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Match Report
Derek Scott

With this match the great Irish adventure in Kuala Lumpur ended in failure to qualify for the World Cup in England in 1999. Scotland went through with about 200,000 in cash and in kind in their pocket. Ireland, in fourth place, got nothing. Disappointment and devastation prevailed in the Irish camp.

Scotland won well and outplayed Ireland in every area in a match which extended over two days due to rain. Scotland were the underdogs. They had played Bangladesh in a semi-final over the previous two days (again the perpetual rain) and had lost heavily. Ireland had those two days off. Further, if rain destroyed this third-place play off, as it very nearly did, Ireland would have gone on to the World Cup by virtue of gaining more points than Scotland in the quarter-final round.

Nothing is certain in cricket but is this writer's view that, having won the toss, Ireland should have batted as Scotland would have done if they had won the toss. This slow pitch was not one on which to chase any kind of reasonable total. Further Ireland, with the exception of the miracle chase against USA, did not do well batting second. In the end, the mantle of favouritism, the tension of the occasion, the match extending over two days and the discarding of the benefit of the toss win was too much for Ireland and they were well beaten.

Lewis returned to the Irish team, fit again, and Rutherford was left out allowing Andrew Patterson to keep wicket.

The match began on time, 9:30 a.m., but after 19 overs rain came on. Soon the ground became a lake and no more play was possible on the first day. In those 19 overs Scotland scored 56 for one. Philip and Lockhart began to Gillespie and McCrum. Both bowlers did very well. Gillespie bowled five overs for 10 and McCrum seven overs for 14 and the one wicket which fell. Only five wides were bowled in their 12 overs. Astonishingly, neither bowler was asked to bowl for the remainder of the innings on the second day. In the eighth over, at 19, Philip, always a thorn in Ireland's side, tried to pull a short ball and skied to backward cover where Doak pouched the catch. Heasley came on for Gillespie and at 30 Lockhart was almost out at short mid-wicket, the ball pitching just short of Benson.

Mark Patterson came on for McCrum and Lockhart again was lucky when a pushed shot landed just short of a diving cover point. In the same over a run-out chance was badly missed. Smith had come in at number three. He pushed to cover and Lockhart set off from the non-striker's end. He was sent back. Dunlop's throw missed the stumps and went to Lewis at mid-on. He had time to run in but, instead, lobbed over Benson who was at the wicket. When the rain came Lockhart was 19, Smith 13.

On the next day helicopter was used to dry the outfield. Umpires Hair and Venkat decided play could start at noon and the match would be reduced to 45 overs each, no bowler to bowl more than nine overs. Patterson bowled the first over which included three wides. He was replaced by Doak with Harrison at the other end. At 72 Smith lobbed Harrison to mid-on but just out of reach of the incoming Benson. At 75 in over 24 Lockhart was out for 21 off 69 balls. It was another gentle lob to mid-on. Curry replaced Harrison and got Salmond in his second over, the 29th, when the score was 94. Salmond danced down the pitch and was stumped. Williamson joined Smith who was the backbone of the innings. 100 was up in over 31. The fourth wicket pair put on 38 in 38 balls. Williamson launched an attack on Harrison and 12 came off the 34th over, including a six. Wicket-keeper Patterson might have had a run out. He came round the wicket to collect a tip-and-run shot but missed the stumps. Mark Patterson returned and two wickets fell in his first over. Williamson played the first ball to Doak at short mid-wicket. Smith set off and was sent back. Doak raced in with the ball and dived at the wicket as Smith tried to get back. The TV camera showed Smith was out. Smith had made a very good 49 off 88 balls. 132-4-49. Lunch was then taken.

Patterson had five balls to bowl and off the fourth Williamson was caught and bowled, a good low two-handed catch. 136-5-27. Davies arrived to be greeted with three wides before Patterson finished the eventful 36th over. In the remaining nine overs, bowled by Patterson and Heasley Scotland scored 48 runs and lost three more wickets. Allingham and Davies kept the board moving and put on 36 in 40 balls. Then Davies went down the pitch, head up, and nicked on to the stumps off Heasley. 172-6-17. Beven was out in Patterson's last over. He was well held at the wicket by Andrew Patterson diving to his left, low and two handed. Off the last ball of the innings a two was attempted to Gillespie at long on. A superb throw ran out Allingham, who had scored 22 in 29 balls. The total was 187 for eight. The Duckworth-Lewis system then calculated that Ireland needed 192 to win. Scotland had lost overs 20 to 24, inclusive, of their 50 while Ireland had lost overs 46 to 50, inclusive.

Ireland bowled 21 wides and Patterson conceded 12 of these. In the Tournament Ireland's bowlers bowled 150 wides which, in all, conceded 164 runs. Patterson bowled 70 of these. His legal balls totalled 309. The next highest wides tally was McCrum's 22. In this innings against Scotland no bowler of the seven used bowled their full quarter of nine overs. Patterson and Heasley bowled eight each and the 16 overs went for 86 runs. Gillespie and McCrum bowled 12 overs on the first day for only 24 runs. The three slow bowlers bowled 17 overs for 73 runs.

The Irish innings got underway at 3:15 p.m. Curry and Andrew Patterson opened. Scotland opened with offspinner Beven and only in this first over were Ireland without concern. Curry hit a six and eight runs came off it. Thomson bowled the second over. His third ball would have been a wide. Curry chased it and was caught at square cover. Thomson struck again in his second over. It was eventful. There were four wides, six runs and a wicket off the last ball. Patterson flashed and was well held by wicket-keeper Davies diving two handed to his right. The next two stands both yielded 26 runs, Lewis and Benson off 43 balls, Doak and Benson off 58 balls. Lewis and Benson pushed along in singles and twos and after 10 overs the score was 45. Then Allingham came on for Beven. Lewis played a pick up shot off his legs and deep square leg did not have to move for the catch. This writer now predicted an Irish defeat!

Doak scored seven off 35 balls and Benson 26 off 45 balls. Slow left armer Sheridan came on for Allingham for the 17th over at 63 for three. He took four successive wickets in his third, fourth, sixth and eighth overs. Doak swept to deep square leg where Thomson running along the boundary to his left took a very good catch. 72-4-7. Benson went down the pitch and was caught at deep mid-on. 80-5-26. Dunlop hit his first ball for a lovely straight six. He made four more off 21 balls, was dropped at the wicket, and then pushed Sheridan meekly to mid-off. 88-6-10.

Heasley and Gillespie brought up 100 in over 30 in which nine runs were scored. At 111 Heasley, trying for much-needed boundaries, was caught at long off for 18. Sheridan went off after nine overs, his full quota, with figures of four for 34. Beven returned and had Gillespie stumped at 115. 77 were now needed in 12 overs. Harrison and Mark Patterson put on 22 in 19 balls. Williamson was recalled for his third over. He finished the innings in this, the 39th over. Mark Patterson, first ball, and Harrison, last ball, were both caught off skiers. In all nine were caught and one stumped.

It was a great day for Scotland and Smith got the Man-of-the-Match Award.

The final at Tenaga was a great match. Kenya scored 241 on the first day in 50 overs. Then more rain. There was time for 25 overs on the second day. By ordinary run rate system Bangladesh would have needed 121. Duckworth-Lewis set the target at 166. Bangladesh won by scoring a single off the last ball.