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Match Report
Derek Scott

A damp pitch and outfield delayed the start of this game by two hours and reduced the overs per side to 46. It made no difference, another defeat for Ireland after sending Holland in. Holland scored at almost one a ball and lost seven wickets. With 10 overs left Ireland needed 69 with only one wicket down. With five overs left the equation had become 44 with six wickets down. Three more wickets fell but Ireland finished seven runs short of winning. It was the 18th match played against Holland, the first having been in 1970, and now nine have been won, seven lost and two drawn. In recent years Ireland had the better of Holland until now. This defeat meant Ireland had won one and lost four of the matches in Nairobi, the same results as Bermuda, who, surprisingly, had beaten Scotland. Ireland gained fifth place in the league by virtue of a better run-rate than Bermuda. Johnston was still too ill to play. Paul Mooney replaced him as the only change from the last match. McCallan, gaining his 150th cap, became captain for the 36th time.

When the game began at 11.30 a.m. the day was warm and sunny. Zuiderent and Reekers set out quite briskly to the bowling of Paul Mooney, three overs, and Langford-Smith, five overs. In five overs 24 was up. The sixth over, Mooney's last, was hit for 12 runs but there was a possible chance by Reekers off his first ball. Kevin O'Brien, at wide mid-on, made a great one-handed attempt at a catch. He got a hand to it as he jumped but was unable to hold onto it. Reekers hit a four and a six, to long-on, off the last two balls of this over. Kevin O'Brien replaced Mooney. Reekers hit sixes in successive overs. He pulled Langford-Smith for six to bring up 50 in over nine. In the next over he hit O'Brien for six to long-on and the ball was lost. Ireland called a power play after 10 overs and Botha replaced Langford-Smith. The score after 10 overs was 66.

In over 13 Reekers went to 50 out of 78 in only 33 balls with three sixes and five fours. In over 14 he snicked a four to fine leg off O'Brien, which may have been a chance to the wicketkeeper. Next over, bowled by Botha, Reekers gave a definite chance. Paul Mooney dropped an easy chance on the mid-wicket boundary. Reekers was 55 and the score 91. 100 came up in over 17. McCallan came on and the next Reekers chance occurred in his second over. O'Brien dropped the catch at long-off. Reekers was now 60 and the score 106. However, the first wicket fell in the next over, the 19th. It was bowled by Botha. Zuiderent was caught at cover by Porterfield diving in to catch a lobbed shot. 114-1-39. Zuiderent faced 67 balls in this 114 run stand with Reekers, who faced 50, but Zuiderent hit only three fours. Ten Doeschate, the Essex player, was next and the third power play was called after over 19, as a new batsman was now in. This second wicket stand only lasted three overs and put on 23 runs, mostly to Reekers, who hit three fours, but was nearly caught at mid-off off Botha, the ball just out of the fielders reach. The score after 20 overs was 116 and ten Doeschate was out in over 22, caught at deep mid-on off McCallan. 137-2-6. Van Bunge, an ex-county player, was next but not for long. However, he did see Reekers dropped again, in over 25. John Mooney had come on and saw his brother, Paul, drop the catch again on the mid-wicket boundary. Reekers was now 93 and the score 151. Next over Van Bunge was run out. Facing, he dropped the ball short and ran. Porterfield was very quick to come in and his return to bowler McCallan effected the run out. 153-3-4. Szwarzcynksi, known as Szw!, came in. In over 27, with a four to third man off John Mooney, Reekers went to exactly 100 out of 154 off only 72 balls.

The score after 28 overs was 161. As only 46 overs would be bowled to Holland, this was the three fifths mark usually arrived at after over 30. A guess at this stage would suggest, with only three wickets down, an ultimate total of about 260/270. The fourth pair added 18 in five overs. White replaced John Mooney for over 31. In over 21 Szwarzcynksi had a run out escape when Kevin O'Brien missed the bowlers wicket with Szwarzcynksi well out. Another run out brought the fourth wicket, in White's first over. Reekers hit the ball to Botha on the extra-cover boundary. He called a second run but Botha's throw to Niall O'Brien beat him. 171-4-104. Reekers innings was the bedrock of Holland's innings. He gave three easy chances but faced only 82 balls and scored three sixes and 12 fours, 66 in all in boundaries. He deserved, and got, the Man-of-the-Match Award. De Leede joined Szwarzcynksi in a 12 over stand which put on 64 runs, the only feature of that being a six over mid-wicket off O'Brien in over 38. There were 37 singles in this stand and one four, from De Leede. After 39 overs McCallan left the field with a strain. Carroll came on and Niall O'Brien took over the captaincy. The score after 40 overs was 214, only 45 coming in the last 10 overs. It was strange that Holland did not press on in this period.

Botha and O'Brien were designated to bowl the last five overs. In the second of these, bowled by O'Brien, De Leede was very nearly run out attempting two to Botha at extra cover. Next ball he was out, bowled pushing forward. 235-5-24. Borren came in but he was out in O'Brien's next over, the 45th, a quick stumping by the bowler's brother doing the trick. 245-6-7. The Dutch captain, Luuk Van Troost came in and saw Szarzcynksi to his 50, off 60 balls, in over 45. In the final over Van Troost hit Botha for four to mid-wicket. Next ball he skied very high to deep mid-on where the substitute fielder, Carroll, made the catch. 257-7-6. Three singles came in the three remaining balls leaving Szwarzcynksi 56 not out in only 65 balls but with only one six and one four. The last 10 overs had produced 68 runs.

Ireland used seven bowlers, only McCallan bowling his full 10 overs, taking 1-48. The least expensive of the others were Langford-Smith and Botha. O'Brien and Botha took two wickets each. Dropped catches, something unusual for Ireland, cost at least 50 runs.

Ireland sent in Bray and Porterfield at 3 p.m. to face Schiferli and Reekers, the interval between the innings having been reduced to 25 minutes. The rate required was 5.67 runs per over, a tad under a run a ball. Ireland achieved, for a long while, the first "must" in a run chase, keeping wickets intact. The second Irish wicket did not fall until the 37th over. However, the run rate never even got to five an over until over 30. The rate achieved after over 40 was 5.37 but now five wickets were down. 46 runs were needed in the last six overs but three more wickets fell and there was no Johnston to come in and hit. The only "big" over in the last six was 12 runs in over 42, leaving 32 runs to be scored in the last four overs. It came down to 15 in the last over of all, but John Mooney could only score four twos.

In the 37th over the score was 195-1, with Porterfield on 83 and Morgan on 92. When that over began 69 runs were needed in 14 overs. This established pair, who had scored over five runs per over, should have stayed to win the match. Instead, both, plus Niall O'Brien, were out in the next two overs, both caught in the deep when such risks were not necessary, so well were they playing.

At the start Bray got little of the early strike, in fact he played a maiden in the eighth over. Porterfield hit five fours from the fifth to the ninth overs, by which time the score was 42. Next ball, the first of the 10th over, Bray pushed out at Reekers and was lbw. 42-1-8. Unusual for him, Bray had only five scoring strokes in 26 balls. In came Morgan. He started with two fours, one off ten Doeschate, who replaced Schiferli, and one off Reekers, both to long-off. The second four brought up 50 in over 12. De Leede came on for Reekers and power plays were called after overs 10 and 15. After over 20 the score was 91, 48 coming since over 10. Kashif, off spin around the wicket, replaced ten Doeschate for over 21. In over 22, with a four to wide long-on, Porterfield went to 51 out of 101 in 61 balls. 23 overs marked the half-way mark and the score at the end of that over was 108. Another 153 were now needed in 23 overs and the rate had now climbed to 6.65 runs per over. Two fours were hit in over 24. Borren, medium pace off a short run, came on for De Leede for over 26. In his second over, the 28th, Morgan hit a six over long-on to go to 53 in 56 balls. He followed this with a four which was a deliberate "nurdle" to third man. The 30 overs score was precisely 150, an exact rate, to date, of five runs per over. However, in the remaining 16 overs, 111 runs were needed, a rate, now, of almost seven per over. Morgan hit Borren for a six over long-on in that bowlers fourth and last over in this spell. Kashif's seventh and last over of the spell, 33rd, gave up 11 runs, the best single over for Ireland since over 27. Van Troost, left arm medium, was on for over 34 and ten Doeschate back for over 35. 10 runs came from Van Troost's second over, including a six over wide long-on to Morgan.

Then, starting in over 37, 4 wickets fell in 14 balls for seven runs and Ireland's hopes were shattered. Morgan was first to go. He was 94 when he advanced to ten Doeschate, was not at the pitch, but still played a one-handed drive to be caught at deep mid-off. 195-2-94. Morgan faced only 91 balls and hit four sixes and seven fours. It was a wonderful innings until its woeful end. The second wicket stand was 153 runs from 165 balls. Niall O'Brien was next. He still refuses to play straight at the start of his innings. Schiferli replaced Van Troost. His fourth ball had O'Brien lbw for the third time in five innings in Nairobi. 197-3-1. Kevin O'Brien succeeded his brother and got a two and a single which left Porterfield facing the last ball of this Schiferli over. He tried a "pick up" shot and was caught at deep mid-wicket. 201-4-84. Porterfield faced 106 balls and hit eight fours. His scores in Nairobi were 11-112*-104*-21-84. His career average was now well over 50. Having seen Morgan get out he should have been cautious.

As the batsmen had crossed McCallan now faced ten Doeschate and ran a leg-bye. Two balls later Kevin O'Brien swung casually and was bowled. 202-5-3. On White's arrival 45 balls were left to score 59. He and McCallan added 15 from 13 balls. The 40 overs score was 250. Borren came back for over 41. Then White repeated Porterfield's feat. Another "pick up" shot to mid-wicket and the same substitute fielder, Kervezee, took the catch. 217-6-2. John Mooney was next in. 12 runs came from over 42, bowled by Schiferli, including an effortless six to long-on by McCallan. Four overs now remained to scored 32. ten Doeschate was back for over 43 and six singles were scored. Borren changed ends to bowl over 44 from which only four runs were scored.

The first ball of over 45, bowled by ten Doeschate saw McCallan bowled round his legs. 239-7-25. Next ball Langford-Smith was caught at wide mid-wicket. 239-8-0. The Mooney brothers were now together looking for 22 runs from 10 balls. Seven came from the four remaining balls of over 45, including a four which John Mooney helped on its way to fine-leg. Although any of six bowlers could have bowled it, Borren was chosen to bowl the last over. John Mooney hit the first four balls for two each. Seven runs were now needed from two balls but a miss and a hit to cover produced only two dot balls. The match was lost by 6 runs. Holland used seven bowlers but only ten Doeschate bowled a full 10 overs and took four of the eight wickets to fall, for 56 runs. Schiferli, usually Holland's best bowler, was expensive as was Borren. Reekers and Kashif did well. The fielding was good and no chances were missed, unlike Ireland!

In the final Kenya bowled out Scotland for 155 and won by eight wickets. In the round robin that result had been the other way. Over the five matches five Irish batsmen averaged over 50. Porterfield had most runs, 332, at an average of 110.67. Kevin O'Brien, 264 runs, and Morgan, 261 runs, both averaged just over 52. Bray's 159 runs came at an average of 53 and Johnston, only once out, had an average of 102 for his 102 runs. The bowling was a different matter. 35 wickets out of a possible 50 were taken of which 31 fell to bowlers and there were 4 run outs. Botha had 13 wickets at an average of 21.38, McCallan 8 at an average of 27.12 and Kevin O'Brien's five came at an average of 52.80. The other bowlers, Johnston, Langford-Smith, the Mooney brothers, Rankin and White bowled 110 overs and took five wickets for 682 runs. While the batsmen were scoring at 87 runs per hundred balls, the bowler's economy rate was 5.66 runs per over.