Irish canter home to beat Netherlands
Ireland made light work of a stiff victory target as they comfortably defeated the Netherlands by six wickets in Kolkata on Friday.
William Porterfield’s men faced a daunting chase after they’d conceded 306 earlier in the day, but a 177-run opening stand between Porterfield and centurion Paul Stirling set up what turned out to be a cruise.
Ireland made their target with 14 balls to spare, and means they end their World Cup campaign with two wins from their six games.
Having lost what was a purely academic match between the two Associates, the Netherlands depart with six defeats out of six.
Once again it was the Dutch bowling and fielding that let them down, after their batsmen had posted a big score earlier in the day.
A commanding 106 for Ryan ten Doeschate – his second century of the tournament – and 84 for captain Peter Borren helped the Netherlands recover from a precarious 12/2 after they were put in to bat.
Those two knocks, both at around a run a ball, dominated an innings in which the Irish were never able to slow the healthy scoring rate.
At 12/2 it hardly looked good for the Dutch though. At that early stage the situation was even worse than the score suggested, as opening batsman Wesley Barresi had also retired hurt after he was hit on the head by Kevin O’Brien.
The unusual incident took place immediately after O’Brien had dropped a tough chance at slip and the batsmen took two runs. O’Brien tidied up and threw it in to his keeper, only to catch the jogging Barresi beneath his helmet.
Although Barresi then spent some time off the park, he helped the Dutch fightback when he returned at the fall of the third wicket with the total on 53.
He quickly took his score from two to 44, adding 60 with ten Doeschate for the fourth wicket. He was eventually trapped LBW by Paul Stirling in the 22nd over, but that didn’t stop the Dutch momentum at all.
There was barely a ripple in the scoring rate as ten Doeschate and Borren kept the runs flowing with a century stand that took the score to 234/5 after ten Doeschate was caught in the 40th over.
Borren followed ten Doeschate back to the pavilion a few overs later as he pursued runs in the Dutch power play, but by then there was little doubt his side would get to 300 even as wickets tumbled at the death.
A bizarre four run-outs in as many balls during the final over helped limit the damage from an Irish perspective, as the Dutch were all out for 306 in exactly 50 overs.
The Irish bowling was ordinary, and the loss of star spinner George Dockrell didn’t help their cause at all. He left the field halfway through his fourth over after an awkward fall on his shoulder.
As it turned out, there was no need for Dockrell to try and bat later in the game. The Irish top order got the job done with some style, thanks largely to that big, quick first-wicket stand.
By the time the openers departed in quick succession in the 28th and 29th overs – Porterfield for 68 and then Stirling for 101 - the job was all but done.
From 179/2 all that was needed from there was some mature, sensible batting, and that’s what Ed Joyce (28) and Niall O’Brien (57 not out) delivered.
The Dutch bowling had its moments but the Netherlands couldn’t sustain pressure for any length of time. They did have one easy chance to dismiss Porterfield in the third over, when Adeel Raja spilled a simple catch.
It wasn’t their only missed chance in the field either. That kind of mistake was one of the big differences between these two sides in the tournament, and the Irish can go home very proud of their efforts in India.
“We were pretty confident of making the chase,” said Porterfield. “We were disappointed with the way we went with the ball this morning. But our batting has let us down a couple of times in the tournament so far and this time it was up to us to back up our bowlers.
“We’re pretty happy with our preparation and execution in this tournament. But we’re disappointed that there were a couple of games when we were right in it until the end but didn’t win. We definitely could have had eight points and qualified for the quarter-finals.”
Ireland – William Porterfield (capt), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien (wk), Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, Alex Cusack, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin
Netherlands – Eric Szwarczynski, Wesley Barresi, Tom Cooper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Alexei Kervezee, Peter Borren (capt), Atse Buurman (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Pieter Seelaar, Adeel Raja, Bernard Loots