Ireland claim tight victory
11 Jul 2007
By: Zac Ritchie
Ireland showed that their World Cup success was no fluke with a nail biting one run victory over the Netherlands in Belfast. Both teams were fielding weakened sides, with Ryan ten Doeschate, Boyd Rankin and Jeremy Bray all unavailable for selection.
Irish captain Trent Johnston won the toss and elected to bat, with opener Eoin Morgan top scoring with 51 as he anchored the innings. Progress was slow as superb bowling from Edgar Schiferli and Billy Stelling kept the Dutch in the game and it wasn?t until Dave Langford-Smith entered the fray that the innings gained momentum as he crashed 31 from 13 balls, including three huge sixes over the leg side.
The Netherlands got their reply off to a good start courtesy to young superstar Alex Kervezee and his opening partner Mudassar Bukhari, putting on 84 for the first wicket. Bukhari then came together in a good partnership with Bas Zuiderent but it wasn?t enough as good fielding and tight bowling prohibited the runs from flowing.
Bukhari eventually fell for 71, the highest score of the match, as the Netherlands required seven runs from the final over in order for victory. Kevin O?Brien held his nerve and a last ball boundary brought the opposition to within one run of upsetting the favourites but ultimately the Dutch fell short.
Eoin Morgan 51, Kevin O Brien 34, Dave Langford Smith 31*
Mudassar Bakhari 3-45, Billy Stelling 1-21
Mudassar Bakhari 71, Bas Zuiderent 36
Alex Cusask 1-14, Kevin O?Brien 1-19
Ireland win by one run
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