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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott
After the conclusion of the Sections in Northern Ireland

, the tournament moved to Dublin for the ranking matches. This involved the teams being split into three groups. Group 1 was for those which finished first and second in the sections, and they played off for the ICC Trophy itself. Group 2 was for those who finished third and fourth in the sections and they were playing off for the 5th to 8th positions and, most importantly, the last qualifying spot for the World Cup. Those who finished 5th and 6th in the Sections were playing off for ranking positions 9 to 12. These ranking positions were likely to become important in terms of future ICC Tournaments.

At last and at the fourth attempt to do so, Ireland reached the final of the ICC Trophy. The nearest previous near miss was in Kuala Lumpur in 1997 when Ireland were beaten by Kenya in the semi final and then went on to lose the third/fourth place match to Scotland. This match against Canada was as exciting as that against UAE on the previous Monday and, like that, was won in the last over.

Beginning in 1887, this was the tenth match against Canada. Of the previous nine three were won, two lost and four drawn. The most recent win was at the ICC Trophy in Toronto in 2001 which was won easily. From that match Davison, Chumney and Billcliff were the only survivors for Canada while Ireland had no less than six, Molins, White, Dom Joyce, McCoubrey, McCallan and Mooney.

The day was overcast but warm and muggy. The pitch was not as hard as those in Northern Ireland earlier in the week. It was also greener than those with some suspicion of moisture. It played slowly with very little bounce. Ed Joyce had gone back to play for Middlesex in a Championship match and was replaced by Morgan, now fit again. Cooke came in for his first match in the tournament replacing McCoubrey.

Canada raced away to 46 in four overs led by their captain, Davison. When he was out the score rose to 114 at which stage three wickets fell, but the second half of the batting order effected a recovery to 238 for 8. Ireland, in reply, had their usual poor start (60 for three) and there were five down for 106 in the 28th over and six for 171 with only 10 overs left. A run a ball was then necessary and was achieved by the ever dependable Gillespie ably supported by White.

Molins won the toss, for the fourth time in five ICC Trophy matches, and sent Canada in. Again this decision met with a conflict of views. There was probably only one view when Canada were 46 with only 3.5 overs bowled! Chumney had made six of these off 10 balls, Davison 35 off 15. Mooney's first over cost 8, Davison hitting a square drive to the boundary. In Johnston's first over Davison only faced two balls. The first was a full toss despatched to the square-leg boundary. 14 had come in two overs. The next (Mooney) went for 13. Two wides were no help but Davison hit two fours. One was a snick wide of second slip and, next ball, a mid-wicket four off a full toss.

The fourth over (Johnston) went for 19 but the last ball had Davison lbw. Previously in this over Davison had four fours off successive balls (excluding a wide which intervened). The hits were in the air over mid-on, a glance off a no-ball, a drive wide of mid-off and a snick past the off stump. There followed a dot ball and then the lbw. 46-1-33 in 15 balls with eight fours!

Surkari joined Chumney and the pace slowed a little. Mooney's third over was a maiden to Chumney and 50 came in over seven. Chumney must have been very close to lbw in Johnston's fourth over. At 69, after over 11, Botha came on for Johnston. The latter thought he had Chumney caught by Bray on the leg side trying to hook. Surkari had two fours in Botha's first over and, last ball, got a lucky snick past the leg stump. After drinks at 15 overs (89 for one) Chumney hit a straight six off Botha. 100 was up in over 17 with only one wicket down. A huge score seemed likely unless wickets fell. They did. The 20 over score was 114. McCallan had come on for Mooney. Then three wickets fell in six balls - two to Botha in one over (the 21st). Surkari got one that lifted a bit and was caught by Bray off the top of the bat. 114-2-31. Four balls later Botha found the outside edge of newcomer Billicliff's bat and Bray again took the catch. 114-3-0. Next ball, the first of McCallan's third over, clean bowled Chumney as he tentatively pushed forward. 114-4-35.

The left-handed Dhaniram was now joined by Dassanayake, the wicket keeper who had played Test cricket for Sri Lanka. They stopped the rot and put on 56 in just under 16 overs. Dassanayake hit Botha for a four over mid-off in Botha's seventh and last over in this spell (two for 36). This made the 25 over score 124. Cooke was tried for Botha and he bowled his first four overs for nine runs including two maidens, both played out by Dassanayake. The 30 over score was 136 and McCallan had bowled his first six overs for 12. In his seventh over Dhaniram was dropped by Mooney at long-off when 16 at 138. The 35 over score was 153. Then, in Cooke's sixth over, Dhaniram hit a straight four off the back foot followed by a four to square-leg. Johnston came on for Cooke for the 38th over. His third ball took the fifth wicket. The ball kept low and broke back a shade to bowl Dhaniram. 170-5-35 (in 48 balls). Maxwell was next and White replaced McCallan (one for 25 in 10 overs). In four overs 11 runs came. Then Dassanayake was run out in Johnston's eighth over (the 42nd). Dassanayake, the striker, called a run to Joyce in the covers. Joyce threw down the bowler's wicket. 181-6-22 (56 balls).

The hope was now to restrict Canada to 200. It was not to be. Coddington came in and put on 40 with Maxwell in only 31 balls. They scored off most balls and the feature was a six over long-on by Maxwell off Johnston in the 45th - the six bringing up 200 and the over cost 13. For the 47th over Cooke came on for White and his fifth ball had Coddington lbw. He moved in to hit to leg but missed. 221-7-16. Thurasingham joined Maxwell but Botha came back for over 48 and his first ball bowled the newcomer who had a big swing. 222-8-0. The left handed Bhatti joined Maxwell and now the Irish hope would be for a quick end to the innings. This did not happen. Maxwell and Bhatti put on 11 in 12 balls. In the last over Botha had Maxwell caught at wide mid-wicket on the drive. His 32 in 40 balls was the biggest and most valuable contribution to the second half of the Canadian innings. Ireland did not take the final wicket so the tally was 238 for nine - a formidable total. The Irish fielding was good. Botha took four of the eight wickets that fell to bowlers - in nine overs for 47. The least expensive was (as usual) McCallan whose 10 overs cost 25.

At 3 pm Ireland began their reply. In view of the frequent failure of the first three, Molins, Bray and Botha, it was decided to demote Botha to number five and send Morgan in at number three and Dom Joyce as number four. The result was very much the same as hitherto, the score being 60 for three in 15 overs. The only consolation was that the rate per over was good and that Molins at last made a good score. Bhatti (left arm) and Thurasingham opened the bowling, both medium paced. There was only one run in the first two overs. Then Bray swept Bhatti to fine leg for four and, two balls later, hit a six over mid-wicket. It was his last scoring shot. In Thurasingham's next over (the fourth) Bray tried to pull a ball that was too near him and lobbed it to mid-on. 12-1-10. Morgan began briskly and got most of the strike in a stand of 29 runs in 38 balls. Morgan got 25 balls of the 38 and scored 20, including a hooked four off Bhatti and an off-driven four off Thurasingham. Then, in over 10, Morgan tried to drive over mid-off but mistimed and mid-off caught it overhead falling backwards. 41-2-20.

With Joyce joining Molins (now only eight out of 41) there was a double change of bowling after Molins hit Bhatti for two successive fours (one all run) in over 11 and 50 was up in over 12. Dhaniram (slow left arm) came on for over 13 and Maxwell, bowling little outswingers, for over 14. In Dhaniram's second over Joyce pulled a four and, next ball, got out in a bizarre way. He took a step down the pitch, missed, as did the wicket keeper, off whose glove it glanced to first slip. Slip went to ground to stop the ball and, while lying prone, back flicked the ball on to the stumps. Very carelessly Joyce had neglected to regain his ground. 60-3-5. Botha came next and by now Molins had got to 22. A brisk stand followed, 37 runs in 40 balls with Molins getting 22 of them. Molins scored 10 off Dhaniram's third over. Two fours came from a back foot force and a pull to wide mid-wicket. Another four for Molins and two for Botha caused another double change for the 19th and 22nd overs. The Canadian captain, Davison, came on with off-spin followed by Sandher bowling slow-medium left arm.

Sandher bowled around the wicket to the right handed Molins who hit the third ball for four to mid-wicket. Next ball, trying a pull again to a ball too far up that kept low, Molins missed and was bowled. 97-4-44. He faced 59 balls with six fours. It must have been a relief to Ireland's captain to score 44 after 28 runs in the four previous ICC Trophy matches. Johnston came next to join Botha. 100 was up in over 24 but three of the next five overs were maidens. Then, after only nine runs were scored in six overs, Botha got out. He tried a late cut to Sandher (over 28) but only succeeded in giving the wicket-keeper a catch. 106-5-15. Gillespie came in with 132 runs required in 22 overs - exactly a run a ball. Two good fours by Johnston off Sandher in over 30 took the score to 119. There was still no great haste in the next five overs when the score had advanced to 138. Now 101 were needed in 15 overs, nearer to seven than six an over.

The bowling was changed, perhaps unwisely. Davison had bowled seven overs for 13 runs and Sandher seven for 29 runs. On came Coddington with off spin and Thurasingham returned. Johnston hit Coddington for six over long-on and 13 came in that 37th over, and 150 was up. Five came in each of the next two overs and after 39 overs the score was 164. 75 were now needed in 11 overs, still nearly seven an over. Then, for over 40, Sandher came back. Seven came from five balls and the last saw Johnston's dismissal. He did not quite middle an attempt to hit a six to deep square leg. The mid-wicket fielder, Dhaniram, ran to his right and brought off a good catch. 171-6-44. Johnston's 44 had come in 57 balls with a six and three fours. He got out at just the wrong time. White came in to join Gillespie with 10 overs left and 68 runs required.

"Cometh the hour cometh the man". There is no greater character in the Irish team than Gillespie when it comes to a fight against the odds and White is of similar vein. When White arrived Gillespie was 24. He scored 40 more in 28 balls to White's 28 in 29 balls. Together they won the match with four balls to spare, having put on 70 in 57 balls. Canada tried no less than five bowlers in those last 10 overs. The 41st (Dhaniram) saw eight scored including a sweep to fine leg by Gillespie. The 42nd (Sandher's ninth) only brought four runs. The Bhatti bowled the 43rd over for six runs including a square driven four by Gillespie. Sandher's 10th over was the 44th. Six runs came including a four to extra cover by Gillespie. Now 36 balls remained to get 44 - gone over seven an over. The 45th over conceded 11, 195 to 206, and White hit his first (and only) four. Now 33 required in 30 balls. In the next two overs, Thurasingham and Davison, only 10 runs were scored. Now the position was critical, 23 off 18 balls, and a couple of boundaries were necessary.

Now the cricket brain and ability of Gillespie showed itself. Thurasingham was bowling his 10th over. Four came from four balls. Now 14 balls to get 19. Gillespie hit the fifth ball for a six over wide long-on and drove the sixth to the extra-cover boundary. With 14 off the over confidence was restored with nine required from two overs. Davison bowled the penultimate over from which five were scored, leaving three required from the last six balls. Opening bowler Bhatti bowled this over - his ninth. White faced. Five men manned the boundaries but White hit the second ball over long on and out of the ground.

Ireland was in its first ICC Trophy final. Scotland beat Bermuda in the other semi final at The Hills to be Ireland's opponents.

Gillespie was Ireland's star with 64 not out from 70 balls including a six and five fours, and was ably supported by White. Canada fielded well and used seven bowlers. Bhatti and Dhaniram were a little expensive but Davison bowled his 10 overs for 26 while Sandher was the leading wicket taker with three for 46 in 10 overs.

Gillespie was a popular and well-deserved Man-of-the-Match

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