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Match Report
Derek Scott

Three great warm sunny days greeted M.C.C. on their first visit to Malahide. The pitch was the best seen to date at the venue and it held up well. It was slow but gave some help to a bowler who worked hard. 1157 runs were scored, only seven behind the record aggregate. Unlike the game -v- Wales the Irish captain, who at the time was Benson, declared early on the third day. In so doing both sides had a chance of winning. In the run chase Paul Parker was dropped when he was 85. If that had been taken there was a probable Irish win. The catch went to ground. Parker went on to 129 and MCC won with just over three overs to spare.

MCC had three Test Match players, Parker and Pigott each played once for England and Dodemaide 10 times for Australia. Ireland originally left out P McCrum in favour of batsman/wicket-keeper Andrew Patterson, aged 20 and brother of Mark. However Eagleson (ill) cried off and McCrum returned. Lewis came back to replace G Molins and take back the captaincy .

The pitch had a green tinge but Ireland won the toss and batted. Pigott bowled seven overs in an opening spell and had two wickets. Benson (12) was out to a good leg side stumping by Farbrace at 22 and Andrew Patterson (7) seemed to guide a rising ball low to 1st slip at 38. Toogood and Dodemaide were the change bowlers. They took a wicket each at 66 and 67. Lewis (14) played a poor crooked bat drive at Toogood and played on. Three overs and one run later Dunlop (0) was brought down to earth after his two 90's -v- Wales. He was lbw going back when he should have been forward. Meanwhile McCallan, in his second. match, had been dealing in boundaries. He hit Pigott for three in his last over. With a cut for four he reached a maiden 50, 53 out of 95 in the 28th over with no less than 10 fours mostly well driven. 100 was up in over 31 and lunch came after 38 overs at 112 for 4, McCallan 56, Moore 21.

At 127 Moore took on Parker's continuing ability to field well, aged 40. He lost. Parker dived to stop at square leg and threw from the ground to run out Moore (26) coming from the non-striker's end. 127 for 5. The next pair, McCallan and Heasley, added 108 for the 6th wicket in 76 minutes and 22 overs. McCallan was 64 when Heasley came in. He was 97 when Heasley was out for 73 off 66 balls with three sixes, 12 fours, a three, a two and two singles. Drives and pulls dominated. Harris was hit for six fours. Then Thorne was greeted by being hit for 26 in his first two overs, including three sixes. 200 was up in over 58. At 214 Heasley reached 52 in 46 balls with a four. Thorne eventually had his revenge. In his fifth over he had Heasley caught at deep square leg. 235-6-73. The last five wickets fell for eight runs! First McCallan went to his century with a two to fine leg. It was over 66 and the score was 238. McCallan batted exactly four hours, faced 189 balls and hit 16 fours. Next ball he gave Thorne his second wicket. He lost concentration and lobbed a catch to mid-off. Four Irish players made centuries on debut. McCallan is the only player to score a maiden International century in his second match. The last three wickets all fell at 243, two to Dodemaide and one more to Thorne who, after 0 for 34 in three overs, finished with 3 for 39 in eight.

? Tea was taken early and Ireland, as a consequence, had 18 minutes short of three hours in the field. The first 24 overs brought five wickets and a follow-on loomed at one time for MCC Alan Lewis was injured in the second over. He was trying, unsuccessfu1ly, to stop a boundary from C. Lamden. The injury to his shoulder was serious and put him out of action for a month. Benson took over the captaincy and Greg Molins came on as 12th man. At 17 Patterson bowled Lamden (10) and, in the next over, McCrum had Crawley (6) caught at the wicket. Two overs later, at 21, Patterson bowled Richardson who had not scored.

Parker and Thorne brought the score to 40 when Parker (13) was lbw to McCrum. Thorne was dropped at short leg off McCrum when he was 15 - an expensive miss. Farbrace was dropped at slip in a single over bowled by Benson. Then Farbrace hit Moore's first over for 20 (5 x 4). Moore was given another over and Farbrace skied to mid-off. 87-5-25. 14 more overs were bowled before the close. No more wickets fell. MCC scored 48 more runs; 100 came in over 28 and Thorne reached 50 off 59 balls at 123. Harrison bowled six overs at the end for only 12 runs.

- Next morning Thorne and Dodemaide had little trouble against Patterson and Harrison. 150 came in over 46. Thorne finally lost patience against Harrison and was stumped by Andrew Patterson who had taken over from Allan Rutherford (groin strain). 160-6-65. Once again Ireland could not finish off an Innings. The last four MCC wickets added 147. This was principally due to Dodemaide who was 25 when Thorne was out, and went on to make 94. 200 was up in over 58. The McCallan changed ends and had Smith (22) lbw when swiveling to hook. Dodemaide got to 51 off 106 balls. He (62) and Toogood (14) were together at lunch, 245 for 7 in 78 overs.

The pace stepped up. Dodemaide hit Harrison for 6-6-4 off successive balls. The stand was worth 92 and a century for Dodemaide looked certain, when he misdrove McCrum to extra cover. 294-8-94. Dodemaide batted 226 minutes, faced 202 balls and hit three sixes and 13 fours. His innings was essential to the MCC recovery and ultimately a lead of 64. McCrum took the last two wickets to pick up a five wicket haul for the first time in his 45 matches. He had come on as a substitute and had 5 for 52 in his 22.5 overs.

Ireland had an hour to bat before tea. It was a disastrous period. After hitting two fours Benson was caught at the wicket with no foot movenent. Two runs later McCallan was lbw playing an airy stroke. The score was now effectively 14 for three (due to Lewis's injury) and still 50 behind. What happened next was remarkable by normal Irish batting standards. The second wicket fell at 3 30 pm after 3.1 overs. The next fell at 6 13 pm after 44.1 overs. In those 41 overs Dunlop and Andrew Patterson put on 206 in 143 minutes. Dunlop's share of the stand was 134 and he went on to make 148, a record score -v- MCC and the fifth highest by an Irish batsman.

Patterson, on his debut, made 73 off 124 balls, the first 50 on debut since his partner, Dunlop, did so -v- MCC in 1970. Dunlop's innings was extraordinary. He hit Dodemaide for a four first ball and another in the same over. In over number 8 he hit Dodemaide for three fours. 50 was up in over 10 and in this over Dunlop, after seven fours, scored his first single! Next over Harris went for a six and a four. Similar treatment of Pigott brought Dunlop to 53 off 38 balls at 80 in over 14. Tea came after 16 overs at 86-2, Patterson 20, Dunlop 54. (2x6, 10x4, 2x1). On Dunlop went after tea with magnificent sttrikes through the covers, straight and through or over mid-wicket. He was 67 of 104 after over 21. He got to 95 with three successive fours off slow left armer Smith. Next ball he should have had his third 90 for Ireland but Harris dropped an easy mishit at deep mid-off. In over 29 he went to 101 with a four to square leg off Smith off 84 balls in 93 minutes and 150 was up. Dunlop's scoring shots were now 3x6, 19x4, 7x1. Patterson hit two fours off Toogood and went to his own 50 off 92 balls and he had hit 10 fours. On they went whacking fours off all bowlers tried. 200 came in over 38. When 132 Dunlop snicked Toogood through the wicket-keeper and one run later he gave deep square leg a difficult chance.

Patterson was out first. At 220 he helped a ball from Thorne to short fine leg. 73 off 124 balls with 14 fours was a magnificent start for a young man of 20. The stand of 206 for the 3rd wicket was the first over 200 for this wicket by Ireland. The previous record stood since 1902 when Sir TC O'Brien and RH Lambert put on 170 -v- Oxford University at Oxford.

Moore came in and 30 were added. Harris came back for over 48 and had Dunlop caught at the wicket while driving. 250-4-148. He faced 135 balls in 158 minutes and hit 3x6, 25x4, 1x3, 3x2, 21x1. It was an innings to be compared with John Prior's -v- Warwickshire in 1982. Moore was unfortunate for the second time in the match. He hooked Harris to long leg. Pigott ran 20 yards from fine leg and past the Sponsor's marquee. He dived and caught a wonderful left handed catch. 256-5-16. Play ended after 57 overs at 274-5. Harrison 4 and Heasley 15, including three fours in one Harris over.

The lead was 210 with 330 minutes left. Would Ireland dangle a carrot or strangle the game? Heasley showed the intention by hitting 14 off Dodemaide's first over and Harrison two fours off his second. Four overs brought 29 runs and Heasley's wicket, caught on the mid-wicket boundary. 303-6-34. McCrum was lbw at 316. Mark Patterson hit three fours (58 were hit in the innings) and a declaration came after 40 minutes and 61 runs.

The target was 272 in 220 minutes plus 20 overs. This was very fair on a sunny day, a fast outfield and a pitch still remarkably good. 78 was a possible maximum number of overs. In fact 73 would have been bowled. MCC won in 69.4. Crawley was caught at slip at 20 and Lamden bowled at 43 - both off McCrum. The match hinged on Parker. He got away swiftly. Three fours in a row off Patterson. McCallan's first over brought a four and a six and the 50. Lunch (17 overs bowled in 70 minutes) saw 62 for 2 on the board, Parker 36 (30 in boundaries) and Richardson 2.

Harrison was first to bowl after lunch and Parker hit a six and a four. In over 21 he went to 53 of 83 in 39 balls. At 90 Richardson was lbw in Heasley's first over playing half forward and across. Thorne came in, faced 11 balls, and retired at 95, still nought, with eye trouble (contact lenses). Farbrace replaced him and started slowly. 100 came up in the 30th over. Parker took 10 off a Harrison over but a slow period ensued and Farbrace fell in over 41. He was caught low at extra cover off Heasley who then had 2 for 16 in 9 overs. 138-4-18. Thorne resumed but was out at 151. He drove McCallan to mid-off. Dodemaide (0) and Parker (84) were together at tea at 151 for 5. Half an hour and 20 overs remained. MCC needed 121.

The crucial moment came in the third over after tea bowled by McCrum. Parker was 85, the score 162, when he drove a ball straight but low to Moore at short extra cover. It went down although Moore is one of the best fielders in the team. Eight overs were bowled in the half hour after tea and 29 runs were scored. 92 were required in the last hour. McCrum then had a terrible over. A six to Parker brought him to 102 off 130 balls. Another six and 16 in all came off the over and 200 was up. Harrison replaced McCrum and the unlucky Patterson kept plugging away. He went wicketless in his 20 overs but deserved better. At 212 Dodemaide was run out. He danced down to Harrison bounced the ball to Benson at silly mid-off and had his wicket thrown down. 212-6-21.

Smith came in with a runner and 56 required in 20 overs. Both batsmen now increased the tempo. Parker knocked a ball from Harrison away thinking, having played it, that it would land on his stumps. Given not out. Heasley came back for over 67 and at last Parker fell. He chipped a ball to cover. 256-7-129. Parker's was a marvellous innings and won the match for his team. He was in for just over four hours, faced 158 balls, with four sixes and 15 fours.

No more wickets fell and the aggressive Smith finished the match with a six off Heasley with more than three overs to spare. 272 was a record 4th innings winning score -v- Ireland. It beat Scotland's 251-5 to win at Greenock in 1962. It was a great match and Ireland gave themselves and MCC a chance to win. Ireland were simply not good enough to do so but they stuck at the task manfully. McCrum (8 wickets in the match) and Heasley emerged with three wickets each. Mark Patterson's figures, 0 for 81 in 20 overs, did not reflect the excellence of his bowling.

Andrew Patterson kept wicket for Ireland for most of the match and on this third day two Irish substitutes (G Molins and S Taylor) were in the field for Lewis and Rutherford.

Texas Instruments sponsored the match and had a marquee on the ground on Sunday with 130 guests.