Dutch Annihilate Ireland To Qualify
Netherlands 193-4 (Myburgh 63) beat
Ireland 189-4 (Poynter 57) by six wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group B, Sylhet
Most sixes in a Twenty20 International (31)
Most sixes in an innings (Netherlands, 19)
Most runs after 12 overs (Netherlands, 164)
Most runs in a Power Play (Netherlands, 91)
Fastest to 100 runs (Netherlands)
Stephan Myburgh's half-century in 17 balls is second only to Yuvraj Singh's 12-ball effort
The Netherlands broke a host of records as they chased down 190 in 13.5 overs to beat Ireland by six wickets and unexpectedly qualify for the Super 10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Sylhet.
In a game which saw more sixes hit than ever before in a Twenty20 International, the Netherlands replied to Ireland's score of 189 for four by hitting 19 sixes to join England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group 2 of the competition.
Stephan Myburgh made 63 in 22 balls, Wesley Barresi was unbeaten on 40 in 22 and Tom Cooper hit George Dockrell for four straight maximums during his 45 in 15 balls.
All this after William Porterfield had struck 47 in 32 balls, Andrew Poynter 57 in 38 and Kevin O'Brien 42 not out in 16 deliveries to put what looked like a decent score on the board for Ireland.
Today, decent wasn't enough to down the Netherlands and Ireland miss out on the main phase of the ICC World Twenty20 for the first time since 2009 - coincidentally, the last time that the Netherlands made it through.
Knowing that they had to score the runs in 14.2 overs guarantee their progression gave the Netherlands little option but to swing hard from the start, and keep on going.
24 runs came from the second over and 22 from the fourth as Myburgh and Peter Borren (31 in 15 balls) tore into Ireland as Stirling (0-24), Tim Murtagh (1-47), Alex Cusack (0-22 in one over) and Andy McBrine (0-24 in one over) were savaged.
A breakthrough came at the end of the sixth over when Borren was caught by Dockrell off O'Brien and three balls later, Myburgh's explosive innings came to an end when, attempting to hit his eighth six, he was caught in the deep by Ed Joyce off Dockrell.
Just two more runs had been added when Luuk van Beek (1) was well caught by Porterfield running backwards for O'Brien's second wicket but the Dutch were far from done.
They had already reached 100 quicker than any team had managed before in a Twenty20 International and Myburgh's 17-ball half-century sits second only to Yuvraj Singh's 12-ball effort against England in 2007.
Where the Netherlands scored their runs and how
Cooper had made just one when he was dropped by Joyce after miscuing a reverse sweep and he went on to make Ireland pay for that costly miss.
He sent the first four balls of the 11th over sailing over the boundary ropes to revive the run chase that had just started to flag.
He struck two more sixes before picking out O'Brien at deep mid-wicket and his departure, with the score on 161 for four left his team relying on his younger brother Ben and Barresi, who up until that point, had played second fiddle to Myburgh and Cooper.
Now he was required to step up, and he did so by hitting O'Brien for four shortly before the younger Cooper hit a six from the final ball of the 13th over, leaving the Dutch 13 to win and qualify from eight balls.
Murtagh's second delivery was smashed over his head for six by Barresi, who then struck the fourth ball, a full toss, through a gap between two cover fielders for four and then added the coup de grace with a monstrous six over mid-wicket to seal the match, qualification and perhaps the Netherlands' greatest ever win.
A crushed Ireland side was left to wonder what might have been. The catch that Joyce took to dismiss Myburgh and relieve the early pressure was harder than the one he spilled to let Cooper off the hook.
More often than not, a score of more than 180 runs wins you games of Twenty20 cricket, and they would have been confident at the halfway stage having batted well after being asked to bat first by the Dutch.
Stirling (7) fell early but William Porterfield played a fine innings of 47 in 32 balls, including five fours and two sixes, before Joyce made 28 in 25.
At 88 for three in 12.3 overs, Ireland had laid a sound platform from which Poynter belted 57 in 38 balls with four fours and four sixes and O'Brien was even more belligerent.
He slammed four sixes and two fours during his innings of 42 in just 16 deliveries but despite Ireland hitting 11 sixes in their innings, they were well beaten in the end.
The Netherlands' blistering batting display also meant the end of the tournament for Zimbabwe, who had kept their chances alive with a five-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates earlier in the day.
It also means that the two Associate nations who were expected to lead the way - Afghanistan and Ireland - failed to navigate the group stages, perhaps hinting at a closing of the gap between them and their rivals in the shortest format of the game.
Having served notice of just what they can do, the Netherlands will begin their Super 10 campaign by playing Sri Lanka on Monday (24th March).
© Cricket World 2014