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Match Report
Derek Scott

A veil is best drawn over this match. Ireland have not beaten Scotland in a fully played out competitive limited overs match since the first ever Triple Crown match at Stratford on Avon in 1993. The exception was in Harare in the Developing Nations match in 2000 but the Irish win was on the Duckworth/Lewis system. It was by no means sure that Ireland would have won if the match was played out. The match this year was played on the newly enlarged Lisburn ground now of a fit size for International play. This was the rearranged match after Friday's wash out.

The outfield was slow after the rain which must, in some way, have affected the pitch. Ireland's decision to bat led to much discussion. Bowled out for 103 it seemed wrong but one must take into account that Scotland bowled magnificently and knocked off the runs in the 27th over on a nice sunny day. Derek Heasley was the local in the Irish team. He had no doubt that Ireland should bat but Lisburn's "elder statesmen" did not agree! The pitch was slow but quicker than Stormont the previous day. The seam bowlers were able to get something from it.

For Ireland McGonigle and McDaid were again left out but McCoubrey felt he was fit enough to play so he replaced Armstrong. Scotland's captain for many years, George Salmond, had retired. Wright took over. They had some newcomers but Lockhart, Williamson, Smith and Thompson were "old stagers".

Ireland never recovered from 29 for three and from Gillespie retiring with a pulled hamstring at 57 for four after 24.3 overs. The highest stand was 21 for the fourth wicket. South African Hoffman and Thomson bowled 13 overs between them at the start and took two wickets for 20 in wonderfully accurate and testing spells. Both were right arm fast. Two twos and seven singles were all that Molins and White could muster before Hoffman bowled Molins in the 11th over. Two balls later Joyce was lbw not playing a shot. 15 for two with Davy joining White.

Williamson, another seamer, replaced Thomson (six overs for six runs). White played wildly across Williamson's line in the latter's second over and was lbw. 29-3-15. Gillespie was next and Wright, more seam, came on for Hoffman (eight overs two for 18). Davy hit the first four of the innings in the 17th over. Gillespie hit a four in the 19th over. The 20th over was fatal for Davy. He hit a four off Williamson and, next ball, chased a wide one and was caught at the wicket from this very poor shot. His four had brought up 50. 50-4-18. Davy hit two of the four boundaries in the innings and was top scorer. Gillespie and McCallan put on seven runs in almost five overs when Gillespie suffered his injury and had to limp off at 57.

Off breaker Haq came on for Williamson (7-2-19-2) to bowl the 28th over. His third ball which was well up but kept low accounted for McCallan who was LBW. 61-5-9. Mooney did not last long. He fell in Wright's eighth over, the 31st. Heasley, who had come in at number eight was dropped at mid-off by Rigby, a dolly catch off the second ball. The fifth ball saw Mooney caught at the wicket off another poor stroke. 61-6-2.

O'Brien came in and in almost eight overs only 10 runs were scored (three maidens) as Ireland desperately tried to last out the 50 overs. During this spell Heasley was dropped in the outfield by Williamson (very unusual for him) off Wright and O'Brien reverse swept Thomson, who had just returned, for four. Then Thomson bowled O'Brien around his legs going too far across. 77-7-7. Gillespie returned with Joyce as a runner. Two overs later (41st) Heasley was out to another off spinner, Watson, whose third ball it was. Heasley swept the ball up to deep square leg. 82-8-8.

Neely came in and the 16 runs stand in 27 balls were all in singles. Then Gillespie's gallant effort came to an end when he got a thin edge to Watson to give wicket-keeper Smith his third catch. 98-9-17. Scotland had used their slow bowlers knowing Gillespie's problems with footwork. A Neely single in over 46 brought up 100. Hoffman returned in place of Watson for the 47th over. His fifth ball bowled Neely.

It was a sorry display but all of Scotland's six bowlers bowled well and all of them took at least one wicket. Hoffman had three for 20 in 8.5 overs, Thomson one for eight in eight and Watson two for 10 in three. Scotland made light of knocking off the 104 runs to win, led by Williamson's 54 at exactly one run per ball. Lockhart was Williamson's opening partner. Ireland's bowlers were Mooney and McCoubrey. Mooney bowled three overs for 13, Williamson driving him for four in his first over. McCoubrey bowled four overs and the third was a maiden. Williamson hit a four off the last ball McCoubrey bowled before his leg problem returned and he limped off to be replaced by Armstrong. McGonigle was already on for Gillespie.

Neely had come on and Mooney changed ends but to no avail. Williamson continued to hit fours, one off Mooney and one off Neely. After 12 overs the score was 52, Williamson 34. Next over Williamson straight drove Neely for six. McCallan came on for Mooney and Williamson took 11 off the over and reached 51 out of 70 in 44 balls. He was out in McCallan's next over (16th) when he returned a lobbed catch to the bowler. 74-1-54. Lockhart was now only 13 in 42 balls.

Rigby came in and played 11 balls without scoring and then looped a catch to Joyce at mid-on to give McCallan another wicket. 80-2-0. No more wickets fell as Lockhart and Smith hit off the remaining 24 runs in seven overs from McCallan and White. Smith gave a stumping chance to O'Brien off McCallan when four at 87. Two overs later he square cut and lofted a drive to long-on. These two fours from successive balls brought the score to 99. In the 27th over a single to Smith finished the match.

McCallan took both the wickets that fell for 26 in seven overs. The match was over at 4.21 p.m.

Wallace Park, Lisburn