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Match Report
Derek Scott

The luck of the Irish with the rain, which began the day before against Holland, continued today against Bangladesh. Hustled out, slowly, for 129 Ireland were on their way to defeat when rain intervened and, instead of no points, there was one point for a drawn or abandoned match. Hundreds of immigrant Bangladesh workers descended on the new Royal Selangor Club ground which was a sodden building site which should never have been used in this Tournament. Even the pitch was poor, fast and uneven. Ball by ball broadcast went back to Bangladesh with an estimated listening statistic of 50 million!

The day was hot and overcast with storm clouds looming. Ireland were unchanged from the Holland match. Winning the toss Ireland decided to bat to put pressure on the Bangladesh batsmen when batting second in front of a large "home" crowd. It didn't work! Harrison reached 115 caps, one more than the record holding Stephen Warke.

Curry and Andrew Patterson began briskly, 15 were scored in four overs but for the loss of Patterson. He was caught at the wicket trying to pull with no foot movement. 15-1-4. Islam and Hussain bowled fast and accurately and gave few runs away. Even Curry was restricted to 15 off 44 balls before he skied to mid-off in the 14th over having hit a four of the previous ball. Hussain bowled seven overs for 14 and Islam seven for 15. At 30, in the 15th over, Lewis was dropped by Rafique, the ball coming over his shoulder. Benson and Lewis hit a six each. Benson then drove a ball back which hit Lewis in the rib cage and, in fact, this put Lewis out of the semi-final against Kenya although he did play against Hong Kong two days after this match. The third pair added 24 off 52 balls. Then slow left-armer, Moni, got both of them. Lewis fell in Moni's second over. He was nowhere near the pitch of the ball and could only push it to cover. 53-3-14. Lewis said it was his toughest hour ever at the crease, actually it was 78 minutes.

In Moni's fourth over Benson swept badly and saw the ball roll back into his stumps. 60-4-17. Dunlop left at 63, the victim of AA Khan (who bowled his 10 overs for 18). Dunlop was caught at the wicket nudging to third man. Doak and Harrison resisted for 48 balls but could only muster 16 runs. Harrison lost patience to new bowler Rahman and was stumped. 57-6-10. In came Gillespie and the best stand of the innings ensued with Doak, both in runs and speed. They added 37 in 55 balls and saw 100 up but it was in the 43rd over.

Doak went first. He went down the wicket to Rafique, the seventh bowler used. He was not at the pitch and skied to cover. 116-7. Doak had made 32 off 73 balls. Mark Patterson was run out in the 40th over. He backed up too far and could not get back when Gillespie, rightly, refused a run. In the next over Gillespie was comprehensively bowled swinging at a ball from Hussain, whose third wicket this was. Gillespie scored 22 off 33 balls. Eagleson was last out off the first ball of the last over, also bowled.

Five of the Bangladesh seven bowlers took wickets. Four of them, bowling 37 overs between them, yielded only two runs per over! It was brilliant bowling and Ireland had no answer. AA Khan and Rahman started, on time, for Bangladesh. Andrew Patterson put down Khan off Gillespie in the first over. After 6.1 overs, 23 runs (and already Mark Patterson had given up six runs in wides!) rain fell heavily. The time was 2:15 p.m. When rain stopped the Bangladesh team and supporters rushed to help the groundstaff in getting rid of the water. Ireland objected and only the staff were allowed to continue. The ground was now a bog but the pitch had remained covered and dry. The Argentinian Referee and the Umpires were aware that if play did not start by 5:23 p.m. (13 overs at four minutes per over to make up 20 to be bowled by 6:15 p.m.) the game would be null and void. The Umpires, from Denmark and Namibia, ordered play to start at 5:20 p.m.! The Duckworth-Lewis system set Bangladesh's target at 66.

No metal spikes were allowed in this Tournament. Gillespie had to finish an over. The first ball bowled saw Doak slip and dive theatrically at cover. The third landed in a puddle in front of slip with Benson falling over at slip. The Umpires, realising their mistake, called the match off. There was uproar from the crowd and the Umpires were jostled. To be fair to the Bangladesh players they formed a protective circle around the Umpires and the Irish marquee and quietened their supporters.

It was bad weather, a bad venue and bad behaviour. There was no award for Man-of-the-Match. On the same day the Hong Kong against Holland match met the same fate. Hong Kong made 170 and Holland were 16 for no wicket.