IRELAND MF Cohen lbw b French 42 BOWLING: NCA ENGLAND MP Rea c Dean b Van Lint 27 Roshier 11 2 29 0 DJ Curry lbw b French 20 Hackett 11 0 49 0 SG Smyth st Waterton b Evans 15 Evans 11 4 32 2 *SJS Warke not out 39 French 11 0 48 2 DA Lewis c French b Evans 0 Van Lint 11 1 32 2 C McCrum lbw b Van Lint 17 GD Harrison not out 23 CJ Hoey FALL OF WICKETS %RB Millar 46, 85, 102, 112, 112, AN Nelson 152 Extras (lb 4, w 6, nb 1) 11 Total (6 wickets, 55 overs) 194 NCA ENGLAND SJ Dean c Warke b Hoey 11 BOWLING: IRELAND %S Waterton lbw b McCrum 66 Nelson 11 1 28 1 *MJ Roberts run out 9 Hoey 11 1 29 2 M Hussain b Hoey 17 Lewis 9 0 34 1 A Farooque c & b Curry 3 Harrison 11 1 23 0 D Clarke lbw b Nelson 17 McCrum 5.4 0 27 4 P Roshier lbw b Lewis 10 Curry 5 0 24 1 N French c Curry b McCrum 15 A Van Lint c & b McCrum 2 FALL OF WICKETS R Evans c & b McCrum 2 25, 51, 93, 101, 132, N Hackett not out 1 152, 175, 175, 180, 181 Extras (b 4, lb 12, w 12) 28 Total (52.4 overs) 181 Umpires: J Tythcott & B Harrison Toss: Ireland * captain % wicketkeeper
After England's crushing nine wickets victory over Wales the previous day, this game promised to be the match of the tournament but no-one could have expected such an emotionally draining final hour, the climax to a slow but pulsating day's cricket between two highly charged and competitive teams. Ireland's total of 194 for six, after Stephen Warke had once again won the toss, seemed at least 40 below what would have been hoped for- certainly, a number of half volleys were missed and a few quick singles were turned down, but the subsequent heroic performances of the bowlers more than made up for it later in the day.
Mark Cohen batted through a nightmarish start to finish top scorer with 42 off 100 balls and everyone else, bar the out of form Lewis, chipped in, none more so than captain Warke and Harrison with an invaluable unbroken seventh wicket stand of 42 at a rate of a run from each ball faced. Warke ended up doing press-ups at the wicket during his innings and he missed the last 30 overs in the field because of a back problem.
When England had taken 44 off their first 13 overs for the loss of just one wicket, it looked a home banker but the introduction of Garfield Harrison forced this thrilling match to take the first of its many twists. Warke had employed a wonderful tactical ploy against probably the best amateur batsman in England, Steve Dean. Conor Hoey's leg spinners were used to open the bowling in the hope of surprising Dean. It succeededand Hoey did his job, taking the wicket of Dean caught at slip-Ireland went into the match with eight batsmen leaving the leg spinner to open the bowling in place of Paul McCrum- and then Harrison reeled off 11 overs of accurate off spin at a cost of just 23 runs. Another danger man, Mike Roberts, was run out at 51 by a swift throw from Charlie McCrum. Harrison received splendid support from all of his colleagues at the other end so that when Decker Curry replaced him the teams were level pegging.
And that was the way it stayed for the last, dramatic 20 overs with Ireland, just whenever they needed a wicket, taking one, although Alan Lewis kept England closer than they should have been with eight wides.
McCrum had been whipped off earlier after conceding nine runs in his fourth over but, when the captain had no-one to turn to, McCrum responded superbly. A leading edge to the safe hands of Curry at point started the collapse in the 51st over, the stubborn Stuart Waterton, who was threatening to carry his bat, was given out leg before next ball and with the first ball of what was to prove his final over, McCrum held a memorable reflex return catch to leave England 14 short and the last man coming to the wicket.
The English pundits said that Rupert Evans couldn't bat, but McCrum did not wait to find out and held low drive from him to begin the celebrations.
Meanwhile, at Walsall, Wales suffered their second defeat when they failed by 6 runs to match Scotland's total of 179 all out in which Storie made 62 and Russell made 55.