CricketEurope Ireland logo
Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland beat Wales in the final Triple Crown Match by a wider margin than the 17 runs win officially recorded. Going into the match Ireland knew they had little chance of winning the Tournament. To do so England would have to beat Scotland (which they did by a slender margin) and Ireland would have to make a very big score for very few wickets and then bowl Wales out in very few overs.

Dunlop had stepped on the ball in the previous match, strained his leg, and was unable to play. McCrum replaced him and Smyth became captain for the first time.

The match was played at Ferguslie C.C. in the Paisley area. It was a new venue for Ireland. The ground was fairly big and the pitch was the best of the three played upon in this Tournament. The day was warm and turned sunny in mid morning. Ireland won the toss and batted.

McCallan, Joyce (restored to opening the innings) and Smyth gave Ireland a great start. The first two put on 79 and then Smyth helped McCallan to take the score to 158 in the 38th over. Davies and Brown bowled the first seven overs. Then Barr and Edwards (off spin) took over. After 10 overs 32 was up and 50 arrived in over 14. Despite some nice late cuts from Joyce scoring slowed. 76 was up in 22 overs. Then, in over 23 from Edwards, McCallan was dropped by Brown at long leg and Joyce was bowled around his legs. 79-1-23.

Bell now came on to bowl leg spin at 79 for the 24th over. With his fifth boundary McCallan went to 50 out of 91 in over 26. In the same over Smyth hit Bell for a six. When 14, in the 30th over (Bell), Smyth was dropped at long on - once again Brown being the culprit. 100 had come in over 27. In three overs (31-32-33) 19 were scored to bring the score to 131. In the course of this McCallan gave Hemp a chance at cover. Lowell, slow left arm, was tried but gave up 16 runs in two overs and 150 was up in over 36. Eventually, after a stand of 79 (same as for the first wicket) in 15 overs, Smyth was out for 43. He advanced to Bell and sliced the ball to gully. 158-2-43. Carson came in and scored fairly freely, 16 in 15 balls. McCallan was slowing down as he neared his century.

The first ball of the 43rd over, which turned out to be a maiden, accounted for Carson. Brown had come back on and Carson played a wild shot and was bowled. McCallan and Gillespie put on 20 in four overs and saw 200 up in over 46. In over 47 McCallan reached his second century for Ireland out of 205. He batted 161 minutes and faced 140 balls. He was out next ball caught at deep square leg. His first century for Ireland, -v- MCC in 1996 had also been exactly 100. The last three overs put on 19. The features were a six over square leg by Heasley and two wickets falling in the last over. Gillespie (20) was run out and Heasley was caught at deep mid-wicket off the second last ball. 224 for six.

The Welsh fielding and catching were poor. Four of the bowlers bowled tidily but Bell gave up 62 runs in his 10 overs.

The Welsh reply started at 2.30 p.m. Hemp and Lowell opened to the bowling of Cooke and Eagleson. By the 23rd over Wales had lost four wickets for 55. In the seventh over, at 22, Cooke touched a ball on to the non-striker's wicket to run out Hemp. Matt Dwyer came on for the 11th over at 26. In his ten over stint he took the next three wickets for 22. Lowell hit his second ball for six and was out lbw sweeping at the third. 32-2-22. In the next over, the number four, Leaf, gave Joyce a sharp chance at silly mid-off off Eagleson. Langworth, the number three, was missed by Gillespie at slip also off the unfortunate Eagleson. However neither miss was expensive. Langworth was out at 43. This was another mis-sweep off Dwyer which lobbed to short fine leg. 50 came up in the 10th over. At 55, in over 27, Leaf sliced a drive to wide mid-off to give Dwyer his third wicket.

Hopkins and Bell now came together for the best stand of the innings. 75 were added. It was quick. They came together in the 23rd over and the stand ended in the 35th at a rate of one run per ball. McCallan's first over cost 13, McCrum had an 11 run over as had Heasley. Hopkins scored 38 of these runs. 100 was up in over 32 and by over 35 this had advanced to 130. Then Hopkins skipped down the pitch, head up to McCallan, and was stumped. 130-5-38. 17 runs later Bell (48) swept at McCallan and was bowled. Bell's 48 came in 47 balls. At 151 Clitheroe hit a Heasley full toss to Eagleson at mid-on. 10 overs remained and Wales used all but nine balls. After 42 overs Wales needed 58 to win. Brown and Barr had added 18 but Barr was out in over 43 - another head up stumping off McCallan. Edwards joined Brown and 25 more were added but only 13 balls remained to score 31 when Brown was caught and bowled by McCallan. This was a well taken high catch and gave McCallan his fourth wicket. Cooke was back and nine came in the 49th over including the 200 mark. Then McCrum came back for his eighth over and bowled Edwards who swung wildly.

Ireland did not field as tidily as usual, Six bowlers were used. Dwyer, as usual, bowled beautifully and took three for 22. Heasley was the most expensive (seven overs for 46) but McCallan was not much behind him in expense - 53 runs. However, McCallan did take four wickets. Allied to his century he was the obvious Man-of-the-Match.

This, the sixth Triple Crown, was the first to be played without any match of the six curtailed by weather. England won the Crown on run rate. Ireland's only consolation was finishing second with Scotland relegated to third place.