ECB England v Ireland
Linlithgow: 1st July 1998
Ireland won by 4 runs
K McCallan c Waterton b Usher 9 Bowling: ENGLAND
N Carson c Roberts b Dagnall 18 Arnold 10 0 41 1
S Smyth c Roberts b Dagnall 37 Usher 5 0 40 1
P Gillespie run out 31 Dagnall 10 0 25 4
E Joyce c Halsall b Dagnall 0 Foster 9 0 27 0
A Dunlop b Dagnall 37 Scott 10 5 11 0
D Heasley c Foster b Ecclestone 5 Halsall 1 0 11 0
R Eagleson run out 3 Ecclestone 5 0 12 1
G Cooke not out 12
J Bushe c Roberts b Arnold 2 FOW: 19 68 77 77 137
M Dwyer not out 3 144 151 154 161
Extras (lb 4 w 8 nb 2) 14
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 171
S Foster lbw b Cooke 4 Bowling: IRELAND
M Roberts lbw b Eagleson 10 Cooke 10 0 38 2
G Ecclestone c Gill'pie b E'son 8 Eagleson 10 1 33 3
J Robinson c McCallan b Dwyer 47 McCallan 10 2 24 1
D Clarke c & b Dwyer 3 Dwyer 10 1 26 2
R Halsall b McCallan 5 Heasley 10 1 40 0
S Waterton run out 20
B Usher c & b Cooke 19
C Dagnall b Eagleson 5
D Scott not out 7 FOW: 14 28 41 53 68
K Arnold not out 2 100 133 146 161
Extras (b 2 lb 4 w 18) 24
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 167
Umpires: D Potter, L Redford
Ireland retained an outside chance of winning the Triple Crown after another excellent bowling performance brought them an exciting four-runs victory against the English Cricket Board XI. Accused by coach Mike Hendrick of having no bottle in their nine-runs defeat by Scotland in Tuesday's opener, Ireland bounced back to defend a vulnerable 171 for 9 total.
An inspirational opening spell by Ryan Eagleson when he removed two of England's top three was almost ruined by his final over when he conceded nine runs, but the run-out of wicketkeeper Waterton off the final ball of his over proved vital. It left England's last pair needing 11 off the last six balls and Gordon Cooke was the Ireland hero to crown a very satisfactory two days' bowling.
When Ireland set out to defend their 50-over total, they had no right to expect victory. The wicket was in favour of batting and the England batsmen had, after all, hit the Welsh attack for 271 in their opening game. But Cooke and Eagleson, much like they had done at Edgbaston found the right length if not, initially, the direction. Twelve wides spoiled their opening 13 oven, but three wickets nullified the damage and immediately put England on the back foot.
The introduction of Kyle McCallan again in the 11th over maintained the pressure, and though he did not make a breakthrough until his seventh over, Matt Dwyer was successful with his fourth delivery. At 68 for five in the 23rd over Ireland were on top and the concession of 50 runs in 20 overs underlined the quality of their spin bowling. Derek Heasley was the unsung hero for the second successive day. Brought on in the the middle of both innings, he finished with identical figures-and boundaries are a rarity when he is bowling.
Earlier, Ireland also found it difficult to reach the rope with Cooke's defiant six in the last over the only boundary in the final 12 overs. Little did anyone realise then how important that was to prove.
The most disappointing aspect of the Ireland batting was that three players again got a start, but not one of them reached 40, never mind the 70 or 80 usually associated with a match-winning innings. Joyce was out first ball wafting at a wide one which normally he would leave with contempt.
McCallan failed again and Carson took 19 overs reaching 18. In comparison, Smyth started like a million dollars, hitting Usher out of the attack with a four and a six off his second and third balls, and he then hit three fours in his next over, while Dunlop came to the wicket in the 23rd over, also scored 37, but again could not see the innings out.
By the end of the game, though, he had done enough to win the Man of the Match award, with his captaincy-consistently good once again-earning as deserved special mention.