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Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland's best display of 1994 but it was a match that should have provided a famous victory. At its close New Zealand said "we didn't win it, Ireland lost it". With four overs to play Ireland needed 26 to win with only four out. Benson and Rao had put on 54 and a win looked certain. Five were scored in the next over before Benson, with a rush of blood, tried to hit a six and was caught at long off. The next over began a new spell by Nash and Rao tried to run his second ball down to third man but was caught at the wicket. 15 off the last two overs were too many for the remaining batsmen and the match was lost by six runs.

Ireland selected 13 players for two limited overs (55) matches v New Zealand, one in Comber and one, two days later in Malahide. Benson, Rao, Harrison, G Cooke and B Millar were brought in to the party while D Cooke, Power, P. Moore and Dunlop were left out. From the party of 13 Hoey and Butler were not selected for the first match. This match was to have been a "time" match but was changed to an "overs" match at Ireland's request.

New Zealand came to Ireland after its official tour and brought wives and girl friends to give them a holiday. The fee to Irish Cricket Union was 5,000 plus air fares and accommodation for the official party. The New Zealanders had lost the first Test by an innings, very nearly won the second Test at Lord's (where Nash took 11 wickets and Martin Crowe scored a century) and were saved by weather in the third Test and by Martin Crowe's scores of 70 and 115. Rutherford was captain and in the Comber match he, Thomson and Parore had played -v- Ireland in 1990. Crowe did not come to Ireland. BBC televised the game which attracted a good crowd and was sponsored by Ulster Games and the Dairy Board.

New Zealand won the toss and sent Harland and Young in to face Moore and Cooke. The pitch did not suit the visitors. It was good but slow with the ball not coming on to the bat. Young nibbled at Cooke in the sixth over and was caught by Millar. Rutherford scored 37 in an hour before he too was caught by Millar but this time off a very high skier from Graham's bowling. 74 for 2 in the 23rd over. At 92 Harland drove one back to Harrison who had just changed ends. Fleming and Thomson put on 66 in an hour, the best stand of the innings. Thomson was missed early on by Smyth. Lunch came after 40 overs at 132 for 3, Fleming 34, Thomson 19. The remaining 15 overs yielded 101 although in the first five of these only 24 were added. Then Thomson (33) gave Cooke his second wicket and Millar his third catch. Parore came in and 27 were put on in four overs. Fleming had gone to his 50 off 68 balls. Lewis chose himself and Moore to share the last seven overs although Cooke and Graham had overs in hand. Lewis is a good partnership breaker and is was he who dismissed Fleming (58) in his first over and the 50th of the innings. Fleming was caught, at deep mid-wicket. Larsen came to join Parore and the last five overs yielded 47 runs, 16 from two overs by Lewis and 31 off Moore's three overs, including the only six of the innings by Larsen. The last ball of the innings gave Moore his only wicket, Larsen being caught by Rao at short extra-cover. Parore's 37 off 31 balls was the killer blow. Rao's 11 overs for 31 was the least expensive bowling with Moore, Graham and Lewis all going for five an over.

Warke and Rea began quietly to the bowling of Nash and Pringle. Warke, as usual, was a slow starter and needed 10 to surpass Anderson's record of 3777 runs for Ireland. A four in the 12th over brought him to 11. Meanwhile Rea was out in the 10th over at 21. He was caught low at slip off Pringle. Roberts and Larsen took up the attack and Smyth was next to go in the 20th over. He was out to a brilliant low left handed catch by wicket-keeper Parore off Larsen. 49-2-12. 50 came up in 20 overs. Before tea both batsmen hit slow left armer Hart for a six. Tea came after 25 overs with the score 72 for two, Warke 31, Lewis 10. 162 required in 30 overs.

Just after tea Lewis was dropped by Rutherford behind the bowler (Hart). Both batsmen now opened up. 95 was up in 30 overs and Warke went to 50 off 87 balls in the next over. On they went with Warke the dominant partner. The score was 148 (Warke 78, Lewis 33) in 40 overs. 86 now needed in 15 overs and an Irish win began to be possible with only two out. Then both were out, after adding 103 off 129 balls.

Lewis guided Nash to gully in the 41st over. 152-3-34. In the next over from Hart Warke was caught by long-on running in. 154-4-81. Warke had played very well, particularly through the cover area and had hit a six and nine fours off 121 balls. Benson and Rao were now together and had added 59 in 10 overs, 37 of them to Benson. Then instead of keeping his head Benson went for an unnecessary six. After Benson and Rao's dismissals Graham mishit to mid-off in the 54th over and Harrison sliced to cover next ball. Moore was caught at extra cover in the last over off which 14 were needed.

On the next day the match in Malahide, Dublin was reduced to an afternoon's 20 over non cap match slog due to rain. It would not have been played at all but for the attendance of President Mary Robinson and New Zealand's insistence on some cricket being provided for her. Ireland won the toss and made 146 for 9, (Benson 41, Harrison 43, Thomson 4 for 27). New Zealand got the runs in 13.5 overs, Hartland 80 not out, with two sixes and nine fours. Ireland retained the same players while pace bowlers Davis and Owens came in for Nash and Roberts on the New Zealand team with Young keeping wicket.