This was the first match in the inaugural, albeit unofficial, European Championship. It was arranged and hosted by Denmark to celebrate 100 years of cricket in that country. Eight countries were invited - all that play serious cricket in Europe. They were Denmark (hosts), Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Gibraltar, Wales and England (amateur). Wales declined and Israel came in. Denmark divided the eight into two sections hoping for a semi-final day. This was not agreed (Ireland did agree) so the final day was 1st in one section -v- 1st in the other, 2nd -v- 2nd and so on. Denmark put themselves, Ireland, Italy and Gibraltar in one section. If there had been semi-finals there is little doubt that Denmark and Ireland would have qualified. Italy had been elected to ICC in 1995 and seven of their team in this match had Italian names - they were entitled to play four with residential qualifications.
In a practice match on the coconut matting on shale (used throughout Denmark) two days before this match Ireland lost to the leading club side in Denmark. On a very high outfield Ireland made 193 for eight in 50 overs (B & H Cup rules ). Benson made 70, McCallan 29 and Graham 21. Svanholm CC won in the 47th over by four wickets. Five stands between 33 and 46 won the match for the Danes. It was a salutary lesson. Subsequent results showed the wisdom of having three full days for this match and practice before the main event. 13 players were allowed. Lewis was still out injured but Graham was now fit and replaced Moore in the 13 who had played in the Triple Crown.
A wet ground delayed the start by 50 minutes and Italy sent Ireland in. Harrison and McCallan were left out and Dunlop was made Deputy Captain. It was cold and windy when A. Patterson and Curry set out. The early running was poor and Patterson (6) was out in the 6th over at 21. He was caught at square leg hitting on one knee. Benson started quietly but Curry's strong forearms brought him five fours in his 44 off 47 balls. 50 had come up in over 11. The 14th over was leg spinner Ahmed's 1st. Curry hit his first ball for four. He went, head up, down the wicket to the 3rd ball and was stumped. 69-2-44.
Benson gave a stumping chance also but the wicket-keeper lost the ball. In over 18 Benson went down the wicket to Ahmed and pushed a return catch. 83-3-14. Doak joined Dunlop. When he was four, at 92, he gave a hard chance to deep square leg off slow left armer De Mel. This pair saw 100 up in over 26 and in all added 56, the best stand of the innings, but it took 18 overs. De Mel bowled his 10 overs for 25 and in his last over he bowled Doak who was trying to force past gully on the front foot. Heasley joined Dunlop. After 38 overs the score was 147 and the innings needed an impetus. It got it. The remaining 12 overs yielded 108. Dunlop hit a six in the 10 run 39th over. The 41st saw Heasley score 13 and Dunlop's dismissal off its last ball. He was caught in the deep on a pull shot one run short of 50. 177-5-49. The next two overs yielded eight and seven runs. In over 44 Heasley hit a six and a four and got out. He skied to mid-off. 202-6-44. This let Eagleson in to join Graham. Graham went from 13 to 26 in two overs. The 49th over produced 16 runs - all to Eagleson including two huge straight sixes. The final total was 255 - 51 in the last five overs. Italy used seven bowlers with De Mel easily the least expensive.
In reply Italy scored only 86 but the innings lasted 48.3 overs! With seven out for 38 Ireland seemed to ease off. Eight bowlers were used and only Patterson bowled 10 overs. Patterson bowled Ahmed in the first over. It was the first ball he faced and he tried to pull it. In his 5th over Patterson bowled Pezzi, driving head up. 11-2-1. Two balls later Patterson bowled Zuppiroli. McCrum had Qureshi, Italy's Pakistani star, lbw in over 12. He stepped across to leg glide. The next pair, opening bat Amati and De Mel, lasted for almost 10 overs. Amati gave Benson a chance at gully off Eagleson and another to A Patterson at mid-off off Heasley. At 32 De Mel flashed at Heasley and was caught by Rutherford off a lifting ball.
Amati (17) finally fell in the 23rd over - run out by a throw from A Patterson at mid-off to Rutherford. Two overs later Maggio was run out. Graham ran in from cover and threw to Rutherford. 38-7-2. 50 was up in over 33. The third successive run out came in over 34. Kariyawagam, the non striker, ran but could not interest his partner, Ciappiwa. McCallan, a substitute fielder, threw to bowler Doak. 12 overs elapsed before the 9th wicket fell. Curry was in his 4th over and Ciappiwa was caught at silly mid-off having faced 16 balls in scoring 14. 26 had been added for this wicket. Rajapakse, at No.10, struck two fours, scored 17 and was last out, stumped in Benson's 4th over. Eagleson, 22 not out, with two sixes in 15 balls, plus eight overs for eight runs (but no wickets) was a somewhat surprising Man-of-the-Match (a travelling clock)