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Match Report
Derek Scott

Another defeat, this time failing to defend 308. Canada required 309 and won with two balls to spare, only losing four wickets in so doing. The crucial over in Canada's innings was the 47th, bowled by Botha. 36 were required as it started and only 19 when it finished. Ireland's first innings total of 308 was, in fact, the highest first-innings total by any team in the entire Tournament. This was the 11th match played against Canada since the first one back in 1887. Of the ten to date, there were four Irish wins, four draws and two defeats.

Johnston, N O'Brien, Gillespie and Rankin were all ill with an eating disorder. O'Brien played despite this but Bray kept wicket, despite not being fully fit from an injury suffered in the match against Scotland. Johnston also played. He scored 44 but could not take the field when Canada batted. Gillespie was too ill to be considered, as was Rankin. So the changes for this match were Bray for Carroll and J. Mooney for Gillespie. This meant there were seven bowlers in the side but Johnston did not bowl. The question must be asked, should he have played? Maybe his 44 off 27 balls when he arrived at the wicket with the score 223-4 and departed with the score 294-6 in the 49th over answers this! Canada had some familiar names and some new ones. Davison was still the captain.

The day was sunny with some cloud and was hot. The pitch, as usual in Nairobi, was flat but slow. Canada won the toss and put Ireland in. Bhatti, left arm, and Cummins opened the bowling, both being medium-fast. All went well for Porterfield and Bray in the first 10 overs. Porterfield hit the first two fours and Bray had three in the space of two overs. In over nine, Porterfield's third four brought up 51. Osinde came on with medium-pace for over 10. Bray hit two more fours to extra-cover and, in 10 overs, Ireland had reached 66. Then both openers fell in the space of two overs. Porterfield fell in the 11th over hitting Bhatti straight to short extra-cover in the second power play. 66-1-21.

Morgan came in and G Codrington, off-spin, replaced Osinde who only bowled a single over. Codrington's first over was a maiden to Bray. The latter hit a four to fine-leg in Bhatti's next over, the 13th, but, three balls later, skied to mid-off. 71-2-35. Bray at least had the consolation of knowing that he had reached 2000 runs, in 61 innings, the quickest ever to do so for Ireland. Short and Rea were the previous quickest, both taking 70 innings. Bray's 29 innings also was the quickest to go from 1000 to 2000 runs.

The batsman had crossed so N O'Brien faced Codrington's second over. O'Brien won't use a straight bat at the start of an innings, all the time playing across and to leg. He did so again to the fifth ball and was lbw. 71-3-0. K.O'Brien joined Morgan after this poor start with a lot depending on the pair of them. They did not disappoint. After over 15, Canada's last power play was called. In over 18, bowled by Codrington, Morgan was nearly caught twice, at long-off and at slip, though that did not go to hand. Thereafter, for a long period, the batting was steady. Bhatti bowled out his 10 overs, 10-1-35-2. The score after 20 overs was 93. Osinde replaced him and 100 came up in over 21. Canada's captain, Davison, came on with his off-spin for over 24, and the score at the halfway mark, 25 overs, was 120. For over 29 Dhaniram, slow left arm, replaced Osinde. The score after 30 overs was 145. So, with only three wickets down and a good stand in progress, Ireland could, hopefully, anticipate a score in the region of 290 to 300 and a bonus might bring it to 320.

In over 32 Morgan, with a single, reached 50 in 63 balls, his eighth score of 50 or more in 30 innings. Next over he went down the pitch to Dhaniram and hit a four to wide long on. O'Brien had an escape in Davison's seventh over, the 36th, when he was 33. He drove very high to deep mid-on who had to turn and run back but could not hold the catch. The pace now began to increase. Morgan late cut Dhaniram for a four and, two balls later, hit a six to wide mid-wicket, 12 coming in this 37th over to make the score 185. Morgan got another four in over 38. Next over, Cummins, one of the opening bowlers, came back for Dhaniram. He started with three wides. The over cost 10 and brought up 200. After 40 overs the score had reached 212 and 67 had come in the last 10 overs.

In Cummins next over, the 41st, O'Brien, with a four to long-off, reached 51 in 81 balls with, somewhat unusually for him, only four fours but he did come in when caution was required. O'Brien scored a single off the next ball. When he faced again, it was the first ball of Davison's 10th over, the 42nd. O'Brien went down the pitch, missed a push shot, and was stumped. 223-4-52. O'Brien had now made 54-142-52 in successive innings.

Nine overs less one ball remained when Johnston, not too well but determined, joined Morgan. Ireland needed another 77 to reach 300. This stand put on 67 in 43 balls. In the early part of the stand Morgan, now on 89, gave Johnston the strike and the latter used it very well. With an open blade he hit a four to third man in Cummins next over. Codrington replaced Davison, 10-0-44-1, for the next over, the 44th. 13 came from it including a long-on six to Johnston. 250 came up in over 45. Codrington's next over, 46th, saw 15 scored, 13 of them to Johnston. He hit a straight six and then was deprived of a four when the fielder's foot hit the line. He also had a bit of luck off the last ball when dropped at long-on.

For over 47 Osinde came back for Cummins. Only three runs were scored but Morgan's two singles took him to 100 in exactly the same number of balls, his second century for Ireland. In the next over, the 48th, Morgan opened up and scored 15 of the 16 runs in the over, including a six to wide long-on and a four flicked to third man. He was out in the 49th over. Johnson led off the over with a three, then Morgan skied the next ball to fine-leg. 290-5-115. It was a wonderful innings with just one difficult chance. He only faced 106 balls with two sixes and 10 fours. When he reached 72 he became, in his 30th innings, the 42nd man to reach 1000 runs for Ireland. He was also the second quickest. The only one quicker was Alf Masood who reached this mark in 29 innings. With McCallan in, Johnston faced the next ball, having crossed, and he hit a four to mid-wicket. He then slashed at the next ball and was caught at deep cover. 294-6-44. His 44 came in only 27 balls, with two sixes and three fours. Osinde had taken both partner's wickets, after the 67 run stand, in three balls.

With a single McCallan took the score to 300 in over 50, which was bowled by Cummins who had come back for Codrington. Langford-Smith was lbw to the first ball he faced. 300-7-0. J. Mooney arrived and hit two fours in the last three balls of the innings to make the final tally 308. This would be hopefully defendable although 280 against Scotland and 284 against Kenya had not been. Four sixes and 30 fours were hit. Five of Canada's six bowlers took wickets. Bhatti's 2-35, in one 10 over stint at the start, was the best. Osinde had 2-53 in seven overs. Cummins, 74, and Codrington, 63, were expensive, bowling nine overs each.

Johnston and N O'Brien were unable to field and were replaced by Carroll and Gillespie, the latter offering to do so despite being unwell. McCallan was acting captain. Bray kept wicket instead of O'Brien. Canada's innings commenced at 1:45 p.m. with Mulla and Samad. Langford-Smith started with a wide and a no ball. Mulla hit the fifth ball for six to extra-cover and took a four off the last to third-man. K O'Brien shared the bowling. The left-handed Samad took a first ball single. Mulla swung to leg at the third ball which lobbed to wicket-keeper Bray. 13-1-10. Bagai, probably Canada's best batsman, - he won the Man-of-the-Tournament award - came in next. He hit two fours in O'Brien's third over but all was quiet for a long spell. The 10 over score was 43 and a power play was called. The 11th over, Langford-Smith, was a maiden, one of only two in the innings. Two fours to Samad brought up 50 in over 14. Botha and White came on and each batsman hit two fours in the first three overs, 13 coming in Botha's second over. Samad hit White for six to long-on in over 19. Bagai seemed to give Bray a chance at the wicket in over 20, bowled by Botha. Bagai was 40 and, if it was a chance, it probably cost the match as Bagai made a further 82. However in the same over Samad was run out. Porterfield made a great stop at square cover and his throw, to Bray, beat Samad coming from the non-striker's end. 97-2-42. Davison came in to face the last ball of this Botha maiden over.

100 was up in over 21. McCallan came on for over 22 and Botha changed ends for another three overs. A square cut four to Bagai, in the first of these Botha overs, gave Bagai 53 off 67 balls. In over 27, bowled by Botha, Davison pulled a six and, in the next over, hit McCallan for a straight six. The 50 run partnership came up taking only eight overs. The score after 30 overs was 162. With only two batsmen out, this seemed to indicate a Canadian win. McCallan's sixth over cost 11 and he gave way to Mooney and Langford-Smith came back for Botha, whose six overs to date cost 45. Davison reached 50 in Mooney's first over in only 42 balls. The score after 35 overs was 199. In Mooney's second over, the 36th, 200 came up but, if it did, the valuable wicket of Davison was taken. Very unlike him, Davison advanced, swung and was bowled. 203-3-57. Ali was next. 106 were now needed in 14 overs, the rate had now gone up to approximately 7.5 per over and Ireland looked, perhaps, as though they would be able to defend 308. A dab past gully in Mooney's third over, the 38th, brought Bagai to 100 off only 110 balls. The score after 40 overs was 232. Now 77 were needed in 10 overs, still at a rate of approximately 7.5. This was a big task but Bagai was still in. When Langford-Smith was bowled out after 37 overs, McCallan bowled two overs in his place. Botha came back for over 43 to bowl to the end. The score was 245 after 42 overs. Mooney was doing his best but he was 1-41 in six overs. He bowled two more but it was perhaps surprising that O'Brien was not brought back. He had 1-34 in 7 overs.

In over 43 there was a ball change. It was dirty but there was no similar ball of 43 overs available. The used ball was soft and was not coming on to the bat. The replacement ball was almost new and hard. This, as in the match against Scotland, was greatly to Ireland's disadvantage. McCallan protested after the match to ICC as Ireland had, similarly, in the Scottish match. In over 45 Botha bowled Bagai who tried to glance and lost his leg stump. 260-4-122 which came off 132 balls with 10 fours. With the centurion now gone, could Ireland prevent 49 being scored in 35 balls? Chumney came in and it looked as if Ali might have been stumped off the last ball of the 45th over. In any event at the end of the 45th over 45 were needed in 30 balls. Mooney's next over, the 46th, went for nine with Ali hitting a four to fine leg.

Now it was 36 off 24 balls. As mentioned earlier, the 47th over, bowled by Botha, was crucial. 17 came from it. There were three fours to Ali and a no ball hit for two. There was a good run-out chance against Chumney who was facing. Botha retrieved the ball but he missed the non-striker's wicket from fairly close range. After 47 overs the score was 290 some 19 were now needed off 18 balls. Mooney was left on for the 40th over. He started with a wide and then Ali hit a casual six square of the wicket. 12 came in this over. Now off two overs Canada needed only 7 runs. Botha's last over cost only four and Ali give a stumping chance but now only two were needed. White came on. Chumney played two dot balls and then took a single. Ali hit the fourth ball for four to finish the match. Ireland had maintained their good fielding and throwing record but the bowlers could not pass the bat. Canada hit five sixes and 25 fours but lost only four wickets. Six bowlers were used, three of them taking one wicket each. Only Langford-Smith and Botha bowled 10 overs. Mooney conceded 62 runs in his eight overs, Botha 67 in his 10, White 50 in 6.4 and McCallan 55 in 8. They were all expensive. The changed ball and Johnston's inability to bowl made a big difference. Bagai was the deserved Man-of-the-Match winner.