinners, Bullen and Dutch. Ireland got 133 more runs, lost three wickets and finished on 155-3. At 44 Cohen fell in Dutch's first over - caught at the wicket by Bobby Parks. 50 was up in 22.3 overs.

Rea increased the tempo. He and Warke put on 48 of which Warke made but 9 before falling to Dutch, clean bowled. Another stand of over 40 ensued with C McCrum. As the day neared its end and as Rea's century loomed, he was caught at the wicket when opening bowler Bovill returned. 136-3-86. Rea batted for 163 minutes, faced 160 deliveries and hit 10x4. It was a fine display which deserved the coveted Lord's century. C McCrum, 34, and Smyth, 4 saw out the day at 155-3 off 53 overs.

On day two Ireland batted on for a further 32 minutes (eight overs) to add 35. The third ball of the day accounted for Smyth, caught and bowled by Dutch. One-run later C McCrum gave Parks his third wicket-keeping dismissal and Lewis fell at 181 to a catch at deep mid-on. Ireland declared 70 behind, Dutch having taken 5-76 in 19 overs.

MCC changed their batting order and sent Houghton in with McEvoy. They put on 55 at a run a minute. Then Hoey, in his third over, had Houghton caught at the wicket. 55-1-30. Bullen came next, and a merry stand of 77 only occupied 41 minutes. 50 had come in 15.1 overs and 100 in only 22.5. Moore, at square leg, missed McEvoy off Hoey with the total on 68. At 132 McEvoy was stumped off Dunlop for 54 scored in 96 minutes. Bullen rushed to 53 off 39 balls before Lewis bowled him just after lunch (which had been taken at 145-3). Lewis had Goften caught at long-off in his fourth over but was hit - by Robinson - for 24 in his fifth. He ended up with 2-48 in his five overs. 200 came up in 36.3 overs and the declaration came after 37. Ireland were set 285 to win in 129 minutes + 20 overs and it looked a daunting task. It was less so when one looked at the pitch and the nearness of the Tavern boundary.

Cohen and Rea got going at a run a minute. They had 50 up in 13.4 overs. Dutch came on at the Pavilion end with the score on 29 and bowled for the rest of the match. At 52 he had Rea caught at slip. Warke came in at number three and started slowly. Cohen struck out and got to 53 by tea with 6x4. 28 overs had been bowled in 101 minutes and the score was 110-1. Cohen was badly missed by Houghton off Dutch on the mid-wicket boundary. As 125, Houghton made up for his error by catching Cohen in the same place. 125-2-63.

With C McCrum now in the last 20 overs was signalled after 37 overs with the total on 149-2. 30 runs later, in the fourth over of the last 20, Bullen bowled C McCrum. This had been a stand of 54 in 32 minutes and Warke had reached his 50 in 82 minutes. The next two stands were both worth 27 in quick time so even when Lewis was out in the 13th over of the last 20, 52 were needed, still gettable.

Then, fatally, Warke was caught on the short boundary with the total at 238 - his 85 coming in 132 minutes with 1x6 but only 4x4 in 110 deliveries. Dunlop fell next ball in the same place to the same fielder. Hoey, P McCrum and Millar did their best but P McCrum and Moore had to block out seven balls, 21 runs short of victory. Dutch took 8-114 in 24 overs unchanged and 13-190 in the match in 43 overs