Ireland open ICC World Cup Qualifiers with 93-run win over Netherlands

Andrew Balbirnie celebrating his half-century against Netherlands
Andrew Balbirnie celebrating his half-century against Netherlands

Ireland 268-7 (Balbirnie 68) beat
Netherlands 149 (Murtagh 3-28) by 93 runs DLS Method
2nd game, Group A, ICC World Cup Qualifiers, Harare

Andrew Balbirnie impressed with a half-century while the pace bowlers shared nine wickets between them as Ireland completed a 93 run victory by DLS method against Netherlands in the rain affected ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 encounter in Harare.

Netherlands won the toss and decided to field first. The openers William Porterfield (47) and Paul Stirling (20) got Ireland off to a promising start scoring 48 runs in the first powerplay but both fell before the half-way mark as Ireland reached 105 for two.

Ed Joyce (32) and Niall O Brien (49) played good knocks around Balbirnie (68), who was among the runs once again. Balbirnie's stand off 101 runs with Niall proved decisive as Netherlands made a brief comeback with the ball through a three-wicket haul from Timm van der Gugten (3-59).

As the innings was losing momentum, late charges from George Dockrell (12 not out) and Barry McCarthy (17 not out) lifted the score to 268 for seven in the 50 overs.

The target for the Dutch though was revised to 243 runs in 41 overs due to a rain delay and with the pitch having some moisture, Tim Murtagh (3-28), McCarthy (2-28), Boyd Rankin (2-19) and Kevin O Brien (2-28) all were among the wickets as Netherlands were folded out for 149 runs in 32.2 overs.

Balbirnine was named the man of the match as Ireland went on to top Group A with a 93 run victory.

© Cricket World 2018