Home » Ireland fight back to begin Netherlands T20I Tri-Series with victory

Ireland fight back to begin Netherlands T20I Tri-Series with victory

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Crucial contributions from Mark Adair and Fionn Hand ensured Ireland Men kicked off their tri-series campaign with a dramatic one-run victory over the Netherlands on Sunday.

Having been put into bat first by their hosts, Ireland set Netherlands a target of 151 for victory. Adair ensured the Irish got to 150-8 from their 20 overs, his innings of 49 from just 24 deliveries including seven fours and two sixes.

Hand then turned the game on its head with a superb spell of 3-18, with his fourth and final over – the 16th of the match – proving critical as he first picked up the crucial scalp of Bas de Leede (32) and then removed Teja Nidamanuru two balls later.

It looked to set up a comfortable win for the tourists but Tim Pringle’s remarkable hitting (35* from 13 balls) left Netherlands needing 20 from the final over and then three from the final ball. Adair (2-34), though, saw Ireland over the line as Pringle could only manage a single in a nerve-wracking finish.

Netherlands had already beaten Scotland in the opening match of the tri-series between the three nations on Saturday in what is a highly consequential set of fixtures at Voorburg CC. These matches not only serve as crucial 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup preparations for Ireland and Scotland but could also determine who qualifies for the 2026 event. The top-12 teams in ICC’s official world rankings by the end of the upcoming T20 World Cup will likely qualify for the next edition, with Ireland currently 11th, Scotland 13th, and Netherlands 15th.

The home nation were quick to put Ireland into bat after winning the toss and made an excellent start by removing Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling, and Harry Tector inside the powerplay.

Lorcan Tucker, who scored successive half-centuries in his last two T20Is against Pakistan, continued his good run of form, top-scoring with 40 from 30 balls. His innings included five fours and a six but came to an end courtesy of the bowling of Tim Pringle in the 12th over.

When George Dockrell then departed with the score 83-6, it looked as though Ireland would post a total some way below par. Gareth Delany (18*) and Adair, who fell in the final over just one short of a second T20I half-century, went on to ensure the Irish bowlers had something to bowl at as they put on 66 for the seventh wicket.

In reply, the Netherlands made a steady start with the bat, but Ireland managed to strike with the final ball of the powerplay thanks to Curtis Campher’s breakthrough. Campher went on to collect a second wicket and was the pick of the Irish bowlers until Hand came roaring into action. The 25-year-old was one of the changes to the side from the final match against Pakistan and grabbed his opportunity with both hands. 

Following his 16th over heroics, Ireland were firmly in the driving seat until Pringle took the game to the very brink and caused some late nerves. Fortunately, Adair held his. Ireland is back in action on Monday when they face Scotland at the same venue.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland v Netherlands, 1st T20I, Voorburg CC, The Hague, Netherlands — 19 May 2024

Ireland 150-8 (20 overs; M Adair 49, L Tucker 40; T Pringle 3-32, D Doram 2-27, P V Meekeren 2-27) 

Netherlands 149-8 (20 overs; T Pringle 35*, M O’Dowd 33, BD Leede 32; F Hand 3-18, C Campher 2-33, M Adair 2-34) 

Ireland won by 1 run

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