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Match Report
Derek Scott

Any Irish bookmaker would have offered generous odds to a punter who wished to back Ireland to beat both Surrey and West Indies over a period of some 6 weeks. Today it came to pass. Ireland chased West Indies total of 292 and never looked as it they would do anything other than win once they had started to bat.

Molins and Bray chalked up their fourth first wicket stand of over 100 - equal to SJS Warke and MP Rea and one behind the record of SJS Warke and MF Cohen. 10 overs saw 66 for no wicket on the Irish board; 20 overs 150 for 1; 30 overs 190 for 3; 40 overs 252 for 4 and the win (293) came at 46.5 overs. All six who batted made contributions from Bray's 71 to Botha's 15. When White joined O'Brien there were 69 balls left to get 55. Only 51 balls were required. O'Brien was the deserved Man-of-the-Match - his 58 not out coming from 58 balls and he marshalled the end game.

The day was overcast, chilly and breezy in contrast to the previous day. A new pitch was used which was as good as yesterday's. Rain in the morning delayed the start and there was a rain break of 20 minutes in the 35th over of the Ireland innings. Both McCoubrey and Cooke were injured after yesterday's match. Ireland drafted in Eagleson (said to be fully fit) and JF Mooney. Gary Wilson was 12th man. Today he added two catches to his one of yesterday. Surprisingly West Indies made only one change from yesterday's team, replacing Baugh with number one wicket keeper Jacobs. In fact Jacobs and Bravo pulled the West Indies out of a precarious position (133 for 5) by adding 131 for the next wicket. Jacobs had spent some seasons as a professional with Eglinton in the North-West.

Gayle and Chanderpaul opened to Johnston and Eagleson. Johnston was moving the ball off the pitch. In his second over one of these had Chanderpaul groping and he was caught by wicket keeper O'Brien. 5-1-2. Devon Smith joined Gayle and made only seven of a 41 run stand with Gayle. The latter hit fours in the fourth and fifth overs and then exploded in Eagleson's fifth over. He struck four fours and a two and two wides made 20 in the over by which time 45 was up in 10 overs. Fortunately for Ireland Johnston had Gayle caught at the wicket in the 11th over - Gayle moving back to cut. 46-2-31.

Powell came in and started with a four - a snick to third man. Johnston's seventh over saw a four to each batsman, a flick over mid wicket by Powell and a straight drive for four by the left handed Smith. Johnston came off with 2 for 29 in seven overs. Botha had come on and Eagleson replaced Johnston for two overs. Then Mooney came on (his first two overs cost 20) and Botha changed ends. The 20 over score was 117 but Botha changing ends worked. In the 21st over Powell drove to short extra cover where sub fielder Wilson took an easy catch. 118-3-33. Sammy joined Smith. McCallan replaced Botha and in five overs only 15 runs were scored. The 25 over half way score was 129.

Then, in over 26, Mooney took two wickets in three balls. Smith flicked a high catch to McCallan on the deep square leg boundary. His 42 had come from 72 balls. 133-4-42. Sammy had crossed and was out two balls later. He mishooked and was caught by White at gully. 133-5-3. Now Jacobs (left hand) and Bravo (right hand) were together. Jacobs must have been close to lbw to McCallan. These two started slowly as befitted the match position. The 30 over score was 146. So about 300 was possible but five wickets were down. The 31st over (McCallan) was a maiden to Jacobs - the fourth and last of the innings.

White replaced Mooney (two for 38 in seven overs) and scoring was still slow - 10 runs from overs 30 to 35. Then the pace increased dramatically. Bravo hit White for a six and 12 runs came from the 36th over. The next White over (38) saw Bravo hit another six over long off and there were 16 runs off the over. Botha came back instead of White in search of a wicket. It did not come. Meanwhile McCallan had bowled nine overs for 19 runs. The 10th cost 14. Exactly 200 had come up after 40 overs and McCallan's last was the 41st. Bravo hit three fours - two to third man - to bring up his 50 from only 35 balls. Now the sixth wicket pair really increased the pace, so much so that 92 runs came in the last 10 overs. Bravo remained not out but Jacobs was out in the 47th over at 264 and Lara one over later at 268. In this 10 over period Ireland used Botha for four of the ten overs with a one over break for Mooney. Botha did well to concede only 24 of the runs while Mooney's sole over went for 11.

At the other end the 41st was McCallan's last over (14 runs). Then White bowled two overs for 15 runs and was replaced by Mooney changing ends for the last two overs from that end. These two overs cost 18 but he did get Jacobs out. So Mooney's three overs in the last 10 cost 29. All these runs came from good running and there were only 12 "dot" balls in the 60 bowled. Two wides, two no balls and boundary byes did not help but only one six and nine fours were hit in the final 10 overs. Bravo was scoring more quickly than Jacobs, obviously hoping for a century. In over 47 Mooney got Jacobs brilliantly caught by Bray at square leg, the fielder having to run to his right and circle under the ball. 264-6-40 (72 balls). At last Lara arrived and faced only three balls, before giving "super sub" Gary Wilson a very high skier at long on which he held on to. 268-7-1.

Bradshaw, left handed, joined Bravo, now 83, with 14 balls left. Mooney bowled the 49th over and both batsmen got inside edges for four. With 90 to his name Bravo faced the first ball of the 50th over (Botha). The first two balls went for two and a single (now he was 93). Bradshaw got a single to restore the strike to Bravo who, in turn, lost the strike again with a single from the 4th ball. He was now 94 with two balls to go! Bradshaw obliged with a single. Six needed off the last ball. It was well pitched up to off. Bravo took one step forward and hit it for six to wide mid-off. A most dramatic century and one of the fastest ever against Ireland. He faced 66 balls, batted 99 minutes with three sixes and nine fours.

Ireland's fielding held up very well. All seven wickets fell to catches, some of them very good. The over rate was appalling! It took 3 hours to bowl the 50 overs. Six bowlers were used. The least expensive wicket taker was Johnston (two for 29 in seven overs) but, due to a leg injury, he was unable to come back to bowl his remaining three overs. Botha and Mooney each bowled 10 overs for 67 runs, Botha taking two wickets, Mooney three. White was expensive (0 for 40 in six overs) but McCallan bowled his 10 overs for 33 runs but did not take a wicket.

Due to the late start and the poor bowling rate the luncheon interval would have been shortened to 30 minutes but rain in fact extended it to 43. The Irish reply when it began was very akin to that v Surrey. So confident and fast scoring were the opening pair that one always felt a win would be the outcome despite the run-a-ball rate required and the Irish collapse to the same bowlers the previous day. Two runs came off the first over (Bradshaw). The Rampaul bowled the second over to Bray which contained two wides, one no ball and three fours in four balls - 15 runs from the over. Both openers hit fours in Bradshaw's second over so the score after three overs was 27. Powell's off spin replaced Rampaul at once and only 10 runs came from the next three overs. The Bray hit a four off Bradshaw. In over 8 to 10 Molins scored 19 runs including four fours. 50 came in over nine and the 10 over score was 66.

Rampaul returned to replace Bradshaw and Lawson, West Indies fastest bowler, replaced Powell for over 12 with the score at 73. Making the utmost use of the 15 over field restrictions the score went from 73 in 11 overs to 111 after 15 overs. Bray faced 8 balls in those four overs. He watched Molins hit Rampaul for a six over mid wicket and two fours (wide mid wicket and extra cover) in Lawson's next over. He reached 50 off 51 balls in over 14. The 15th over brought 20 runs and a wicket to Rampaul. Bray took a single off a no ball. Molins then hit four fours - two of them off further no balls. The fours went to backward square leg, straight by the aerial route, two steps down the pitch; another to backward square leg and finally an extra cover drive. The score was 111 ("Nelson") and one ball remained. Molins played a wild cross bat mow at it, missed, and was bowled. 111-1-66. He faced 58 balls in 68 minutes with a six and 12 fours. When Botha joined Bray the latter was 30. In his first over Botha received three wides from Lawson. The he watched Bray scoring four fours in two overs (18th and 19th). The last of these brought Bray to 52 off 55 balls at 146.

Gayle's off spin was tried for the 20th over after which the score was exactly 150. So 143 were required in 30 overs. After the furious start the rate required had dropped to just under five an over. Bradshaw replaced Rampaul and dismissed Botha in his second over (23rd). The ball seemed to hold up and Botha tried to abort his shot but lobbed the ball to mid-off. 163-2-15. The 52 run stand had come in 53 balls. In came O'Brien and he stayed to the finish. The start of this stand was slow - four overs putting on only 17 and the 25 over half way score was 172. In the 28th over Bray was out. He advanced to Gayle, missed, and was stumped. His 71 came from 87 balls in just over two hours with 11 fours. 183-3-71. Bray had completed his fifth score of over 50 in six innings - a feat never before achieved by an Irish batsman.

Next came the ever reliable Gillespie and he did not disappoint. He got most of the strike in the next three overs (eight runs) during which he swept a four to fine leg in Gayle's sixth and last over in this spell. Sammy came on for Gayle and off his second ball O'Brien got a six, but not in the usual way. He ran two runs and an overthrow went to the boundary for another four, 200 was up after 32 overs so now 93 were needed in 18 overs. Sammy's second over (34th) yielded 11 runs including two successive fours to Gillespie - a glance and an extra cover drive. In the middle of the 34th over rain held up play for 22 minutes. The teams had agreed not to use Duckworth/Lewis but had it been in operation Ireland would have been well ahead at this stage. Bravo became the third different West Indies bowler from that end and O'Brien drove a four to extra cover.

Next over (39th bowled by Lawson) O'Brien was dropped at cover but Gillespie was run out at the bowler's end off the same ball. He was slow to accept O'Brien's call for a second run. Some thought Gillespie had beaten the wicket keeper's throw to the bowler. 238-4-25. This stand had put on 55 off 64 balls. White arrived with 55 required from 69 balls. O'Brien hit the last ball of the 39th over for six over fine leg's head. White faced the entire 40th over (Bravo) and took eight from it including a four to mid-wicket. Eight more came from over 41 which was Lawson's last. (10-0-53-0). Now 33 were needed in nine overs so the pressure was off.

Gayle came back for Lawson (over 43) and O'Brien square cut a four to bring him to 52 off 48 balls. Four overs later the match was won with White getting most of the strike and most of the runs. He hit three fours in his last 16 runs and ended up 32 not out from 30 balls. His last four to third man off Gayle won the match with 25 balls to spare. The stand with O'Brien put on an unbroken 57 runs from 51 balls and was the fourth partnership over 50 in the innings out of a possible five.

West Indies used seven bowlers only two of whom bowled 10 overs, Bradshaw for 47 runs and Lawson for 53. Rampaul gave up no less than 74 runs in seven overs and Sammy 19 in two.

Match Programme
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