CricketEurope Ireland logo
Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Ireland has won two successive Intercontinental Cups, the last by beating Canada in the 2007 final at Leicester. Now this was Ireland's fifth match in the rejigged 2008 Cup in which eight Associate Countries of ICC play each other before a final staged between the first and second teams in this Worldwide league.

Ireland already beaten Bermuda, United Arab Emirates and Netherlands and had a rain-ruined draw with Scotland. There remained, to be played in October, matches against Namibia and Kenya. Sadly, this match against Canada at Malahide was a rain-ruined draw with not even a first innings completed. Each team took three points from such a draw.

Rain overnight and on the first day prevented any play on that day, although an attempt was made to play from 6 PM to 7 PM. However, as the umpires went out rain fell again. Half an hour was thus added to the second day which began at 10:30 AM and was not interrupted. The third day saw play from 2 PM to 4 PM at which point, during the tea interval, there was a two hour cloudburst. The ground became a lake and no play was possible on the fourth and last day.

This was Ireland's 13th match against Canada since the first one in 1887. Of those five were won, three lost and four drawn. Limited overs matches started on the Canadian tour to Ireland in 1981. Five have been played, each team winning two and one was a no result.

Ireland made four changes from the 20/20 match against Kenya earlier in the week. Niall O'Brien, Wilson and Porterfield were not available and Cusack was left out as he had taken ill. In came McAllister (wicketkeeper) Poynter Stirling and Thompson. The Canadian team was weakened when Bagai and Davison had to return home after the 20/20 Tournament.

A wet pitch and wet outfield prevented a prompt start. In the afternoon it was decided to abandon the now wet prepared pitch and use a used but much dryer nearby pitch. There was hope for a 6 PM start. Ireland won the toss and, surprisingly, decided to bat. This in a match that must be won. To win 20 wickets must be taken and already a day had been lost. In the 2007 final at Leicester Ireland beat Canada in two days. As the umpires went out to start at 6 PM, rain prevented any play on day one.

Day two was sunny and there was a prompt start at 10:30 AM. 105 overs were to be bowled and this, in fact, was done. Ireland received 88 overs, two overs were dropped for the change of innings, and Ireland bowled 16 at Canada. Stirling and Strydom opened for Ireland to two quick-ish medium Canadian bowlers, both right-handed, Welsh and Katchay. They each used three slips and a gully. The openers batted safely and there was only one four in the first 10 overs. In the fourth over Strydom hit Katchay for four to long-off. 29 was the score after 10 overs, and two of these were maidens.

Canada's captain, Thuraisingam, another medium-pacer, replaced Katchay for over 14 in which the 50 came up. The 16th and 17th overs were maidens. In over 18 Strydom miscued a pull off Thuraisingam. The ball skied to the square leg area. Slip, running to it, could not make the catch. At this point Strydom was 23 and the score 54. Dhaniram, slow left arm, replaced Welch, who had bowled nine overs for 23 runs, for over 19. Strydom hit a four to wide long-on. He hit another to mid-wicket off Thuraisingam in over 20. Three balls later a ball jagged back from off and Strydom was LBW. 64-1-33. Poynter came in and two more maidens were bowled. Poynter and Stirling had a 10 over stand which added 24 runs. In the 31st over, Dhaniram's seventh, Stirling played a sweep shot, missed and was LBW. 88-2-40. He faced 88 deliveries but only hit four fours. Botha came in with 40 minutes to go to lunch. He was in for 30 of those but only faced 19 balls and hit only one four. This did, however, bring 100 up in over 37. Welsh had returned for over 30 but it was another slow left armer, Faridi, who bowled Botha in over 39. Botha was playing to leg and the ball hit his off stump. 104-3-6. White joined Poynter. In between two maidens bowled by Thuraisingam White hit Faridi for four to extra-cover. The score at lunch, after 42 overs, was 108-3. Poynter was 17 and White 4.

In seven overs after lunch from Faridi and Katchay 27 runs were added with White hitting Katchay for successive fours in over 44. The running between wickets was not very good. Ones were not converted into twos nor twos into threes. Welsh returned for Katchay for over 50. White took seven off the first three balls. Poynter pushed out at the fourth ball and edged it to the wicketkeeper. 142-4-23. His 23 came in 92 balls with only two fours. O'Brien joined White for the outstanding partnership of the innings. It put on 154 for the fifth wicket from 202 deliveries. It was the highest partnership for Ireland for this wicket in a first class match and only the second ever over 150 for this wicket. The next best stand in this innings was 64 for the first wicket.

The score after 50 overs remained at 142. The pace, however, did increase. 18 runs came in the next three overs, 14 of them to White and the 150 was up in over 52. In over 54 O'Brien pulled Welsh for a six to mid-wicket. A new bowler came on for over 56. He was Qaiser Ali, an off-spinner. White hit the last ball for four to fine leg to go to 51 in only 52 balls and this was his eighth four. A series of overs with only singles in them followed. Then, in over 63, O'Brien hit Dhaniram for a six to long-on. 200 was up in over 65. Then, in a six over spell, between overs 67 and 72, six fours were hit, four of them by White. Just before tea two maidens were bowled. Tea came at 3:40 PM after 77 overs. The score was 248-4, White 92 and O'Brien 37. 140 runs had come in this 35 over session.

Two hours of play were now left and Ireland would want to bowl in this period, hopefully for about an hour. However a follow-on target for Canada had to be achieved quickly. It was. Ireland batted for 11 overs after tea in which 78 runs were scored by White, O'Brien, Johnston and McCallan.

First over after tea was a maiden by Welch to O'Brien. Then, in the next over, O'Brien hit Faridi for a six over long-on to bring up 250. He followed up with two fours to bring up his 50 in 86 deliveries. In the next over, the 80th, O'Brien gave a sharp chance to short square leg diving to his left which was not taken. O'Brien, at this stage, was 51 and the score 264. Faridi bowled over 81 with the score at 266. O'Brien repeated exactly his performance in over 79. He hit a six to long-off followed by two fours. Welsh bowled over 82 with the new ball and in it White went to 99. Welsh did use two slips and a gully and the wicketkeeper up.

Katchay came back for over 83 and, with the first ball of the over, White, with an off side shot for two, went to 101 in 131 balls with 13 fours. It was his third century for Ireland, the last two having come in first class matches. O'Brien hit Welsh for four to wide long-on in over 84 and, instead of trying for a century, he skied the next ball to long-off. 296-5-75. His 75 came off 97 deliveries, with four sixes and nine fours. 60 of his 75 runs came in boundaries. Johnston came next. He hit a four which put the 300 up and he was caught and bowled by Katchay in over 85. 301-6-5. McCallan then came in. In 22 balls he and White put on 25 and McCallan took 11 off the 88th and last over of the innings, bowled by Welsh.

The declaration came at 326-6 in 88 overs at 4:52 PM. White was now 109 off 144 balls with 14 fours. It was a memorable innings very suitable for this match. He was in while 222 runs were scored. Canada used six bowlers in all and five took at least one wicket. Welsh took 2-89 in 23 overs. Faridi was the most expensive, conceding 83 runs in 17 overs for only one wicket.

Ireland had a great 16 overs at Canada at the end of day two. Three wickets fell for 31 runs by the close of play, all due to McCallan. At 5 PM Barnett and Gunasekara, both left-handed, opened for Canada. Connell and O'Brien were Ireland's opening bowlers. Three of the first four overs were maidens at which point the score was two for no wicket with Canada needing 177 to avoid the follow-on. A follow-on now seemed essential if Ireland were to win. In over five Barnett hit a ball towards mid-on where McCallan was fielding. A run was attempted and then McCallan misfielded. Because of this a second run was called but McCallan retrieved the ball and threw down the bowler's wicket was still not fully upright. Gunasekara was run out by a distance. An old saying came up trumps for Ireland. "Never run on a misfield unless there are two to be had". 3-1-0.

Iqbal came in. Barnett hit a four in O'Brien's third over and Iqbal hit one in Connell's fourth. McCallan replaced O'Brien for over eight. Connell's fifth and last over was a maiden and Johnston replaced him for over 11. Iqbal hit Johnston for successive fours off the first two balls of his second over. Then, in over 14, McCallan struck again, twice. The fourth ball had Iqbal caught by Poynter at silly point, the fielder juggling before he caught it from a bat/pad stroke. 27-2-18. The next ball bowled Faridi. 27-3-0. For both dismissals McCallan was bowling around the wicket. Qaiser Ali, at number five, took a single from the last ball of this McCallan over. Thompson, leg spin, replaced Johnston for over 15. In it Barnett was dropped at point by Strydom when six and the total 29. The next over was the last of the day, a maiden by McCallan. Close of play came after 16 overs with the total on 31-3. Barnett had scored six in 37 balls! Qaiser Ali had scored two

There was rain overnight which prevented any play on the third day until 2 PM, an early lunch having been taken. The day was sunny at this point but rain was forecast. Tea was taken just after 4 PM. In those two hours Ireland bowled 37 overs but it must be said that of the five bowlers used only Connell bowled up to his usual form. Even Connell's start was not great. Barnett hit his second ball for four when McCallan misfielded at mid-on. Two balls later he picked another four off his toes.

McCallan bowled the second over with two slips and both a silly mid-on and a silly mid-off. Barnett hit a straight four. Connell made up for his poor first over. The third ball caused Qaiser Ali to nibble and be caught at the wicket. 46-4-2. Kandappa was next. The 20th over was a McCallan maiden to Barnett. Kandappa hit a four to extra cover from Connell's first ball in over 21 to bring up the 50. Two balls later he drove shoulder height fast to mid-off. Poynter probably could not got two hands to it high to his right. He tried to catch it right-handed but it did not stick. Kandappa was four and the total was 50. The miss was not expensive. McCallan bowled another maiden at Barnett. Then, in over 23, bowled by Connell, Kandappa drove at the ball wide of the off stump. He got a thick edge which flew low and wide to White at third slip. White dived to his right and caught a low one-handed catch. It was a wonder catch. 52-5-5. The time was 2.20 p.m. and this was the last wicket to fall in the match.

The left-handed Dhaniram joined his fellow left-hander Barnett. They scored 89 runs in just over 30 overs and neither gave a chance. Dhaniram started with a four off McCallan in over 24. He hit another off Connell in over 29. Johnston took over from Connell (2-33 in 12 overs) for over 31 and McCallan kept going. McCallan bowled a maiden to Dhaniram in the 34th over while overs 37, 38 and 39 were all maidens.

After bowling 12 overs today McCallen gave way to Thompson whose first over, the 42nd, was a maiden to Dhaniram. Not so Thompson's second over when two full tosses and a short ball were all hit by Dhaniram for fours, which strokes brought up 100 exactly. Thompson's third over of the day saw Dhaniram hit a further 10 runs. O'Brien came on for Thompson and bowled a maiden. McCallan changed ends and replaced Johnston who, in the innings, had bowled 11 overs for 16 runs. The 50 overs score was 117.

McCallan bowled the 51st. Dhaniram began with a two which took him to 50 in 77 balls. Next ball was hit for four to long-on. Two balls later he hit another four to the same place and followed that with a six which hit the screen. 16 runs had come in the over. Dhaniram hit yet another four in O'Brien's next over, a square drive. McCallan persisted and bowled the last over before tea which, in fact, turned out to be the last of the match. Three runs came in this over. The score at tea was 141-5, Barnett 35 in 153 balls but only four fours and Dhaniram 70 in 19 balls with a six and 12 fours. Canada were 185 runs behind and needed another 36 runs with five wickets in hand to save the follow-on.

With play about to resume after tea there was a two hour deluge. The ground rapidly became a lake which was there on the fourth day when the match was quickly abandoned as a draw, each team taking three points as the first innings was not completed. On the same four days, Scotland and Kenya did not bowl a ball in Glasgow but the teams here got 10 points each!! Ireland's five bowlers bowled 53 overs of which 19 were maidens. McCallan bowled the most overs, 20, and the most maidens, six. Connell and McCallan took two wickets each. McCallan was playing in his 198th match and his 46th as captain. Both of these were Irish records

Photographs
Malahide