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Match Report
Derek Scott

The end of season Irish consolation continued with this win at Hampshire's new ground which is big and circular and as yet unfinished. There is as yet no pavilion, portacabins being used.

The win followed a similar pattern to the Wiltshire match. Ireland elected to bat first, were 23 for three, 132 for six and then Botha and Heasley made the game safe at 241 in 50 overs. The Hampshire Board were at one time 160 for four but only eight overs remained at that stage in which time the remaining six wickets fell.

The day was chilly and blustery and rain threatened for most of the day. There was almost an hour's delay just after Hampshire started to bat. In fading light the match finished at 6.45 p.m. and this allowed the Irish to get home that day.

McCallan returned to the team at Armstrong 's expense as the only change. However Molins retained the captaincy, McCallan having held the post 27 times. As with Wiltshire the Hampshire team was entirely amateur.

From overnight rain the pitch was a little damp when Molins and Patterson began to Yates (30 yard run) and Greetham (very tall and medium paced with a bit of bounce). Both batsmen hit a four but Molins was caught at the wicket off the last ball of the second over. The ball kept a little low and the wicket-keeper had to dive to the right but Molins had not moved his feet. 11-1-5. In the sixth over there was complete confusion between Joyce and Patterson over a second run to third man, Joyce being the striker. Joyce, running to the danger end, found Patterson still in possession and could not regain his ground. 17-2-2. Patterson became Greetham's second victim. In the eighth over he followed a lifter and was caught at second slip. 23-3-10.

Botha, keen to make up for a rather ordinary debut -v- Wiltshire, and Davy did not let these setbacks deter them. They mostly scored in boundaries. In 15 overs 58 runs were scored. Botha hit four fours while Davy hit two fours and no less than three sixes, two of them off successive balls from Knight, another medium pacer. 50 was up in over 15 and the stand was worth 58 when Davy got a lifter from Yates (who had returned) which lobbed up to short extra cover. The fielder had to make a lot of ground and eventually dived and caught it left handed. 81-4-30.

A drinks break brought the next wicket at 93 in the 26th over. McCallan was caught at slip off Miller (medium pace) on the fourth ball after the break, 93-5-4. Long partnerships were now needed and, in the hour of need, Botha, Gillespie, Heasley and Mooney did what was necessary. Miller bowled seven overs for 16 and Yates seven for 22. Now two off-spinners, Dibden and Hindley, took up the attack. 100 came up in over 29 and the score was 109 (Botha 43). It would be a bold man who would predict the norm of doubling the score in the last 20 overs. More was achieved as in those 20 overs 132 runs were scored.

In nine overs Botha and Gillespie added 39 with Botha getting to his 50 (66 balls) in over 34. In the next over Gillespie fell to Dibden. He hooked a long hop straight to mid wicket on the boundary. 132-6-18. In this innings, his 52nd, Gillespie reached 1000 runs. In came Heasley and the rate increased to a run per ball. 48 were put on in 51 balls. Four fours were hit, two to each batsman. There was a near run out of Heasley in the 42nd over. The 43rd saw Heasley hit Dibden for a six but three balls later Botha mishit a pull and skied back to the bowler. 180-7-75. His splendid 75 came off 92 balls with eight fours. However the job was not finished. Seven overs remained with Mooney coming in. His stand with Heasley was unbroken and no less than 61 runs were added.

Mooney seemed to give a chance to square leg in over 45 after which the score was 188. Miller and Dibden were now bowled out so that Greetham and Knight were recalled. 12 came in the 46th over to bring 200 up. In it Heasley got a six by virtue of four overthrows. Heasley hit a huge six off Knight's first ball in over 47 and Mooney was dropped at deep extra cover off the fourth ball. 11 came from this over. Only one boundary came in the next two overs but 13 runs came from them.

Greetham bowled the last over from which 17 came. Heasley had gone to 50 in 46 balls in the previous over. In the last over Heasley hit a six over mid wicket and a six out of the ground over extra cover off successive balls. His 66 came off only 50 balls with three fours and four sixes, an unusual combination. Mooney played his part. He gave Heasley the strike but scored 13 in 20 balls of the 61 run stand. 241 for seven was a far cry from 132 for six in the 35th over. Three of Hampshire's six bowlers went for over 50 and the best was Miller one for 26 in 10.

Kenway and Perry began for Hampshire to Mooney and McCoubrey. Mooney "trimmed" Perry in the 5th over at 11. Before Marks could get to the wicket there was a 53 minute break for rain. On resumption the newcomer fell to Mooney in the ninth over, caught at the wicket from a ball which left him. 18-2-5. This was Mooney's 50th wicket in his 36th match. Miller joined Kenway and the latter gave Molins a sharp chance at first slip off McCoubrey in the 12th over.

The third wicket pair proceeded cautiously. They stayed together for 16 overs and put on 52 during which time four fours were struck and McGonigle and Botha replaced the opening bowlers after each had bowled seven overs. 50 came in over 19. It was once again a drinks break after 25 overs which brought a wicket. With the first ball after the break Miller advanced to Botha and was bowled. 70-3-26. The scoring rate had been slow in the face of a 242 run target. Now 172 were needed in 25 overs, a rate of almost seven per over.

Hindley joined Kenway and 31 were put on in six overs. In his last over McGonigle was no-balled for changing sides without notice. McCoubrey was brought back and McCallan came on. In the 31st over, McCallan's first, 100 came up and Kenway was out. Losing patience he set off down the pitch and was bowled. 101-4-47. (92 balls, six fours). Gover joined Hindley and a good stand ensued, 59 runs in 69 balls. Gover hit McCallan for a four and a six in one over but after the 40th over 94 runs were still required. Heasley had come on for over 36 and he bowled to the finish.

McCallan took his second wicket in over 43. Gover hit to long off where Davy took a good catch running to his right. 160-5-34. Off the last ball of the same over Hindley (38 in 47 balls) was run out. Snell, the new batsman, hit into the covers, Hindley set off and could not get back to beat the throw to the bowler. 163-6-38. The end was now coming quickly and, in fact, six wickets fell in the last eight overs.

Yates took 11 runs off McCallan's eighth and last over but Heasley dismissed Snell in the next over (46th) when Molins took a tumbling catch at extra cover. 180-7-3. Botha came back for over 47 and had Greetham caught at mid-wicket. 190-8-2. Two balls later he bowled Yates. 192-9-23.

Knight and Dibden survived until the very last ball of the innings. Off the second last ball Patterson dropped Dibden off Heasley. He made up for this by stumping Dibden off the last ball.

The Man-of-the-Match award went to Andre Botha. It must have been a tight decision between him and Derek Heasley.

Thus ended the 19 match season, all limited overs matches with seven wins, 11 defeats and one draw (-v- Australia). Ed Joyce was the best batsman, 350 runs @ 71.80 but he only played in Toronto. Curry had 288 runs @ 48, including his maiden century, Molins had 365 runs @ 30.41 and Davy 364 @ 26 including his second century. The best bowler was McCoubrey, 20 wickets 17.90. P Mooney had 18 @ 24.38 and McCallan 15 @ 31.66. 15 bowlers were used and 14 took at least one wicket.

Patterson had 20 wicket-keeping dismissals and became only the fourth wicket-keeper to reach the 50 mark.