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ICC T20 WC: Campher's magic spell kicks off Ireland's campaign

Ireland beat Netherlands by seven wickets in a Group B encounter to start off their T20 World Cup campaign in style.

At the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Netherlands after opting to bat, was bowled out for 106 and Ireland chased down the target in 15.1 overs with seven wickets to spare.

Netherlands did not start off well, but the innings stabilised briefly. But there was a massive collapse when Netherlands lost four wickets in four balls to Curtis Campher. The South African origin medium-pacer dismissed Colin Ackerman, Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Edwards and Roelof van der Merwe as Netherlands collapsed from 51 for two to 51 for six.

Opener Max O'Dowd (51: 47b, 7x4) tried to hold the innings together. He did share a 33 run stand with captain Pieter Seelaar, but that was not enough as Netherlands were bowled out for 106 as the side lost their last three wickets off last three balls.

The best bowlers for Ireland were Campher (4-26) and Mark Adair (3-9).

The chase was simple and was fashioned for Ireland by their opener Paul Stirling. They did lose couple of wickets along the way. But Ireland's innings was well served by a fine 59 run stand between Delany and Stirling for the third wicket. The victory was achieved in 15.1 overs as Ireland finished on 107 for three.

Curtis Campher’s historic double hat-trick leads Ireland to win over Netherlands

Curtis Campher made history in taking four wickets in four balls to help Ireland to a thumping seven-wicket win over the Netherlands in their first match of the 2021 Men’s ICC T20 World Cup.

The all-rounder intervened spectacularly in the 10th over of the Netherlands' innings, reducing the opposition from 51-2 to 51-6 – the feat made him the first man to take four wickets off consecutive deliveries in a T20 World Cup fixture. Netherlands eventually finished on 106 before Paul Stirling (30*) and Gareth Delany (44) played significant hands in delivering victory with 29 balls to spare.

Pieter Seelaar won the toss and chose to bat first, but it didn’t take too long for a wicket to fall. Off the third ball of the opening over, bowled by Stirling, Ben Cooper was run out from a Simi Singh throw after a mix-up between the two batters.

Ireland then kept a lid on the run rate over the next few overs before Josh Little struck in the fifth; Bas de Leede failed to connect with a ramp shot over fine leg and was bowled by a full toss. Campher entered the fray after the powerplay – which had cost 25 runs – and was initially expensive, conceding 12 runs from his first over.

But when he returned for his second over, the improvement was drastic. Colin Ackermann was the first to fall after a review showed that the ball, initially called a leg-side wide by the on-field umpire, had been gloved on its way to Neil Rock behind the stumps. Ryan ten Doeschate was then struck in front of the stumps by a full delivery and Campher repeated the same delivery to Scott Edwards – another review was required to show the ball was projected to hit the stumps, leaving Campher and his teammates jubilant.

But the fun didn’t stop there for Campher. Roelof van der Merwe was bowled after inside-edging a delivery onto his stumps, leaving Ireland firmly in the ascendancy. O’Dowd kept one end ticking over for the Netherlands, eventually moving to a half-century from 44 deliveries, but it then came Mark Adair’s turn to dominate proceedings.

O’Dowd hit an Adair slower ball into the hands of Harry Tector at long-on in the 17th over and the right-arm quick claimed two wickets from the final three balls of the Netherlands innings, his changes of pace making him a difficult man to hit. He finished with superb figures of 3-9 from his four overs, and his economical ways were backed up by Little, who managed 1-14 from his set of four. Hat-trick hero Campher finished with 4-26. 

In the chase, Stirling and Kevin O’Brien got Ireland off to a safe start with 20 from the first three overs. While O’Brien (9) and Andrew Balbirnie (8) fell soon after in the space of seven deliveries, Stirling and Delany kicked off a fine 59-run partnership.

Despite a stunning six over third man, Stirling played the more patient role, eventually finishing unbeaten on 30 off 39 deliveries; Delany, on the other hand, continued his big-hitting ways from the warm-up win over Bangladesh, striking five fours and two sixes in his 29-ball knock before he was bowled by Seelaar. 

Fittingly, Campher was on hand to hit the winning run off the first ball of the 16th over, bringing an end to a fine all-round performance by himself and his teammates.

Ireland’s next match is against Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.

Match Summary

Netherlands: 106 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Ben Cooper-0.3 ov), 2-22 (Bas de Leede-4.4 ov), 3-51 (Colin Ackermann-9.2 ov), 4-51 (Ryan ten Doeschate-9.3 ov), 5-51 (Scott Edwards-9.4 ov), 6-51 (Roelof van der Merwe-9.5 ov), 7-88 (Max O'Dowd-16.3 ov), 8-105 (Pieter Seelaar-19.4 ov), 9-106 (Logan van Beek-19.5 ov), 10-106 (Brandon Glover-19.6 ov)

Ireland: 107-3 (15.1)
Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Kevin O'Brien-3.5 ov), 2-36 (Andy Balbirnie-4.6 ov), 3-95 (Gareth Delany-12.5 ov)

Result: Ireland won by seven wickets


Playing XI
Ireland: Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien, Andy Balbirnie (captain), Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, Harry Tector, Neil Rock (wicket-keeper), Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Josh Little, Ben White

Netherlands: Ben Cooper, Max O'Dowd, Bas de Leede, Colin Ackermann, Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Edwards (wicket-keeper), Roelof van der Merwe, Pieter Seelaar (captain), Logan van Beek, Fred Klaassen, Brandon Glover

Match Details
Toss: Netherlands, elected to bat
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start time: 1400 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Marais Erasmus, Rod Tucker (On-field Umpires); Adrian Holdstock (TV Umpire); Paul Reiffel (Reserve Umpire); David Boon (Match-referee)

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