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Match Report
Derek Scott

This match was played the day after the Loughborough University Match. Ireland's performance was like the curate's egg - good in parts. It was bad when Johnston bowled six wides and conceded 13 runs in his first over. It was bad when 50 came up for Warwickshire in over 7 and when the first pair put on 105 for the first wicket in 19 overs. At 141 for 2 in over 30 a score of more than 300 seemed possible. 200 came up in over 40 with only 3 wickets down. The 6 wickets fell in 8 overs for 50 runs and Warwickshire finished at 273 for 9 - a great Irish recovery.

The Irish batting calculation was 11 runs every two overs. At 88 for 2 after 18 overs this was only 11 runs behind par. Then two slow bowlers reduced the scoring rate and too many wickets fell. The eventual total was 205 despite a splendid 85 from Botha.

The pitch used was very good because it was the Test match pitch being tested before the test against Australia in early August. The weather was sunny but with a chill wind. Ireland left out the Mooney brothers and brought in Cooke and Shoukat. Bray again kept wicket. Warwickshire had two players who had played v Kent in a Championship match over the previous four days. They were Trott and Loudon. Others in the side were Troughton, grandson of the original "Dr. Who" and who had played One Day Internationals for England; Trevor Penney the Zimbabwean, now captain of the Second XI and who had been to Ireland to coach the squad in fielding; wicket-keeper Piper, who did not keep wicket in this match - Penney did; and Pretorious who had played 4 Tests for South Africa.

Warwickshire won the toss and opened with Trott and the left handed Westwood. Johnston's first over was a shocker. The first ball to Trott was a wide and he hit a single off the second. Johnston then had awful problems with his line bowling at the left-hander. Five more wides followed plus a four to Westwood. McCoubrey's first over gave up 7 runs, with two wides and a boundary to Trott. Johnston's second over cost six runs but at least there was no wide. Then McCoubrey gave up 10 runs including two wides. 36 for 0 wicket in four overs! Shoukat came on for Johnston and McCoubrey changed ends, but 50 was up in over 7 with 16 extras. Trott was scoring freely and raced ahead of Westwood. The 10 over score was 60 and Trott's 33 included four fours. Botha was tried for McCoubrey but Shoukat's seven over spell cost 35 - 10 in his last over to bring up 104 after 18 overs.

Then, in the 19th over, Botha broke the stand when Westwood mishit to Morgan at extra-cover. 105-1-42. Troughton came next and McCallan (for Shoukat) and Botha stemmed the flow of runs. Trott was 45 when Troughton came in but, with very little strike, did not reach 50 until over 24 - 50 off 55 balls at 119. Cooke replaced Botha for the 25th over at the end of which 124 was up. Then Cooke, in his 3rd over, the 29th, had Troughton caught at extra-cover off a low drive, Morgan again the catcher. 136-2-11. Loudon (recently recruited from Kent) came in and after 30 overs the score was 141, Trott 66. Loudon lasted only 4 overs. He played a ball from Cooke to mid-on and set off for a daft run. Trott refused, rightly, and Johnston threw to Bray with both batsmen at the bowler's end. 156-3-7. The left-handed Ali was next and the second highest stand of the innings (67) ensued in only 10 overs. McCallan had bowled 8 overs for 33 but his ninth over was attacked by Trott who hit a four and then a six over long-off so that 13 came in the over. 50 came off McCallan's 10 overs. McCoubrey (39th over) came back for Cooke and in this over Trott reached 100 in 102 balls with a six and eight fours, the score being 194. The 40 over score was 207.

Shoukat returned (40th over) for McCallan. His first over cost 12 and brought 200 up. McCoubrey's next over cost nine but beginning in over 42 wickets began to fall. The last ball of Shoukat's next over dismissed Ali after Bray missed a difficult diving catch earlier in the over. Ali hit over a ball and was bowled. 223-4-27. Bray redeemed himself in Shoukat's next over. He dived to his right to catch Penney two handed and waist high. 233-5-2. With Piper in Shoukat was bowled out (two for 60) and Botha replaced him. In his first over (46th) he brought Trott's long innings to an end. Morgan took a very good catch at long-on - his third catch of the innings. Trott, a 24 year old from Cape Town, faced 126 balls for his 125 runs with a six and 11 fours, but he was restricted to 25 runs in the seven overs post his century. 251-6-125. In the 48th over Piper was bowled around his legs. 256-7-12. Cooke had come back for McCoubrey and in his 9th over, the 49th, he bowled Tahir on the drive. 266-8-9. With one ball left in the innings Botha had Mees caught. He walked across his wicket and swept a paddle shot to Molins at short fine leg. Anyon, the number 11, failed to score off the last ball.

Ireland had a very good last 10 overs in the field. Warwickshire were restricted to 66 runs and lost 6 wickets. Ireland used 6 bowlers. Johnston did not return after his opening 3 overs for 22. Three bowlers took wickets and by far the best was Botha with 4 for 34 in 10 overs. Extras were too high at 30, including 16 wides.

Ireland went in at 3.15. Pretorius and Mees, both pretty sharp, were the bowlers to Molins and Bray. In the 3rd over (Pretorius) Molins inside edged to wicket keeper Penney. 9-1-2. The previous day Molins got 0 in two balls, today he scored two in 11. Botha came in and saw Bray hit a six off Mees. Botha then played a maiden to Pretorius. He then opened up and began what was to be a very fine innings. He took 10 off Mees and seven off Pretorius. Anyon replaced Mees. He is aged 21 and has a clever change of pace. Botha got most of the strike. He snicked a four in the ninth over and his square cut four off Anyon in the tenth brought up fifty. Trott replaced Pretorius and Bray cut him for four but was out to Anyon in the next over. He, too, was caught at the wicket off a slash with no foot movement. 69-2-29. Morgan was promoted but did not last long. 19 was put on of which Morgan scored six. He pulled Anyon for four but was out in the next over. He hit a drive to short mid wicket where he was caught by a sub fielder. 88-3-6. Gillespie was next and he too failed. However he saw Botha score seven off Trott to bring up his 50 in 55 balls (seven fours). Ireland's 100 came up in the same over.

Trott greeted Gillespie with a no ball and bowled him off the free hit that followed. Earlier Morgan had been also bowled on a free hit. Troughton, slow left arm, came on for the 22nd over and Loudon, off spin, had come on earlier (20th over). These two spinners now bowled their 10 over spells in tandem and took 3 wickets for 84. Gillespie was out in over 23 when he scooped a ball to the wicket keeper's right off Troughton. 108-4-4. Joyce came in and the 25 over score was 114 and the rate was now 23 below par. Botha and Joyce had a good stand of 58 in 13 overs but this was below the required rate. Early in the stand Botha hit a four and just before its end he hit Troughton for a six to mid-wicket. Joyce hit one four. Troughton gave up eight in the 29th over and there was 14 in the 35th over. Loudon bowled the 36th over which saw Joyce dropped at deep point. Next ball Botha stepped back to chop and was bowled for 85, his first score over 50 since 2003, a gap of 13 matches. He faced 97 balls with a six and eight fours. 157 runs were scored while he was in and he has now reached 996 runs in 30 innings, just missing Masood's record of 29 innings for 1000 runs.

On Saturday Johnston faced three balls in scoring 2 runs. Today he doubled the number of balls faced but scored no runs. He hit Troughton straight to Pretorius at long-on. 167-6-0. McCallan came in but lost Joyce with only nine more runs scored. Loudon was bowled out and replaced by Pretorius. Joyce hoicked his fourth ball from outside the off stump to wide mid-on, an unusually crude shot from Joyce. With 34 from 51 balls, added to 60 yesterday, he had a good weekend. 176-7-34. Shoukat joined McCallan. The latter was in obvious pain. He did hit Troughton for two fours in the latter's last over but retired hurt in the 42nd over for 13 at 195. Mees returned and bowled Cooke in the next over. McCoubrey glanced to the wicket keeper in the 44th over to bring about the end. Shoukat was 17 not out in 14 balls.

Warwickshire used six bowlers but only the spinners bowled 10 overs. Pretorius had the best figures - three for 33 in eight overs. This was Ireland's third match v Warwickshire. The first was a two day match in Rathmines in 1982 when John Prior made a century in 51 minutes off 51 balls. The second was a NatWest match in 1998 at Edgbaston when Ireland lost by 41 runs after being in the game for a long time, thanks largely to a fine 73 by Ed Joyce. It was Ireland's third visit to Edgbaston, the first being a thrilling win over England (Amateur) in the first year of the Triple Crown (1993) and the second being the above NatWest match.