A crucial game. In this first round whichever team won to-day would carry forward four points to the next round. The loser would only carry two points. Carried forward points to the next round would be those obtained against teams going forward into that round.
Ireland lost by 12 runs but the real margin was much more as Ireland never really came to grips with scoring at the rate of five per over. Dropped catches did not help but Ahmed, not for the first time, played wonderfully well -v-Ireland. He made 86 not out from 76 balls with no chances. He got four sixes and five fours and hit six of these boundaries in the last four overs when 54 runs were scored - 40 of them by Ahmed's wonderful hitting.
The day was sunny but very cold due to a wind. The start was delayed by an hour due to a very muddy patch near the square as a result of overnight rain The match was reduced to 46 overs per team.
Ireland's selection could be questioned. Mark Patterson was included when most would have chosen Eagleson. The former was only allowed three overs because in them he bowled eight wides! Dwyer was excluded to great surprise and Heasley returned which did, at least, assist the batting element of the team. Davy retained his place to White's exclusion. Two sets of brothers were playing for Ireland for the third time in the Tournament.
The pitch was hard and free of moisture so Denmark decided to bat on winning the toss. Pedersen faced the first over from Mooney. The fourth ball was a full toss. Pedersen got a leading edge to it and was caught at mid-off. In Mooney's third over Lund was dropped by Curry at second slip. Lund was five and went on to make 22. The unfortunate Mooney saw Lund dropped again in his fifth over when Lund was 10. He snicked a high chance to wicket-keeper Patterson. McCoubrey and Mooney bowled 13 overs between them for 43 runs, Mooney, in seven overs, having one for 18. On came McCallan and Heasley. In over 19 Heasley bowled Lund with a full toss. This was at 56, 50 having come up in over 17.
Vestergaard replaced Lund and in the same Heasley over was dropped at extra cover by McCallan to his right side. This was expensive as Vestergaard made 39. In McCallan's next over Vestergaard snicked very close to the wicketkeeper. It was not to be Ireland's day. Opening batsman Klokker fell in Heasley's next over, the 21st. Heasley took his 50th wicket for Ireland when Klokker mishit to square leg. 61-3-26.
This brought in Ahmed and ended Ireland's success. Vestergaard and Ahmed put on 72 in just 11.3 overs. 55 of these came off the bat with Ahmed playing quietly for 20 of them. M Patterson bowled his three overs and gave up eight wides, four in one over. 100 was up in over 28. Curry, (over 30) and McCallan (over 31) came on and Vestergaard hit McCallan for a six over mid-wicket. Then came a piece of luck. In Curry's second over Vestergaard was run out. Ahmed played Curry to Mark Patterson at square leg. Vestergaard ran but was sent back. His dive did not beat Patterson's throw to Curry. 133-4-39.
Nine runs later the newcomer, A Khan, hoisted Curry to Heasley at long-on. 142-5-5. This was in over 36 and Denmark were being restricted to four runs per over. Ahmed and Hafeez then added 42 at a rate of a run per ball. Ahmed began to open up. In McCallan's last over he hit a six over mid-wicket. Mooney returned for the 43rd over at 177. A full toss, first ball, was hit for six by Ahmed to square leg. This took Ahmed to 52 in 64 balls. The third ball brought another run out. Hafeez played to mid-wicket, set off, was sent back and McCallan's throw proved decisive. 184-6-10.
21 balls now remained and Ireland would have hoped for a Denmark score of about 210. It became 231 due to Ahmed. He hit the last ball of this Mooney over, a full toss, for another square leg six. The score was now 191 with three overs to go. The 44th over (Curry) went for nine - not too bad! Exactly 200 was now posted. Heasley came back to bowl the 45th over. It cost 14 with two fours to Ahmed. Curry's last over was possibly decisive in the overall result. It cost 17. Hansen hit a four and a leg bye followed. In the remaining four balls Ahmed hit his fourth six (to mid-wicket) and another four. His brilliant 86 came in 76 balls and he went from 52 to 86 in 12 balls! He hit four sixes and five fours.
Ireland missed Dwyer. Because of Mark Patterson's wild bowling Curry and McCallan had to bowl more that they would have wanted to so Dwyer would have been invaluable. Why McCoubrey did not bowl out his quota is a mystery. He took none for 25 in six and could have bowled three more. Mooney was unfortunate to be blamed for one bad over, as overall, he had one for 38 in nine overs.
As Denmark had only six wickets down and as Ahmed played so brilliantly it is possible that Denmark would have got to 231 despite the dropped catches.
The required run rate was five per over. Ireland never really achieved that despite the ultimate 12 run margin of Denmark's victory. 31 in ten overs, 70 in 20 overs, 114 in 30 overs, 177 in 40 overs was simply not enough. Asking for 55 off the last six overs was too big a task. To get 42 in those overs mostly per Heasley and McCallan was a good effort. Denmark did bowl accurately and only two of their five bowlers gave up five runs per over.
The Irish batting order could be questioned. Numbers three and four should have been Curry and Heasley the two quickest scorers, as it proved later on. If they had got on top of the rate then the Joyce brothers, with their orthodox methods, might have won the match. At numbers three and four the Joyce brothers put on 84 but at a rate of 4.4 per over when the required rate was 5.5 when they came together! When the stand ended the rate had become 6.6 per over.
At 3.27 p.m., a somewhat later time than usual, Molins and Davy opened to the medium paced left arm Hansen and the somewhat faster Khan. The start was slow and a wicket was lost in the fifth over at 10. Davy cut at Hansen, without getting across and was caught low at gully. Worse followed three overs later at 15. Molins cut Khan low to cover where Hafeez claimed a low two handed catch. Neither Umpire could make a decision but, quite rightly, took the fielder's word that it was a fair catch. 15-2-10. Two overs previously Molins had been dropped at square leg off Khan.
This brought the two Joyce brothers together at 15 for two in 7.1 overs - a poor start. They are both very good players and they did play well but did not score quickly enough. Only seven fours were hit in the stand which put on 84 in 19 overs. 50 came in over 15 and 70 after 20 overs. Hansen bowled his 10 overs for 31 and tried to leave the field claiming injury. He was not allowed to do so.
Slepsager, slow left arm, came on for the 22nd over and he it was who took the next wicket in over 26, after 12 had been scored in the previous two overs. Ed Joyce was caught at the wicket attempting a cut. 99-3-40. Curry brought up the 100 in the same over. Now 132 were needed in 20 overs - a big "ask".
Curry now made 19 in 25 balls during a 29 run stand in seven overs. He hit Slepsager for a great straight six on to the pavilion roof. Next over he was bowled by Hedegaard trying to increase the pace. 126-4-19. Two overs later Dom Joyce went to his first 50 for Ireland and was out to the last ball of the over. Hedegaard, the bowler, made a good low catch but Joyce claimed it was a "bump" ball. 137-5-50. Joyce faced 85 balls, with four fours. McCallan joined Heasley with the huge task of 95 required in 11 overs.
This pair did well but not well enough. Six in the 36th over, nine in the 37th, eight in 38th, 10 in 39th, seven in 40th, four in 41st and 10 in 42nd, including a six over extra cover by McCallan. Now it was 41 required in four overs.
The 43rd over, bowled by Khan, saw Heasley dropped at long-on and McCallan bowled by a slower ball. 194-6-25. Heasley snicked a four in the 44th over to bring up 202 but was brilliantly caught on the mid-wicket boundary next ball. It looked a six but a diving fielder (Chawla) caught it. Heasley's gallant 40 came off 37 balls.
Andy Patterson sliced an off side catch in the 45th over. Mooney's first ball, and the first of the last over, was his last ball. It bowled him. McCoubrey got a single and Mark Patterson hit a four and a two. McCoubrey was run out at the bowler's end off the second last ball, trying for a two, to complete Denmark's win by 12 runs.