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Match Report
Derek Scott

This was a "dead" match as both Countries had lost their previous two matches. Possibly as a result it was a joyous carefree affair in which only 15 runs divided the teams in an aggregate of 607 runs in just under 110 overs. The pitch helped. It was very flat and very good. Ireland diminished their bowling by bringing in batsman Rea for bowler Moore. It meant that Rao and Lewis had to bowl 11 overs between them. Neil Doak had been left out of all three matches.

Ireland won the toss and Warke and Rea began at 10.30 a.m. to the bowling of Jones and left arm medium paced Edwards. Warke was winning his 100th cap, the first ever to do so. Rea was trying to show the Selectors that he could score fast enough to play overs cricket. Rea was 10 after 7 overs. Then he hit 7 fours in 8 overs; 50 came up in the 12th over. Rea arrived at 51 in the 22nd over at which point 101 was posted. Meanwhile Warke was having an exciting time. He might have been caught at the wicket early on but was given not out. When he was 15 (at 38) he refused to go back when Rea refused his run and only a poor throw saved Warke. With the score at 61 a direct hit from third man was a close decision.

Rea hit Smith for a six and in the same Over (26th) Warke reached 50 out of 127. On they went. 150 up in the 30th and it looked as if both would make centuries. Neither did. Griffiths had had two overs for 15 runs. He returned and in the 35th over had Rea out for 87 at 174. Jones took a marvellous low catch while on the run at long on. Rea with a six and 9 fonrs faced 96 balls. Lunch was after 36 overs at 114 for 1, Warke 74, Smyth 0.

Warke and Smyth saw 200 up in the 40th over, in which Smyth offered Bell a sharp catch and bowl chance. With a four off Sylvester in the 43rd over Warke reached 4003 career runs. Two balls later he was out, steering a long hop to deep gully. 212-2-95. Warke hit 8 fours and faced 140 balls. His season's tally was 474 runs, average 47.40. Benson joined Smyth in a 52 run stand in 7.2 overs. Benson, when 10, gave Smith a hard chance at mid-off running back. Edwards came back for a single over - the 50th. Smyth hit 14 runs off it including a six. He pushed the 6th ball to extra cover whose direct hit on the bowler's wicket ran Smyth out for 43 off 42 balls. 40 came in the next 4 overs, 29 of them to Benson off 16 balls. 15 of these came in one over from Smith. Benson posted his 50 in 38 balls (7 x 4) and saw 300 up in the 54th over. This came by way of a Lewis six off Smith, who, in the same over, bowled Benson. With one ball to go Cooke was caught off Griffiths. 311 was by far the best Irish total in an overs match. The 1st wicket stand of 174 was Ireland's best for any wicket in an overs match.

Sylvester was the only Welsh bowler with respectable figures. He bowled from the 17th over to the 37th and took one for 32, with only two fours. 4 sixes and 25 fours were hit in the innings. Wales were not daunted by the task, and matched Ireland's pace early on. 50 was up in 11 overs, 100 in 22. However, by tea, 24.4 overs, four wickets had fallen (for 108).

Sylvester and Tamplin started for Wales. Harrison had his usual inexpensive spell, 8 overs for 25, but Cooke went for 24 in 4 overs and Rao 29 in 5. At 50 Harrison had Sylvester (21) LBW - and he may have snicked it! In 9 overs Newbold helped Tamplin to add 45. At 87 Newbold gave a stumping chance in Graham's first over. It was not expensive as Graham caught and bowled him one over later. 95-2-19. Chaminda was caught at cover in Graham's 3rd over. Tamplin had reached a good 50 in the 20th over. Yet, in Graham's next over, the last before tea, he took a foolish swing and was bowled. 108-4-57. Tea was taken. In 22 balls Graham had 3 for 11.

Puddle joined Bell after tea with Graham and Hoey bowling the mid innings spell. At 146 Millar dropped Bell (20) off Hoey, a bad and expensive miss. 150 was up in 33rd over. Then, in the 35th, Puddle skied Graham to short mid-wicket. 156-5-19. Harrison returned for Hoey and had Lloyd stumped off a wide! 176-6-9 in 37.4 overs: Edwards joined Bell and the Welsh resurgence began. Graham was hit for 15 in his last two overs to end with 4 for 49 which won him the Man-of-the-Match Award. 200 came in the 42nd over. Edwards gave Rao a chance off Cooke. Cooke had revenge in the 45th over. Edwards hooked to deep square leg. Benson ran to his left and dived to take a brilliant catch. 220-7-29. In came Jones and the pace increased. Bell went to 50 in the 46th over at 227. 9 overs to score 85! Cooke went for 9 in an over. Then Hoey for 16 in the 48th over. 7 overs to get 60.

Then Cooke ran Bell out at 256 in the 49th over. Bell played the ball, Cooke, the bowler, retrieved it and threw down the bowler's wicket. 256-8-66. Wales were not yet finished. Smith joined Jones and in 4 overs 28 were added. This rate was not high enough to win and only one four was struck in this stand. Jones was run out at 284 after making 26 in 23 balls. Now only 13 balls remained to get 28. 12 were added. Lewis took the final wicket in the last over. It was a splendid batsman's match. Cooke went for 67 in his 11 overs and Hoey for two more. The only bowlers who could boast were Harrison, 2 for 41 and Graham 4 for 49.