Another win which made the outcome of the four match tour in four days to be played four won four. It was also Ireland's sixth successive win, a new record. There had been five wins in a row twice. From 1931 to 1933 five time matches had been won and, in 1996, 5 successive limited overs matches had been won.
There was only a short period when CCC appeared to be contesting the match. Ireland batted on winning the toss and after 38 overs were 166 for six. Then came Paul Mooney who scored 66 of the 100 runs put on in the last 12 overs. The only stand of consequence in CCC's innings was 71 for the fifth wicket to rescue a score of 33 for four.
16 days earlier CCC had been defeated easily at Waringstown, albeit on run rate. They said that their best team could not be found for a week's tour to Ireland but "God Help Us" when we appeared at Shenley, the best team would be selected. Indeed, only two players remained from CCC's Waringstown team, Oldridge, the then wicket-keeper who now played as a batsman, and C Jones, the opening bowler. Morgan and Rankin were retained by Ireland. Botha and Paul Mooney returned with Eagleson and John Mooney dropping out. Molins had a groin strain and only batted at number nine.
The match began at 10 a.m. to allow the Irish party to return late on this day. The weather was overcast, cool and with a slight breeze. The pitch was bare with a touch of green and played quite fast.
Morgan, in his second match, was promoted to open with Bray, but lost his partner in the third over. Morgan had hit a straight four in the opening over, his first International runs. He also "flashed" twice and was lucky early on that, several times, he did not get a touch. Bray was bowled when he stabbed at a ball that kept low from Jones and lost his off stump. 10-1-3. Botha was next. There was a 62 run stand in 68 balls, Morgan facing 39 of these. The fifth over, Jones, was a maiden to Botha. The opening bowlers, Jones and Hafeez, bowled six overs each. Botha hit three fours and Morgan added two more to his first over four.
Roberts, a tall fast medium bowler, replaced Jones. Morgan glanced and hooked fours off this 13th over at the end of which 55 was on the board. Not to be outdone, Botha attacked Anstiss, an off spinner, who bowled the 14th over. 16 runs came from it. Botha pulled a long hop for four, drove a straight six and took another four along the ground to square leg. The next ball he faced, from Roberts, bowled him trying to pull a ball that was too far up for such a stroke. 72-2-32.
White got off the mark with two fours in Anstiss's next over and, to emulate this, Morgan hooked and drove fours in Roberts' next over. Then White was undone by a new bowler in the 18th over. Wijesekera, bowling slow left arm round the wicket, had White lbw with his fourth ball. White went back when he should have been forward. 94-3-9. Gillespie was next and, as usual, was very reliable. 100 came up in over 20. In over 21, Roberts, Morgan, when 43, was dropped at the wicket off Roberts. It was another Morgan "flash" which went wide to the keeper's left but he got both hands to it.
Scoring slowed as the field could now spread but Wijesekera kept an attacking field with only one fielder outside the ring. The 25 over score was 115 and, in that over, with a pushed single, Morgan went to 50 out of 115 off 81 balls, with seven fours. This was only his second innings for Ireland and it made up for the previous day's run out for nought.
A sixth bowler, Elahi, appeared for over 27. He was another slow left arm. Gillespie snicked him for four in his second over. By 30 overs the score was 134 so there had been 32 runs in the previous 10 overs. Doubling the 30 over score would give a 50 over score of about 270. There was doubt about this when three wickets fell for 32 runs in the next eight overs. In the 34th over, Wijesekera's ninth, Morgan was run out and, as in yesterday's incident, blame was difficult to allocate. Gillespie, the non-striker, called a run to square leg. The throw to the bowler beat Morgan who again appeared slow out of the blocks. He looked set for a century but his 71 was well made for one so young. He hit nine fours and faced 103 balls. 151-4-71.
McCallan was out in the next over, bowled by Elahi, from the fourth ball he faced. He slashed rather than drove and was caught at cover. 153-5-2. 35 overs had now been bowled. Coetzee got eight by way of two fours to extra cover off Elahi, one in the air and one along the ground. Wijesekera was now bowled out, one for 30, and for over 38 was replaced by Anstiss. The final ball of this over kept low and bowled Coetzee who did not help matters by backing away and trying to cut. 166-6-8. Mooney came in and gave an easy chance to the keeper off Elahi before he scored. As it transpired this was very fortunate for Ireland as the score would have been 167 for seven in over 39. To celebrate Mooney glanced a four off the next ball and really never looked back although he did not "go mad" until the 48th over. The score after 40 overs was 177.
Gillespie and Mooney proceeded briskly but carefully against Elahi and Anstiss. 43 runs were put on in the next five overs although each batsmen hit only 14. Elahi was bowled out after over 45 (1-50) but it was Hafeez, the opening bowler, who took the next wicket in over 46. He replaced Anstiss. Gillespie was 48 and looking to his fourth 50 of 2003 and his 12th in all. He tried to cut a ball that was too near him and was bowled when the ball nipped back at him. 215-7-48. Molins came in and this 46th over produced only three runs. Molins hit a high pulled four to mid-wicket when Jones came back for the 47th over which produced seven runs.
Then Mooney opened up and 42 runs came in the last three overs. The 48th, bowled by Hafeez, produced 17 runs, 14 of them to Mooney. He hit three fours, two drives to extra cover and a leg glance. He was now 47. A leg glance for four off Jones in the 49th over brought Mooney to 51 in only 38 balls. It was his first 50 for Ireland and it was invaluable. 10 runs in all came off the over. In the final over, bowled by Hafeez, Mooney hit three more fours, a snick, an aerial four to wide mid-wicket and a smash to extra cover.
The last 10 overs brought 89 runs, the last five 52 runs. In these 10 overs Mooney made 57 runs, 37 of them in the last five overs and 33 in the last three overs. With the injured Molins 51 runs were added from 28 balls, of which Mooney made 36. His 66 not out came off 44 balls in 43 minutes with 10 fours. It was exhilarating stuff and sealed the match. All six CCC bowlers took a wicket each, three conceded runs in the 50s, the other three in the 30s. Only Wijesekera and Elahi bowled 10 overs and the former had the best figures of one wicket for 30.
At 1:40 p.m. Hall and Rodgers began for CCC to Mooney and Rankin. The latter in his second match was given the new ball. He responded well and took the second wicket to fall with the first ball of his second over, thus registering his first International wicket in what was his sixth over, he having bowled four overs the previous day. However, it was Mooney who took the first wicket in his second over. The first cost nine runs, four of them coming from two wides. The first ball of Mooney's second over bowled Hall, middle stump. 10-1-2. Without addition Rankin had Rodgers lbw on the back foot to a short ball. 10-2-4.
Next ball the youthful Rankin put himself on a hat-trick! That had only been one for Ireland and that by a teenage T.H.Hanna in 1877, an underarm bowler! Oldridge mis-hooked and the ball lobbed up to Bushe. 10-3-0. The hat-trick ball took left-handed Elahi's inside edge and went for four past the leg stump. It was a very near miss. Myburgh, the number three, and Elahi now hit two fours each, three of them off Rankin, in a 23 run stand in five overs. Then Mooney struck again. He had Elahi caught low down at cover by Morgan moving to his left, Morgan's first International catch. Farnsworth, the keeper, joined Myburgh. There followed a 71 run stand, and the best of the innings by a margin of 44 runs. Farnsworth got six off his third ball, two runs which became six with a boundary overthrow. He hit a four in Rankin's fifth and last over, two for 24, and another in Mooney's next over so that 50 came up in 11 overs.
Botha came on for Rankin and bowled a maiden to Myburgh. Mooney bowled seven overs, two for 36, and, surprisingly, Morgan replaced him. He bowled three overs for 13, Myburgh hitting two fours off him. Botha nearly had Myburgh in his third over. He skied to mid-off and Rankin running back made a great effort at the catch. After 20 overs the score was 85 and Morgan and Botha gave way to the two off spinners, McCallan and White. This pair bowled seven overs each, took three wickets each and the remaining six wickets went down for 54 from the moment McCallan came on for the 21st over.
The first of these wickets fell in the 24th over. This was White's second over. Farnsworth hit a two and then a four to wide long on to bring up 104. Two balls later he hit a high ball to deep mid-wicket. Morgan ran to his right to take his second International catch. 104-5-37. The 71 run stand took just under 16 overs. The batsmen crossed at the catch. Myburgh took a single off White's last ball and was out to the first ball of McCallan's next over, his third and the 25th in all. Myburgh advanced down the pitch, missed and was bowled. 105-6-42. Roberts joined Anstiss but the latter was out lbw in White's next over. 108-7-0.
Jones joined Roberts and this pair stemmed the tide for six overs and, indeed, put on 27 runs. Jones was nearly out at once, a high ball to long off just dropping short of the fielder. Roberts then hit White for a six over long-off. Two overs later White got his revenge. He had Roberts lbw hitting across a good length ball. 135-8-15. Next ball Jones fell to McCallan. He was caught by John Mooney (substitute fielder for Molins) at deep mid-wicket. 137-9-15. Five runs and nine balls later the end came when Wijesekera lunged forward, was beaten by McCallan's off break, and was bowled. The innings had lasted 34.1 overs.
McCallan had figures of three for 23 in 7.1 overs, and White had figures of three for 26 in seven overs. Paul Mooney won the Man-of-the-Match tankard donated by CCC, as he had done in the CCC match earlier at Waringstown.
It was a most satisfactory four days. There were four wins and all 40 wickets were taken. In two cases against MCC and Free Foresters, the 10th wicket had fallen in the 50th over. There were a lot of good performances. Bray, 94, Morgan, 71, and Paul Mooney, 66* all made 50s. Mooney added to his 66* by taking seven wickets for 84 runs; McCallan had eight wickets for 99; Botha got 89 runs in three innings; Gillespie got 88 runs for twice out; Eagleson took four wickets for 45 on his return to the side and the best all-round work was done by White. He scored 105 runs for twice out and took eight wickets for 81.