Ireland 268-5 (Joyce 96no) tied with
Netherlands 268-9 (K O’Brien 3-52)
World Cricket League Championship, Amstelveen
There was high drama in Amstelveen as Ireland booked their place in the 2015 World Cup by earning a tie in their final World Cricket League Championship match against the Netherlands. The point earnt takes Ireland five points clear at the top of the table, with two matches to play, while the Netherlands move up to second and into an automatic qualification place.
The Dutch really ought to have taken both points from the fixture and were well placed in their pursuit of Ireland’s 268 for five on 210 for four early in the 42nd over. However, the Irish bowlers kept taking wickets and it was only thanks to some late blows from Michael Rippon that they escaped with a point.
When Mudassar Bukhari holed out to George Dockrell on the boundary to leave 13 needed from seven balls things looked bleak for the home side, and they got even bleaker when Edgar Schiferli was run-out early in the final over. John Mooney conceded just two runs off the first four balls to leave Rippon needing to hit 11 from the final two. He struck the fifth for four and then the last for six over long on to earn the tie in the most thrilling fashion.
All of the Netherlands top-order had got starts as they laid a good platform for their middle and lower-order which was then largely squandered. Openers Stephan Myburgh (35) and Eric Szwarczynski (44) added 50 in less than nine overs, with Wesley Barresi (46) also falling just short of his half-century.
Daan van Bunge and Tom Cooper added 68 for the fifth-wicket and it looked like being enough until the Ireland bowlers started striking with alarming regularity. Kevin O’Brien had Cooper caught by his captain William Porterfield to follow up his extraction of van Bunge for 45 off only 40 balls. The Irish backed up their bowlers well in the field, with Porterfield’s tumbling catch at mid-wicket to remove Cooper a typical example.
Porterfield had earlier added 73 in less than 14 overs with his opening partner Paul Stirling (49) after Ireland had won the toss and chosen to bat. He was eventually the first man to fall, to Michael Swart, who bowled tidily to return figures of one for 44 from his ten overs.
Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien, though, put on 113 for the third-wicket to set up a late onslaught that never really materialised. O’Brien fell for 50 to Cooper (one for 43), with Joyce ending unbeaten on 96 off 133 deliveries. Only Trent Johnston upped the tempo in the latter stages, hitting two boundaries and ending not out on 21 off 15 balls. That took the undisputed Associate cricket kings to 268 for five from their 50 overs; a total that would soon prove just about sufficient to book their flight to New Zealand and Australia.
© Cricket World 2013