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Match Report
Derek Scott

PRELUDE 25 players were named (as per rule) in a Panel for Malaysia. 16 were to go and the substitutes had to be drawn from the remaining nine, if required.

The 16 were:- Batsmen: JDR Benson (Malahide) Capt.; DALewis (YMCA) Vice Captain; AR Dunlop (YMCA); AD Patterson (Cliftonville) who was also a wicket keeper.

Bowling: OFX Butler (Old Belvedere); RL Eagleson (Carrickfergus); P McCrum (Muckamore ); MW Patterson (Cliftonville). These were all fast bowlers.

All Rounders: Four off spinners:- GD Harrison (Waringstown); NG Doak (Lisburn); JD Curry (Limavady); WK McCallan (Cliftonville).

Three medium pace bowlers:- PG Gillespie (Strabane); U Graham (Lisburn); D Heasley (Lisburn).

WicketKeeper AT Rutherford (Bready).

Substitutes: Four first choice substitutes were:- DMP Moore (The Hills), batsman; GL Molins (Carlisle), slow bowler; JO Davy (Pembroke) fast bowler; S Ogilby (Bready) wicket-keeper.

The five remaining substitutes were:- JAM Molins (Carlisle) and PJ Davy (Pembroke) batsmen; S Donnelly (Lisburn) slow bowler; G.Cooke (Limavady) fast bowler; B Topping (Lisburn) wicket-keeper.

Butler (studies) withdrew from the 16 as did JAM Molins (unable to return from cricket commitments in South Africa) and JO Davy (studies) from the substitutes list. GL Molins was chosen to replace Butler in the 16 as it was decided that another slow bowler was required. Then K Banks (Cork County) fast bowler; MD Dwyer (The Hills) slow bowler; and JE Byrne (Leinster) batsman were added to the substitutes list.

Ages of the 16 in Malaysia: Three were over 30 (oldest was Harrison at 35); Four were exactly 30; Two were between 25 and 30; Seven were under 25 (youngest was Molins at 21). Average age was 26.

Selectors in Malaysia: M Hendrick (National Coach); SC Corlett; JSL Mitchell. R.Lawlor was also to travel but was unable to do so.

The big day came at last after four practice matches. The team had acclimatised well to the intense humidity. The day was humid, overcast and the outfield was sodden with coarse grass. The Underwood Carpet was slow. It was early to rise as the starting time was 9:30 a.m. in this tournament.

Graham (with a slight infection) was left out as were Rutherford, McCallan, Heasley and Harrison. Lewis played with a fractured little finger and not alone scored a century as an opening bat, but it was also Ireland's highest score in limited overs cricket. Fielding restrictions (seven fielders in the ring) were in place. Sent in, this allowed Curry and Lewis to score 86 in the first 15 overs. Curry hit a four in the first over and a six in the fourth but he was dropped at the wicket in Cary's first over when he was seven and the total 10. With a six and four fours Curry reached 52 with the total on 86 off the fifth ball of the 15th over. The next ball, Curry's 52nd, from gentle off-spinner Johnson, bowled him as he charged, head up. 86-1-52.

Benson joined Lewis, who was 26, and runs came at three per over. 50 had come in 10 overs and 100 was up in 20. Lewis went to 50, off 74 balls, with the total on 134. The even pace continued until over 30 which brought up 150. Even the next 10 overs did not greatly raise the pace. 200 and Benson's 50, off 76 balls, arrived in over 39. Lewis was clapped for a century, when he was 97, the crowd thinking the ball had gone for four. He had a wild swing at the next, which fortunately missed the wicket. At 230 Benson, 62, had a let off at deep fine leg. With two singles in the 45th over Lewis went to 100 off 123 balls. In the next over he lost Benson after a stand of 163. Benson stopped on his shot, and was caught at long-on, off opening bowler Cary who had returned. Benson made a fluent 73 with seven fours off exactly 100 balls.

With Dunlop now in Lewis unleashed himself and hit two sixes but the last 10 overs realised only 67 runs. It could and should have been more with so few wickets down and a possible run rate system to decide places in the event of a tie in the league section. With sweat band flying Lewis was in great form although only hitting seven boundaries (three sixes and four fours) in his 142 ball innings. Gibraltar only used five bowlers, four of them conceding 50 or more.

Rain was always going to be a threat in this wet city of Kuala Lumpur (not a place to play a Tournament such as this). 20 overs were required to make a match so Ireland used slow bowlers, Doak and Molins, to beat any rain problem. They bowled 20 overs in an hour by which time Gibraltar were 32-2. Doak had taken the two wickets. Churaman fell in over 15 caught by Lewis at deep mid-off. 22-1-13. In over 19 Robeson was caught by Mark Patterson at short mid-wicket.

Mark Patterson, coming on for Doak, who had taken 2-12 in 10 overs, took the next three wickets at 35, 39 and 47. Wicket-keeper and brother Andrew caught the first. Eagleson caught the second, a slice to extra cover. The third was a good catch by Benson going to his left at first slip. Thus there was a wicket in each of Patterson's first three overs. McCrum took the next, at 54, in his third over, the shot pushed the ball up to Doak at cover. Patterson took his fourth wicket in his fourth over, 61, again with the assistance of his wicket-keeping brother. At 69 McCrum bowled the number nine, removing the leg stump.

The ninth wicket fell at 69 to a run out in Patterson's fifth over. De'ath played to square leg, Doak, and set off. Sent back he failed when Doak hit the wicket with only one stump to aim at. The first Gibraltar wicket had put on 22. The next best stand was 13 for the last wicket. Eagleson was called in to replace Patterson, 4-22 in six overs, and his second ball accounted for Garcia, caught by McCrum. It was all over in 94 minutes off 32.2 overs. However, 21 wides were bowled, nine by Patterson and eight by McCrum. This was the beginning of a disastrous element in Ireland's out cricket. Lewis was awarded the Man-of-the-Match Award.

By now the 40 Irish supporters club had arrived and gave great support with noise galore.