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Match Report
Derek Scott

With this win Ireland had achieved a hat trick of wins on three successive days and finished second to ECB in the European Cup - their only defeat being the bowl out loss to ECB who won the tournament. Perhaps more importantly the three wins put Ireland into top place in the ICC European Associate Members rating.

The match was a bore after Ireland recovered from 85 for 4 to total 265 for 5. This was due to a 140 run partnership for the fifth wicket in 149 balls by McCallan and Johnston - the highest ever by Ireland for that wicket in a limited overs match. Denmark then batted as if a draw was possible! Their progress was 26 in 10 overs; 52 in 20; 90 in 30; 123 in 40 and 156 for 9 at the end. Most of the Danish team had previously played against Ireland but Rasmussen and Ore were new. Ireland brought in Joyce and JF Mooney for Gillespie and PJK Mooney. Only GJ Thompson of the squad did not get a game. The match was White's 50th cap.

The pitch was several shades of beige with the darkest areas perhaps damp below the surface. It was a glorious sunny day with no wind when Molins and Bray began for Ireland to the bowling of H Hansen and T Neilsen, neither much above medium. The pitch turned out to be very slow and Ireland lost Bray in Hansen's second over. He played back defensively on the leg side and the ball popped up to silly point. 16-1-2. Botha was in aggressive mode. In his first 29 balls he hit four fours. Molins had hit a four in the first over but, unusually, did not hit another. Ore, left arm over, came on for over seven in place of H Hansen and 30 was up after this over. 73 was on the board after 15 overs when Vestergaard replaced Nielsen. This change worked wonders as Vestergaard proved to be easily Denmark's best bowler. By the first ball of his fourth over he had taken three wickets for seven runs. For over 17 Rasmussen (off spin) replaced Ore. Vestergaard's second over was the 18th. Botha tried to pull, missed, and the ball went off his body on to the wicket. 81-2-32. White came and went for nought. There was a big appeal against Molins for a catch at the wicket. Two balls later White was lbw. 83-3-0. This was White's eighth innings of 2004. His only previous score of under 20 was one of eight. Vestergaard was not finished. In his next over Molins shuffled in front and was lbw. 85-4-38.

McCallan and Johnston had a job to retrieve this collapse. They did it very well and at some speed. The 140 run stand was off only 149 balls and was dominated by Johnston who scored 83 to McCallan's 45 although they faced very nearly an equal number of balls. The stand began in over 22. In the half way over (25th) Johnston hit Vestergaard over deep square-leg for six to make the score 97. 100 came in over 26. Then Chawla's leg spin replaced Vestergaard (five overs, three for 10) - surely a mistake. He lasted two overs. There were four runs off the first and 14 off the second - Johnston hitting sixes over long-off and straight. A double change bringing on T Hansen (slow left arm) and Overgaard (medium pace) slowed the scoring for quite a while. The 30 over score was 126 and 150 did not arrive until over 37 and after 40 overs the score was 168. H Hansen came back for T Hansen and Johnston went to 50 in this over (41st) off 50 balls. In H Hansen's next over Johnston took 10 runs and there were five wides (a boundary wide) in a 16 run over which saw up the 100 partnership.

Vestergaard bowled the 44th over which cost 10 runs and brought up 200. Ore returned for H Hansen but his over cost 12, including a Johnston six over the screen. At last, in over 46, the stand was broken. Johnston, 83 in 70 balls, skipped down the pitch to Vestergaard and played on. He hit 4x6 and 3x4 and got 83 of the 140 stand. It was his third 50 and his highest score for Ireland. His run tally is now 309 at an average of 51.50. The stand of 140 has only been bettered twice, and both in three day matches. The best 5th wicket stand in a limited overs match was 118 in 1987 v Gloucestershire at Downpatrick between DG Dennison and GD Harrison. Joyce came in with 25 balls to go. 40 runs were put on with both McCallan and Joyce getting 19 each. McCallan went to 50 in over 47. He faced 86 balls and it was his eighth 50 to go with two centuries. The most expensive over was the 49th (Ore) off which 17 were scored including a six to each batsman and the 250 came up. The final score was 265 for five, an overall rate of 5.3 runs per over.

Denmark used eight bowlers. None used the 10 over quota and only two took wickets. By far the best was Vestergaard who bowled nine overs and took four for 38. Denmark began their innings at 3.10 p.m. and a great bore followed until the 50 overs were completed at 6.12 p.m. Seven Danish batsmen got 13 or more but only one (Vestergaard) got more than 20. Ireland did not use Johnston to bowl as he was facing a Cup Final in Dublin two days later. Eight others did bowl and six of them took at least one wicket. The best figures were White's three for 34 in 10 overs to bring his wicket tally to 49, to add to his thousand runs, in this his 50th match.

Wickets fell regularly in the Denmark innings but there were stands of 30 or more for three wickets and Ireland could not take the last wicket despite having seven overs to do so. Klokker and Ore opened and Ore fell lbw in Botha's second over. 6-1-0. Pedersen put on 30 with Klokker but it took more than 10 overs to do so, despite three boundaries. Cooke came on for Botha (14th over) and had Pedersen caught at the wicket at once off a ball that lifted slightly. 36-2-18. Shoukat bowled his full quota of 10 overs and in his last over had Klokker out. It was a great catch by McCallan at mid-off taken one handed diving to his left. 48-3-19. Klokker, defending as usual, faced 47 balls and hit one four. He was out in the 19th over. Overgaard joined Vestergaard and there followed the best stand, 42 runs in 70 balls. 20 of these runs were singles and only one four was hit. 50 came up in over 20. In over 26 White joined McCallan to bowl and both bowled out their 10 overs.

In over 31 McCallan bowled Vestergaard. 90-4-33. Chawla came in and hit McCallan for six over long-on but lost Overgaard in White's next over. He was caught at deep gully - a lobbed catch. 96-5-13. Rasmussen faced only six balls before being lbw to White. The ball kept low as Rasmussen tried to pull. 100-6-1. Chawla was next to go. He was caught at deep mid-off in McCallan's ninth over. 110-7-14. Four balls later, in White's seventh over, number nine J Hansen was caught at deep mid-on. 110-8-0. H Hansen joined T Hansen and 31 runs were put on from 32 balls. Three fours were hit, there was a five wides, and six other wides - three in four balls by Mooney replacing McCallan. However the last ball of this over of wides by Mooney saw T Hansen caught by Ogilby low down. 141-9-15. Nielsen held out with H Hansen for 42 balls in the face of four bowlers - Mooney, White, Joyce and Bray. 15 more runs were scored.