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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Prior to the tournament Ireland played three non-cap warm up games with a fourth, against a Leinster Overseas Players XI, called off. The results of these were:-

v Northern Professionals XI. Lost by 5 wickets. Ireland 259-9 (EC Joyce 52; .JAM Molins 50). Northern Professionals XI 240-5 (48.2 Overs) (A Khuraisya 126*; B Baguley 41; K Hibbert 40*).

v Namibia. Lost by 4 wickets. Ireland 272-9 (50 Overs) (JP Bray 127; DI Joyce 37; AR White 35; K Burger 3-40) Namibia 273-6 (49.5 Overs) (L Burger 102*; S Burger 63; JB Burger 50; AGAM McCoubrey 4-66)

v Scotland (played as 12 a side with only 11 to bat or field at any one time). Won by 2 wickets. Scotland 253-8 (50 Overs) (CJO Smith 61; CV English 51) Ireland 254-8 (49.3 Overs) (DT Johnston 102*; N Shoukat 41; AR White 30)

Ireland's first match of the tournament against Bermuda was played at Stormont in reasonable weather. The pitch was beige coloured and hard. Ireland left out of their squad D.I.Joyce, Cooke and Shoukat. Cooke had been away from the squad, with permission, as his wife was having a baby. EC Joyce was playing his 46th match for Ireland, and the first since the ICC Trophy in Toronto in 2001. In fact the day of this match was generally regarded as the day on which he qualified for England. However under I.C.C regulations he was entitled to play for Ireland, being an Associate Member, until such time as he was actually selected and played for England.

The crowd was below expectation when Ireland won the toss and batted. The umpires were S.Modi (Kenya) and E.A.R.de Silva, a former Sri Lankan Test player and now a Test Match Umpire.

The start was shaky. Ireland were 62 for three in the 15th over. Then came a stand of 170 between EC Joyce (103) and EJG Morgan (93) in 27 overs. This turned the game. Joyce made his first century for Ireland in his 46th Match and Morgan made his highest Ireland score. Johnston and Gillespie then helped to build a total of 315 for eight. Joyce went into this match having become the first player in 2005 to score 1,000 first class runs in England (all for Middlesex) and with a career first class average of 48. Bermuda used seven bowlers, all either medium paced or slow. Borden's leg spin was easily the best taking two for 34 in ten overs. At the half way stage Ireland were 109 for three and after 30 overs were 135 for three. Using the rule of thumb of doubling your score at 30 overs 270 was the predicted final score at that point. In fact 98 runs came off the last ten overs and the predicted 270 grew to 315. Bermuda never came to terms with a rate of over six an over. At 25 overs they were 104 and finished at 218 for six. However it was disturbing that once again Ireland failed to bowl out the opposition.

Molins and Bray began to the medium pace of R.Steede and Mukuddem. Bray swept the former for a mid-wicket six in over three which entered the scorebox narrowly missing Ireland's scorer Murray Power. In the next over Molins called a foolish offside run. He was sent back by Bray and run out, still two runs short of his 2000 runs. 13-1-3. Botha was next and getting most of the strike raced to 24 with four fours. Another six by Bray brought up 50 in the 12th over. This six also brought Bray to 1,000 runs for Ireland. He was the 41st to this target and took only 32 innings, only three innings more than the quickest to this target, M.A.Masood.

Leg spinner Borden then came on and Botha had a wild rush at his last ball and was stumped. 55-2-24. Joyce started with a two and a four but lost Bray in Borden's second over. The ball spun a bit from off as Bray pushed at it and he was bowled. 62-3-26. Morgan was next, the fourth left hander in the first five. Both batsmen rightly took care. Before the 25th over Bermuda used six bowlers but by over 23 100 was up and at the half way mark, 25 overs, score was 105 with both batsmen in the 20's. Morgan, playing very well, began to outscore Joyce and Joyce gave the younger man his head. The 30 over score was 135. Both had faced the same number of balls and Morgan was 43 to Joyce's 34. Apart from Borden who bowled his 10 overs on the trot (two for 34) there were rapid changes at the other end. Morgan went to 50 at 152 in over 34 off 60 balls. Morgan then took 13 off over 36 bowled by Tucker. With a four off slow left armer Leverock in over 37 Joyce reached 51 out of 181 off 64 balls. The next two overs cost 28 with 200 coming in over 39, Joyce hitting a six over mid-wicket.

Opening bowler R Steede returned for over 41 and Morgan hit him for six over wide mid-wicket. Then when his first Irish century seemed a certainty, Morgan got out. A new bowler, medium paced Cann, came on. In his second over, the 42nd, Morgan tried to cut a ball that was too near him and was caught at the wicket. 232-4-93. Morgan faced 84 balls with a six and nine fours. He played his finest innings. The last six overs of the stand brought 73 runs. The 170 run stand was the fifth highest of all time for the fourth wicket, and the best for the fourth wicket in any limited overs match. Johnston came in and faced all the balls bowled while he was at the wicket, 13 of them off which he scored 18. He saw 250 up and was bowled leg stump through the gap between bat and pad. 251-5-18. Gillespie came in and scored 13 while Joyce was making two. The Joyce scored 12 in over 46 including a six over mid-wicket. This brought him to 92. Nine more in the next over (47th) brought him to 101 at 291. His 100 came from 89 balls with two sixes and 10 fours. Tucker returned. Joyce scored a two off the first ball and was out to a wonderful catch next ball. He skied to deep mid wicket (Pitcher) who ran to his left, dived and took the catch two handed near the ground. 293-6-103.

Gillespie, 23 in 15 balls, was lbw in the next over. In the final over McCallan was caught at long-off. 313-8-7. 315 for eight was the final tally. It was Ireland's highest score in an ICC Trophy match. Bermuda began with Pitcher and Borden. Johnston and Mooney bowled five overs each but no wicket fell. The 10 over score was 42 of which Borden had made 26 which included five fours. Botha and McCoubrey came on and Borden was run out in McCoubrey's second over (the 13th). White, in the covers, threw down the wicket at the striker's end after Pitcher had called a run. 48-1-29. Mukudden came in and saw Pitcher make two fours (one lucky and perhaps a chance to slip) in McCoubrey's third over. The first ball of Botha's fourth over (17th) had Makudden caught at square-leg. 63-2-2. Romaine came in and 30 were put on in 28 balls. Pitcher had two fours off McCoubrey (one lucky) in over 18. Then Romaine attacked Botha with 14 in the over with fours to third man, an off drive and a square cut. The 20 over score was 91 (Pitcher 34) and McCallan had bowled the 20th.

Then came another run out in Botha's sixth over (the 21st). Pitcher was facing and there was hesitation over a run in the covers. Joyce threw past Botha but Molins returned it in time for Botha to effect the run out of Romaine trying to get back. 99-3-16. A.Steede was next. 100 was up in over 23. Botha went off (one for 28 in seven overs) and White bowled the 25th over. Pitcher just chipped his first ball up to Joyce at mid-wicket. 101-4-40 (in 64 balls). Smith, the captain, joined Steede. The 25 over score was 104 (compared to Ireland's 109). Smith did most of the scoring in a 34 run stand which ended in over 34. Smith called a dangerous run and in trying to make his ground tumbled over and had to go off with an injured leg. Joyce had hit the wicket from mid-on with only one stump to aim at but the decision was "not out". Smith had made 24 out of 34 and faced 30 balls. Tucker came in and he did best of all and scored the only 50 of the innings. After a quiet start Tucker took 20 runs off four overs bowled by White, McCallan (0 for 29 in his 10 overs) and McCoubrey. 150 was up in over 38. Steede was out in White's last over (the 44th). He was caught by McCallan at short extra-cover. 170-5-20. The three man fifth wicket stand had put on 69. White took two for 44 in his 10 overs. Cann came in but lasted only seven balls. McCoubrey had him lbw shuffling across his wicket. 184-6-5.

No more wickets fell in the remaining six overs bowled by Johnston, McCoubrey and Mooney. 34 more runs were scored, 20 of them by Tucker. 200 came up in over 46 and Tucker went to a well deserved 50 from 46 balls (six fours) in over 48. The final score was 218 for six and Ireland won by 97 runs. The bowlers took only four wickets. The two spinners bowled their 10 overs apiece for a combined total of 73 runs and taking so few wickets overall was disappointing.

Joyce was given a cricket ball clock as the Man-of-the-Match. Ireland had lost to Bermuda in the second round in Kenya in 1993 but won in Toronto in Round one and now again today. In other matches in Ireland's section today Denmark beat Uganda and United Arab Emirates beat United States of America.

Stormont, Belfast