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Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland took revenge for a defeat in a two-day match against Club Cricket Conference played at Norbury in 1985. CCC were on an Irish tour. They had played and lost to a Northern Cricket Union President's XI. the previous day and were to play two matches in Dublin against Ireland's Development XI.

The current match ended prematurely. It started at 11:30 a.m., there being no overnight stay for Irish players. At 12:15 p.m. a thunderstorm broke and an hour was lost. There was no reduction in overs. Then, at 6:45 p.m., when 31 overs had been bowled to CCC, the light became so bad as to be dangerous and the players came off the field. 15 minutes later another more massive thunder storm arrived.

Ireland intended having the same 12 as against ECB in July. Molins was still unavailable due to work. Then Bray injured a wrist and could not play. It was decided not to call in a 12th player so Dominick Joyce returned to the team in place of Bray. G Kidd (Waringstown) acted as 12th man. He is the 17-year-old slow left-arm bowler who had been outstanding the previous week in bowling Ireland into the Under 19 World Cup to be played in Bangladesh in 2004.

The day started hazy and humid with intermittent sunshine. The pitch had a small touch of green but was beige coloured and dry. McCallan won the toss and that. White replaced Bray as opening batsman but his partner, Armstrong, lasted until only the fourth over. He had hit a four off a full toss in the third over. Jones, not much above medium pace, got one to lift away outside the off stump. Armstrong followed it and give second slip a shoulder high catch. 20-1-5. Botha arrived and hit two fours in the seventh over from the other opening bowler, Carter. One was a cover drive and the other a leg side "pick-up". Botha was now eight from seven balls, but did not score from the next 10, which included a maiden from Jones, in which he gave a very difficult diving catch to the wicket-keeper.

In the next over, bowled by Carter, Botha had another escape when the bowler could not hold on to a return catch. 50 was up in over 11 and after over 12 there arrived the rain, thunder and lightning. The score then was 52 of which White was 29.

On resumption Graham, with a slinging action off a short run, replaced Carter and took a wicket, that of White, with his sixth ball. White, playing defensively, got an inside edge and played on. 57-2-32. O'Brien arrived and the best stand of the innings ensued, 90 runs coming in just over 16 overs. This fall of wicket did not deter Botha or newcomer O'Brien, an all left-handed partnership. Botha took eight off Jones and O'Brien did the same to Graham. The score was 75 when the field could disperse after 15 overs, but, on the whole, CCC kept a more attacking field than usual.

Dunn, a slow medium seamer, came on for over 16 and was given a slip. Botha lofted a four and cover drove another. In over 20 Botha heaved a short ball from Dunn over mid-on to bring up 100. The piece was brisk but O'Brien, when 24, had a life at 109 when, in over 24, Dunn could not haul in a caught and bowled chance high to his right. The halfway score was 190. James was tried with off spin for over 27 and Crampton, a slow left armer, for over 30. The latter it was who took the third wicket with his second ball. Botha played over it and lost his leg stump. 147-3-46.

Gillespie came and scored a single so that the score after 30 overs was 148. With only three wickets down a score of 300 was now a possibility. O'Brien and Gillespie had a very fruitful stand against the two slow bowlers. They put on 66 in 50 balls. Gillespie faced 37 of these and scored 45 with four fours. He also hit a six over wide mid-wicket from Crampton who had given up 43 runs in four overs. He was persisted with for a fifth over, and he got Gillespie stumped off the ball after he had hit the six. 213-4-45. 200 had come in over 37 and Gillespie was out in over 38. With five more runs Gillespie would have reached his fourth 50 in six innings in 2003.

Meanwhile, O'Brien had gone to 52 in over 34 off only 58 balls. Carter came back and bowled a maiden to McCallan. O'Brien had played several reverse sweeps but, in over 42, he played one too many and gave Crampton his third wicket. He missed the sweep and was bowled. 230-5-66. O'Brien had faced 74 balls and hit nine fours in a very brilliant innings. McCallan's first run brought him to 2000 in his 95th match and 85th innings. He was the 11th Irish batsman to reach 2000 runs and the first to do so since Angus Dunlop in 1998. Dunlop had required one innings more to do so. By the end of this current match McCallan had 96 wickets and would shortly equal the record of Alec O'Riordan and Garfield Harrison by scoring 2000 runs and taking 100 wickets. O'Riordan, in fact, took 200 wickets in his career.

Joyce now came in to join McCallan with eight overs left. Carter had bowled out his 10 overs after over 43 and was replaced by his fellow opening bowler Jones. Crampton was finally removed after bowling eight overs. He seems to have been used as a buyer of wickets. He did take three of the five that had fallen but at a cost of 64 runs. His final over, and the 44th, cost seven runs and the next, by Jones, went for eight to bring up 250 after 45 overs. Graham, the first change bowler, replaced Crampton and McCallan snicked his first ball for four. The over cost eight runs but its final ball saw McCallan bowled trying a wild leg-side hit. 258-6-27. Coetzee was next and the 47th over brought only six runs off Jones. The 48th, bowled by Graham, compensated for this by producing 17 runs. Joyce hit an aerial four to mid-wicket and Coetzee hit fours to square leg and backward point.

The last two overs added 15 more runs and two more wickets fell. Joyce was bowled by Jones trying to glance and Coetzee, in the last over, was caught at deep square leg, the fielder did not have to move. 296 was only four runs short of the predicted 300 at the end of the 30th over.

As stated, Crampton went for eight runs per over. Two others gave up six runs per over and two more five per over. Jones bowled only five overs at a rate of four per over.

The CCC reply lasted only 31 overs due to jet blackness arriving at 6:45 p.m., and another storm at 7 p.m. CCC were 129 for seven at the end. As more than 25 overs had been bowled Ireland won easily on run rate using the Duckworth-Lewis system. In fact, there was some confusion and when the match subsequently ended Ireland were declared the winners on ordinary run rate. Whichever method was used, Ireland won comfortably!

There were three stands in the 30s for the second, sixth and eighth wickets, the latter being unbroken when the end came.

Ireland had to use two substitute fielders. After three overs Joyce retired with an injured back and was replaced by the youthful Gary Kidd. After 25 overs O'Brien had to leave the field to catch a flight back to England to play a second XI match for Kent to which County he is contracted for the season. White, having taken a wicket in the 24th over, took over as wicket-keeper and Andrew Riddles, Donemana, and other of the victorious Under 19 team came on as a second substitute fielder.

Sparrow scored only two runs of Paul Mooney's first over. Then Graham showed that CCC meant business by hitting Neely for three fours off four balls so that the score after two overs was 14. However, Mooney dismissed Graham in his second over by dint of a marvellous catch by Coetzee. He was fielding at mid-on. The ball went very high so that Coetzee had to turn and run back. The ball's height then favoured him as he had time to steady himself and take the catch. The left-handed Oldridge, who was the wicket-keeper, was next. He put on 30 with Sparrow of which the latter scored just one single! Meanwhile, Oldridge had taken four fours off Neely, mostly by pulls of short balls and he emulated Graham by taking three of them in four balls in Neely's fourth and last over. Neely had conceded 31 runs.

In the ninth over Paul Mooney brought Sparrow's 29 ball innings for four runs to an end. Sparrow should have been forward rather than back to a full length ball. He got an inside edge on to the stumps. 47-2-4. Sparrow's demise was the first of four wickets to fall for 12 runs, but it took 44 balls for this to happen. Oldridge hit his fifth and last four off Botha who had just replaced Neely. This boundary brought up 50 in over 10. Two overs later Oldridge hit Mooney very high back over the bowler's head where McCallan took the catch. 54-3-28. Hill, the number five and another left-hander, was out to the first ball he faced. It was in Botha's third over. The ball left him off the pitch and he was caught at the wicket. 54-4-0.

But now appeared yet another left-hander, Crampton. He scored one run from nine balls and became Mooney's fourth victim in Mooney's ninth over. He got a top edge which lobbed to the wicket-keeper. 59-5-1. Holland now joined his captain, Williams, in the best stand of the innings, 35 runs in 37 balls. Williams took two fours in Mooney's last over, a snick and a pull, and 11 came off the over. Mooney's figures, however, despite this, were four for 26 in his 10 overs.

White came on for Botha and McCallan joined him for some off spin at both ends, but with no slip in sight. They each took a wicket. McCallan's was first. Holland swept the ball to deep mid-wicket where Armstrong took a good catch running in. 94-6-9. In his third and last over (he was needed to keep wicket) White turned a ball past newcomer C Jones and bowled him. 96-7-1.

Wicket taking came to an end at this point. As the sky darkened P Jones joined Williams. In eight more overs, which was all the light allowed, they put on 33 runs. The eight overs were shared by four bowlers, White, McCallan, Coetzee and Armstrong. In this stand Williams hit three fours while Jones got two and also a six. This came in the last over to be bowled when Jones hit McCallan over mid-wicket. The players then came off for bad light.

Within 10 minutes the heavens opened and there was no further play. 25 overs having been bowled in CCC's innings Ireland won on what was now determined to be a straight run rate, 5.92 runs per over to CCC's 4.16. CCC donated a Man-of-the-Match tankard which the Umpires awarded to Paul Mooney for his splendid bowling stint. Over the next two days in Dublin the CCC twice beat an Ireland Development XI.

The Lawn, Waringstown