A week after the match -v- Gloucestershire in Dublin Surrey came to Eglinton for the fourth and last of the Benson & Hedges Cup matches. On a sunny day Ireland gave their best display of the four matches after threatening to give their worst. Ireland chose to bat on a lively pitch and were 17 for five in the 12th over. Then came the greatest recovery ever achieved by Ireland's batsmen. Stands of 45, 64 and 70 followed for the next three wickets, all orchestrated by Neil Doak. The final tally was 198 for eight, 61 coming in the last 10 overs. Surrey, of course, got the runs but lost their fifth wicket at 145 at which point there must have been an over or two of anxiety.
Surrey came with their best team excluding seam bowler Benjamin. They had five Test players including Australian Brendan Julian. There were two sets of brothers - the Hollioakes and the Bicknells. Ireland lost Gillespie and Graham to injury from the 12 selected but Gillespie was able to act as 12th man. Derek Heasley from Lisburn, a seam bowler/batsman all-rounder and a new cap, replaced Graham. He had a fine first match.
Benson was out to the first ball of the innings flicking Lewis low to square leg. Moore steered M Bicknell to gully in the fourth over. Lewis hit two fours but was out in the 10th over from M Bicknell. He drove to cover where Darren Bicknell (brother of Martin) caught a fine catch diving low to his right. One over later Harrison (four off 31 balls) was caught by wicket-keeper Stewart off Lewis. It was another good catch taken diving low to the left. Dunlop was next to go in Bicknell's next over. It was yet another brilliant catch and best of all. Julian (at second slip) threw himself to the right and caught one handed at shoulder height. Ireland was in disarray and the match was only in progress for 40 minutes.
Doak and Heasley began what was a remarkable recovery. In 11 overs they added 45. Heasley made 36 of these off 36 balls and Doak seven. Heasley's innings was remarkable for a newcomer going in at a crisis point. He hit six fours with strong shots and a six when off spinner Pearson came on. Bicknell bowled his 10 overs and had three for 19. Lewis bowled eight taking two for 17. AJ Hollioake came on and saw Julian drop Doak (7) in the gully at 37. Heasley also had an escape when caught off bat/pad but it was a no-ball. 50 came up in the 21st over. Julian came on for the 23rd over and had Heasley lbw half forward with his second ball. 62-6-36. Eagleson came in and supported Doak while 64 were added for the 7th wicket in 16 overs. Eagleson's share was 13 in 42 balls but it was invaluable. Doak began to score more freely. 100 was up in 33 overs, Doak 25. Next over Doak hit Pearson for a six and a four. At 126 he lost Eagleson who skied B. Hollioake into the covers. The 64 run stand for the 7th wicket was a record -v- a County team. It beat the 62 put on by JA Prior and JD Monteith -v- Gloucestershire at Bristol in 1983.
Rutherford arrived with just over 11 overs left. The stand of 70 did not end until the last ball of the innings, 70 being added in 68 balls. This was a record for the 8th wicket - v - a County team beating 66 put on by A McBrine and AT Rutherford -v- Northamptonshire at Downpatrick in 1989. Doak went to 50 in 92 balls and hit Pearson for a mid-wicket six off the next ball. In the remaining overs both batsmen hit two fours and the running was good.
Two overs in this period yielded 10 each, Rutherford backed away from the last ball of the innings and snicked to the wicket-keeper. His 26 came of 35 balls. Doak's 84 not out must rank as one of the best ever innings played for Ireland. It is the highest score by an Irish batsman in a limited overs competitive match -v- a County team, and it won him the Man-of-the-Match award. It was Doak's first 50 in 14 Internationals. He hit eight fours and three sixes and faced 121 balls. Julian suffered most among Surrey's bowlers his 10 overs going for 45.
Heasley featured once again in Surrey's second over bowled by Eagleson. Ward hit two fours and then uppercut the last ball to third man. Heasley made ground, dived forward to make a stunning catch. Brown did not get to face until the fourth over. He promptly hit Eagleson for 4-6-4. Eagleson was having a varied time. In his next over Patterson dropped a wicked skier at fine leg off Brown (18) at 39. At 46 Brown clipped Patterson to short mid-wicket, his 24 coming off 18 balls. 50 went up in the 9th over. Stewart had most of the strike in the 86 run stand with Thorpe. He took three fours off a Patterson over. McCrum, Heasley and Harrison were tried. 100 was up in 18 overs and Stewart went to 50, with a snicked four, off 53 balls.
At 132 both batsmen were out off successive balls. Stewart (63 in 65 balls) skied Harrison to long-on. The next ball was bowled by Heasley who had Thorpe (30) caught at the wicket flashing. At 145 Adam Hollioake played a wild shot at Harrison and was bowled. 12 overs later the match was over. Lewis, later recalled to the Test team, joined D Bicknell and the winning runs came steadily. That is until Eagleson returned to bowl over 38. 14 were needed. Five balls yielded 15 and in 5.5 overs Eagleson had given up 51 runs. In three B & H Cup matches this unfortunate bowler had 159 runs hit off him in 15.5 overs for one wicket.