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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

So near and yet so far! Or was it? Seven runs seems a small margin and there will be two opinions about how close, or not, Ireland came to entering the ICC Trophy final and, thereby, the 1999 World Cup in England.

Once again Ireland won the toss and fielded. Kenya were 159-5 with only six overs left. A further 56 were scored. In reply Ireland, at 62 for one in the 19th over, were well on course. Benson had already spent 21 balls getting his first run. Now Doak scored off only one of his first 16 balls and between overs 20 and 30 the score advanced by only 26. The tempo was never lifted sufficiently and by over 40 83 runs were required to win in 10 overs. Heasley made a great effort in his first innings in the Trophy. He arrived in over 29 with the score at 88 for four and scored 51 in 48 balls. He reduced the target to 38 in four overs but was then out unluckily. 20 were required from the last over. Gillespie hit a two and a four, missed the third ball, hooked the fourth and fifth, both of which fell within a couple of feet of being sixes, a two and a four resulted. An impossible eight were needed off the last ball.

All the four matches in the final week, two semifinals, third place play-off and the final, were played at Tenaga. Sky TV sent out all matches, live to certain areas, and recorded for others. Umpires of International fame Venkat, India, Plews, England and Hair, Australia stood in the matches while John Reid, New Zealand, was Match Referee. The ridiculous rain of Kuala Lumpur drove all four matches into the second day allowed in these final stages.

Ireland made two changes. Andrew Patterson had not kept wicket well against Hong Kong. He was retained as a batsman but Rutherford came in to keep wicket to Eagleson's exclusion. Heasley came in for the injured Lewis. The ground was awash with overnight rain and play could not start until 2:15 p.m.

Ireland won the toss and invited Kenya to bat. Karin and Gupta started for Kenya and Gillespie and McCrum bowled, quite tightly. 33 in nine overs and a wicket in the 10th. Patterson had replaced McCrum. First ball was a wide, second a no ball, third ball a long hop which Gupta pulled low to Heasley at square leg. 35-1-22. Next came thunder and lightning which caused a 30 minute stoppage at 62 for one in 16 overs. Harrison and Doak were now the bowlers and Karim and Obuya could not get the ball away. To add to Kenya's problems Doak took two wickets in three balls in the 25th over with the score at 83. Karim, 23, was bowled driving and Steve Tikolo played on, the ball going from bat to thigh to boot to wicket. Odumbe started briskly and after 30 overs 108 was up. Ireland were fielding brilliantly and bowling was tight. Then Rutherford missed a stumping chance offered by Odumbe off Curry at 117 and Obuya offered a similar chance off Doak at 137. Vital chances, both, but neither easy.

150 was up in over 41. Harrison, nought for 21, and Doak, two for 32, had bowled their quota after 41 overs. Heasley and McCrum were chosen to bowl the last nine overs. Mark Patterson had bowled three for 18 runs and was not risked again. 65 were scored in the last nine overs which was quite good considering Odumbe was in for most of them. McCrum took two wickets in the 44th over. Obuya, 51 in 107 balls, was caught by Harrison low to his right on the mid-wicket boundary at 158. Andrew Patterson caught a brilliant catch at short third man to dismiss Odoyo in the same over. In five overs Odumbe and Ondiek added 42, 15 coming in McCrum's eighth over. Odumbe had made 67 in 76 balls when he was run out by a direct hit by Andrew Patterson from long off. TV replay confirmed the dismissal. Once again the galloping speed of the Kenyan batsmen between the wickets was a wonderful feature of this part of the match.

McCrum bowled the last over. 10 runs were scored, nine of them to Ondiek and wickets fell on the last two balls. Ongoche was bowled and L.Tikolo held at long-on by Dunlop. Other than the stumping chances Ireland's fielding, running and throwing were of a very high class. Seven bowlers surrendered 11 wides and two no ball's, 13 runs in all of which Mark Patterson accounted for six in three overs. McCrum had a four wicket haul but the stars were Doak and Harrison, who conceded 53 in 20 overs. Ondiek finished with 29 in 19 balls and he only failed to score off three of them. He was, however, lucky that some shots in the last few overs did not go to hand. Odumbe took his team beyond the 200 mark when it could so easily have been less. It was now 6:11 p.m. so Ireland would not start batting until the morning.

The start was prompt at 9:30 a.m. next morning. Curry began as usual. He hit three fours and 20 was up in four overs and 25 in five. The plan was to block out the dreaded Suji and it worked well. He bowled six wicketless overs for 18 runs. Steve Tikolo only bowled two (for 14) when Odoyo came on for the sixth over. He got Curry at once, well caught at backward gully cutting in the air. 25-1-18. As mentioned earlier Benson took 21 balls to score but Andrew Patterson compensated. While Benson stagnated Patterson hit five fours, mostly drives, and there was also a four wides. 61 in 18 overs was very satisfactory. Then came slow left-arm Karim.

In his second over Patterson swept and played on. 62-2-28. In Karim's next over Dunlop fell. He did not go through with a stroke and pushed to wide mid-off. 64-3-1. Now began the passive period between Benson and Doak which ultimately put too much pressure on the later batsmen. The stand put on 24 and this included a six by Doak from the off spin of Odumbe. This 24 run stand took almost 9 overs. Steve Tikalo, now bowling off spin, replaced Karim, who had 2-10 in six overs. Doak was run out in this over. He was sent back but could not make his ground. 88-4-12 in the 29th over. Heasley came in at this point. He hit a six in over 32 to bring up 100. He took 12, with another six, in over 35.

Benson increased his pace slightly but was lucky not to be run out at 121. It did not profit him. At 128, now in over 39, he lobbed Karim, who had just come on again, to mid-off. Benson simply could not time his strokes. In his 85 ball innings he scored 35 off 24 balls with 61 "dot" balls. A stand of 40, 23 to Heasley, in 57 balls was simply too slow at this stage. On Harrison's arrival 88 were needed in 70 balls. Harrison was dropped at extra cover just before he got out for nine in 14 balls at 146, in the 45th over. This was Karim's last over. Harrison was caught at mid-off and Karim had 4-28 in his 10 overs. 146-6-9. Mark Patterson came in. This was the last throw of the dice. 70 were needed in 47 balls. The seventh pair put on 24 in 15 balls, Heasley hitting two more sixes and a four. Nine came in the remainder of Karim's last over and 13 in the next which was Odoyo's last. Six overs to go and now 48 were needed. Suji came back and had Patterson lbw. 170-7-4. Gillespie and Heasley added eight in nine balls. 178 in 46 overs meant 38 needed in four overs.

Then Heasley fell to the first ball of the 47th over. He played on off his boot to Suji. McCrum was now in and the requirement became 30 in three overs. McCrum was out in the third last over, caught at deep point off Steve Tikolo. Rutherford joined Gillespie with 27 needed in 13 balls. Suji bowled the second last over but only five were scored. The last over, bowled by Steve Tikolo to Gillespie, is described earlier. There were "might have beens" and "if onlys". If only Curry had stayed longer, if Lewis could have played, if Benson had been in better form, if Heasley could have gone in earlier and stayed a little longer. Odumbe was judged Man-of-the-Match for his 67 and his 10 overs for 30 runs.

Rain caused the second semi-final, Bangladesh v Scotland, to run over two days. Bangladesh made 243 and Scotland, never really in the hunt, were all out for 171 in the 45th over. Ireland would now play Scotland for the third-place allocated to Associate Countries for a place in the World Cup in England in 1999. The match would be played on the day after Scotland's semi-final ended. Ireland had two days' rest