Specials – Best of the ODIs: Ireland v Netherlands

The Netherlands are set to lock horns with Ireland in a crucial three-match home ODI series from 2nd June, which forms part of the World Cup Super League. With both teams looking to gain maximum points, we can expect a hard-fought battle. The two teams have contested ten ODIs so far, with Ireland enjoying a dominating 7-1 record. On that note, here is a look back at five memorable ODIs between the European rivals.

Reekers stars in close encounter – World Cricket League, Nairobi, 2006-07

Bas Zuiderent and Darron Reekers motored to an opening stand of 114 in 19 overs after rain reduced the match to a 46-over affair. Reekers went on to hit a fine 104 in just 82 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, after which Eric Szwarczynski (56*) helped carry the total to 260/7.

At 195/1 in the 37th over with William Porterfield (84) and Eoin Morgan (94) having added 153, Ireland were in a rather solid position. However, Ryan ten Doeschate (4/56) removed the latter to open the floodgates. Ireland were pegged back thereafter, and were limited to 254/8.

A last-gasp win for Ireland – Quadrangular Series, Belfast, 2007

This was the second match of a quadrangular series that also involved Scotland and the West Indies. Morgan, opening on a sluggish pitch, scored 51 in 112 balls, while Dave Langford-Smith, batting at number seven, smote 31* in just 13 balls, which bolstered Ireland to 210/8.

Opener Mudassar Bukhari (71) anchored the response. At 192/3 after 45 overs, a Dutch win seemed inevitable. Kevin O’Brien produced a wicket maiden at this stage, and later bowled a splendid last over, conceding just five as Ireland kept the total to 209/6 to prevail by one run.  

Paul Stirling became the youngest man to score a World Cup century with his match-winning 101 in 72 balls against the Netherlands at Kolkata in the 2011 edition (source – Cricket Ireland)

Ireland defend a low total – World Cricket League, Amstelveen, 2010

Not for the first time, disciplined Irish bowling turned the tide in a low-scoring joust. Bernard Loots (3/16) and Mark Jonkman (3/28) combined to bowl Ireland out for a modest 177 – the score read 57/5 in the 22nd over, before John Mooney (54) engineered a lower-order revival.

Despite a wobbly start, the Dutch looked well placed at 132/4 in the 32nd over. But the spin duo of left-armer George Dockrell (4/35) and offie Paul Stirling (4/11) grabbed the last six wickets for just six runs, scripting a 39-run win for Ireland, who went on to win the tourney.

Stirling shines at the Eden Gardens – World Cup Group Stage, Kolkata, 2010-11

Ireland were looking for a second success at the 2011 World Cup after the extraordinary win against England. Powered by Ryan ten Doeschate (106) and captain Peter Borren (84), the ‘Oranje’ piled up a challenging 306. The last four wickets were all run-outs in the final over.

Captain Porterfield (68) and Stirling replied with an opening stand of 177 in 27 overs. Stirling, aged 20, hit 101 in 72 balls with 14 fours and two sixes, making him the youngest World Cup centurion. Niall O’Brien (57*) chipped in too as Ireland won by six wickets in the 48th over.

Rippon seals a remarkable finish – World Cricket League, Amstelveen, 2013

The dependable Ed Joyce (96*), aided by Stirling (49) and Niall O’Brien (50*), steered Ireland to 268/5 after Porterfield called correctly. In reply, five of the top six Dutch batsmen scored between 35 and 45, even as Kevin O’Brien and Stirling kept striking at important junctures.

When Daan van Bunge (45) was fifth out, the equation was 59 in 52 balls. It boiled down to 13 from the last over, with two wickets left. Mooney kept it tight and also affected a run-out. But with 11 to win from two balls, Michael Rippon cracked a four and a six to leave the match tied.

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