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Match Report
Derek Scott

The marvellous pitch at Hamilton Crescent remained true to its reputation. 1045 runs were scored off 322 overs in three long days of cricket. Only 13 wickets fell at an average of over 80 runs per wicket. The bowlers on both sides were quite defeated. Only one Scottish player was new to the match, Williamson, but McGurk's sole match - v- Ireland was in 1988.

Ireland made five changes, some enforced, from the previous match. Out went Curry, McBrine and Jackson, Benson and Dunlop. Of these McBrine, Jackson and Benson were not available. In came Doak, Rea, Smyth, Millar and Gordon Cooke, the latter for his first cap, an opening bowler, aged 18. Millar was also new to this match. Warke was making his 94th appearance for Ireland - beating Halliday's 93.

The pitch was not ultra quick but was very true when Warke and Rea faced Hamilton and Richardson. They hoisted 50 in the 15th over and 100 in the 34th over, despite Scotland's use of five bowlers. On the brink of his 50 (49 with 7 x 4) Rea was run out when Warke called for a run off Govan but then sent Rea back. Salmond pounced at mid-wicket and threw accurately to the bowler. Smyth played a maiden and lunch was taken after 36 overs (135 minutes) at 103 for one, Warke 47. Richardson conceded 34 in eight overs.

Warke never really got going after lunch. He went to 50 in the first over with a four and was dropped, when 52, by Sheridan low at mid-off off Govan. At 138 Warke ran down the wicket to left arm spinner Sheridan, never got to it, and was caught at deep mid-on for 60 (9 x 4). It was his seventh score over 50 -v- Scotland in 23 innings in the three day matches. Lewis joined Smyth in a 78 run stand at a run a minute which saw 200 up in the 68th over. Lewis was lucky at 174. When 17 a ball from Govan rolled back on the stumps without dislodging a bail. He also had two big snicks for fours off Storie, Scotland's sixth bowler. Storie had his revenge on Lewis, just after Smyth reached 51 off 88 balls. Lewis (39) was LBW to Storie at 216, the bowler's first wicket for Scotland. In came Doak and six overs later tea was taken at 235 for three, Smyth 63; Doak 1.

Tea was Smyth's undoing. In the first over afterwards, bowled by Hamilton, he added two. Then he slashed and was caught low and right handed at second slip (the only slip) by Patterson. 237-4-70. Smyth had played very well and hit 10 fours. Harrison joined Doak and 64 were put on in 68 minutes. As Ireland intended to declare this might have been a bit quicker and perhaps Doak (the substitute for Benson) was batted too high. 300 came up in the 96th over. Next over, at 301, Harrison was caught off Govan for 43. Doak and Graham hit up a further 15 in 10 minutes before a declaration at 316 for five in exactly 100 overs.

There was time for Moore, Cooke and Hoey (one over) to bowl 10 overs at Scotland's opening pair, Storie and Philip, before the close. The newcomer, Cooke, bowled four overs for three runs but no wickets fell. Storie was eight and Philip 18 of Scotland's 29 runs.

Ireland had a good start to the second day and it should have been better. At 44 Cooke took his first International wicket when Philip (22) was caught by Millar down the leg side. At 60 Millar dropped a straight forward catch, standing back, off Moore which would have dismissed Storie for 21. This was costly as Storie ground his way to 102 in 330 minutes before Scotland declared at 279 for two, 37 runs behind Ireland. Patterson joined Storie in a 188 run stand for the 2nd wicket but it took 235 minutes and went on until mid way between lunch and tea. It was a record stand for the 2nd wicket -v- Ireland by any opponent. By lunch, 133 for one in 49 overs, Storie was 43 and Patterson 54 (having reached 50 in 104 minutes). At 124, when 49, Warke dropped Patterson at slip in Harrison's 3rd over. By now Ireland had tried six bowlers but to little avail.

After lunch Storie took another eight overs to reach 50 (196 minutes) and Moore had a formal warning for running on the pitch. The pace became very slow, 20 overs being required to go from 150 to 200. Warke was given five overs and conceded only 13 runs with slow in-swingers. Then Patterson upped the pace. He went from 85 to 102 in 12 balls. Then Lewis came on for his 6th over of the innings. Patterson hit his first three balls for four and was caught at the wicket off the fourth. 232-2-114. It was Patterson's third century -v- Ireland. He batted 235 minutes, faced 197 balls and hit 13 fours. McGurk joined Storie, now 72. Nine overs later tea was taken with Storie now 98 in a score of 274 for two in 90 overs. Graham's first ball after tea was a wide. Storie hit his second for a four, reached his century and declared. He had hit eight fours in 330 minutes of tedium. In fairness to Scotland it must be recorded that they bowled their overs at over 19 per hour while Ireland's rate was but 16 and a half.

Ireland had 115 minutes (28 overs) batting in their second innings. By the close they had created a slight overnight problem for themselves by losing three wickets for 60. Hamilton bowled seven overs for seven runs but Warke and Rea had 34 up in 14 overs. Then Richardson changed ends and had Warke caught at the wicket. 35-1-13. Sheridan came on and in his third over had Rea dropped by Hamilton. It was not expensive as Sheridan bowled Rea in the same over. 49-2-27. Eight runs later Doak was bowled by Richardson. 57-3-4. In the remaining seven overs Lewis and Harrison added only three runs and made sure no further wickets fell. Close was 60 for three in 28 overs, Lewis 9, Harrison one.

Day three started at 10.30 a.m. and lunch was taken at 1.00 p.m. No Irish wicket fell in the morning or indeed at all. Lewis and Harrison went carefully and 100 was up in the 44th over. The next 50 took 17 overs with Scotland relying on the spin of Govan and Sheridan. Harrison reached 50 at 156 and Lewis did so in the next over. Williamson returned just before lunch and saw Harrison (55) dropped at 1st slip by Patterson at 171. The lunch score was 177 for 3, Lewis 62, Harrison 57.

A captain's "deal" was probably done at lunch. 13 more overs were bowled, five of them for 47 runs by non-bowler Patterson. In all 104 runs were scored at an average of eight per over. Lewis hit two sixes and six fours in this period and Harrison struck two sixes and eight fours. Harrison was in search of his first first-class century and indeed his first century for Ireland. He nearly missed it. When 88 (at 240) he was dropped at cover by Philip off Govan. At 2.02 p.m. Ireland declared at 281 for three setting Scotland 319 in 141 minutes plus 20 overs.

Lewis was 113* in 223 minutes, facing 212 balls, with 2 x 6 and 15 x 4. Harrison's maiden International century, 105*, was his 100th innings and occupied 198 minutes, 184 balls with 2 x 6 and 14 x 4. The stand of 224 occupied 198 minutes and equalled Ireland's previous best stand for any wicket - Warke and Rea for the 1st wicket -v- Wales at College Park, Dublin in 1992. Richardson took two wickets in this innings, the only bowler to do so in any of the four innings in the match.

If Scotland were seriously interested in the run chase Storie might not have again opened with himself. He and Philip had 19 up in five overs. Then Philip clipped Cooke to Doak at square leg. Storie and Patterson put on 44 in 10 overs. Graham had replaced Cooke. In his 3rd over Millar dropped Patterson but he was bowled by the next ball. 63-2-22. McGurk joined Storie and by tea (21 overs) the score was taken to 71, Storie 30 and McGurk one.

One hour's play remained after tea prior to the advent of the last hour. Harrison and Hoey bowled spin for most of this hour. In 21 overs Scotland advanced to 140 for three. Storie reached 50 (in 123 minutes) at 126. He lost McGurk four runs later. Moore had just replaced Harrison. McGurk hit his first ball to Rea at mid-on. He ran when no run was there. He failed to get back before Rea's throw to Millar. Salmond came in and enjoyed the last 11 overs of the match. He made 28* and hit Smyth, who bowled the final over, for 14. Only seven of the last 20 overs were bowled and Scotland finished at 169 for three. Storie was once again not out - for 64 in 168 minutes.