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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland recovered very well from yesterday's narrow and unfortunate defeat by Scotland to beat England by four runs. The match was at Linlithgow and the pitch similar to Greenock the previous, day - moisture not far below a firm surface. The outfield was badly mown with grass cuttings everywhere.

Ireland were unchanged and ECB had most of their best players.

McCallan and Carson opened for Ireland, who won the toss, to the bowling of Arnold and Usher. It was a grey day after a fine morning but it was warm. 15 were scored in five overs and Carson {4) had given a difficult overhead chance to deep cover when he cut at a long hop. The first ball of the eighth over accounted for McCallan. He followed a wide ball from Usher and was caught at the wicket. 19-1-9. Smyth came in and hit his second ball for four and the next over midoff for six. Smyth again assaulted Usher in his next over. After Carson scored a three Smyth hit 4-4-2-4 in successive balls. 50 came in 12 overs. Dagnall, medium left arm, and Foster, medium, now bowled a few overs before Scott's off breaks were introduced for over 16.

The scoring slowed and three wickets fell to Dagnall in successive overs. Carson lifted a drive to short extra cover. 68-2-18. Then Smyth was out in the same way mistiming a cover drive. 77-3-37. Smyth got his runs from 50 balls with a six and five fours. Then Joyce also mistimed a drive and was caught overhead at cover without scoring. 68 for one in over 19 had become 77 for four in over 23. Gillespie and Dunlop set about a recovery. Dunlop scored only three singles in his first 25 balls. The medium paced Halsall came on for the 25th over and Gillespie had an escape. He was dropped at cover when 11 at 84 in an over which cost 11 runs.

The score was 89 at the half way mark and 100 was up in over 32. Scott's off spin was restricting the scoring and at one point he bowled four successive maidens. He went off after eight overs for 10 runs and Arnold returned. The scoring rate began to increase in over 35 and the 50 partnership, which took 14 overs, came in over 37. In over 38 Dunlop picked up Arnold and hit him for six over wide mid wicket. Then came a run out. Gillespie hit the seventh bowler tried, Ecclestone, to mid off. He set off but the fielder hit the bowler's wicket. 137-5-31. With Heasley in scoring slowed again. From 140 in 39 overs it only moved to 142 in 42 overs. Scott had come back to bowl his two remaining overs for one run to finish with 11 runs off his 10 overs. Heasley was out at 144 in the 43rd over. He was caught overhead at mid-on off Ecclestone while trying to increase the pace.

With 5 overs to go the score was 148, an addition of only eight runs in five overs. In over 46 Eagleson was run out attempting a run to short extra cover who threw down the bowler's wicket. 151-7-3. Worse followed in the next over when Dunlop was bowled driving at Dagnall. His 37 came in 80 balls with one four and a six. His innings certainly ensured a reasonable total and it was not a pitch for fast scoring. The last over, bowled by Arnold, saw Bushe out to the first ball, driving it to square cover. Cooke hit a six over mid wicket on the fourth ball and the over cost 10 runs. This proved a very vital 10 at the end of the match.

England used 7 bowlers. Scott's performance has already been recorded. Dagnall took four for 25 in his 10 overs. Usher was very expensive bowling five overs for 40.

The question now was. Was 171 enough? Were Ireland wrong not to try to "slog" to get more on this slow pitch? How would England bat on it?

The immediate answer to the third question was not very well. Foster and the captain, Roberts, opened the batting - two very experienced players. Cooke and Eagleson gave up 10 runs in two overs - six of these were wides, Cooke having bowled four in his first over. Cooke had more luck in his second over. He had Foster lbw on a ball that kept low. 14-1-4. Ecclestone was dropped twice when he was one, by Bushe off Cooke and by Gillespie off Eagleson. These were not expensive misses. The score had doubled when Roberts was lbw to Eagleson when he missed a long hop. Then at 40 Eagleson had Ecclestone caught in the gully by Gillespie at shoulder height. With Robinson and Clarke together McCallan came on for Cooke and 50 was raised in over 17. Dwyer's first over was the 18th. He struck at once when Clarke pushed his fourth ball back to him. 53-4-3. Five overs and 15 runs later McCallan struck. Halsall backed away to force and was bowled leg stump. 68-5-5.

This was England's low point. Now matters improved. Waterton came in and was ultimately the last wicket to fall. He and Robinson added 32 for the sixth wicket but it took 14 overs. Heasley came on for McCallan and Dwyer changed ends. At 100 in over 37, Dwyer got Robinson in his 10th and last over. He drove to extra cover. 100-6-47. Robinson faced 99 balls with six fours. 13 overs and three balls remained at this point to score 72 - a rate of more than a run a ball. Usher was next and he did try to score quickly but the bowling was tight and fielding was good. Waterton and Usher put on 33 in eight overs. Usher scored 19 of these off 22 balls including a six over long on off Heasley. 115 had come up in 40 overs. Cooke returned and he it was he who got Usher holding on to a fast low caught and bowled chance. This was the 45th over with the score at 133. 39 were needed in 35 balls when Dagnall joined Waterton who was only able to score in singles.

Five were scored in over 46. Eagleson with two overs to bowl replaced Cooke for the 47th over. He bowled two wides but took a wicket. Dagnall stepped away to cut and was bowled middle stump. 146-8-5. Now 19 balls remained to score 26. Scott joined Waterton. Heasley bowled his last over, the 48th, for six runs. Now 12 balls were left to score 20. The 49th over (Eagleson) contained two leg byes, a wide and six other runs - nine in all. However Waterton was run out off the last ball. He nicked it to third man, tried for two, but failed to beat Dwyer's throw. Waterton's 33 had come off 79 balls but his inability to turn singles into twos was crucial.

Cooke bowled the final over with 11 needed. His first ball hit the bowler's wicket. Scott hit the second for two, two singles and a bye followed. With six needed an off drive produced only a single.

All five Irish bowlers bowled 10 overs each. The least expensive was McCallan's 24 runs, the most expensive Heasley's 40 runs and the best was Eagleson's three for 33.

Dunlop was given the Man-of-the-Match award by veteran journalist Jimmy Watson-Blair for his runs and captaincy.