Netherlands pull off ultimate coup

Holland

The Netherlands successfully chased a huge 190-run target in less than 14 overs to book a berth in the next stage of the World Twenty20 – and boot Ireland and Zimbabwe out of the competition entirely.

The Netherlands successfully chased a huge 190-run target in a mere 13.5 overs to book a berth in the next stage of the World Twenty20 – and boot Ireland and Zimbabwe out of the competition entirely.

Friday's result at Sylhet Stadium propelled the Dutch to top of Group B, with a superior net run-rate trumping the Irish and Zimbabweans, who also finished with four points.

The match produced all of 30 sixes, as Holland struck 19 to Ireland's 11. Almost no bowler was spared, with seamer Ahsan Malik managing respectable figures of two for 26 in four overs amid the carnage.

Ireland would have all but banked on graduation to the next round on the back of a hefty total of 189 for four, which was built on the back of captain William Porterfield's blitz at the top of the knock, half-centurion Andrew Poynter's fabulous striking through the middle overs and all-rounder Kevin O'Brien's closing cameo.

Porterfield's 47 spanned a mere 32 balls, Poynter's 57 needed just 38 and O'Brien's 42 required only 16. The trio clubbed 10 sixes and 11 fours, spooning slog-sweeps, lofting drives and cranking hooks and pulls left, right and centre across the relatively small venue.

Holland's pursuit was lined with records vast and varied. Opener Stephan Myburgh amassed the equal second-fastest half-century in the history of T20I cricket, aligning with Irishman Paul Stirling's 17-ball feat against Afghanistan in Dubai two years ago.

The highest Powerplay score – 91 – and the fastest team 100 – in exactly seven overs – ensued too, as Irish heads dropped and hearts broke. What Man of the Match Myburgh and sidekick Borren started, wicketkeeper-batsman Wesley Barresi and all-rounder Tom Cooper continued.

The introduction of spinner George Dockrell and seamer O'Brien slowed the Netherlands' advances, but fielder Ed Joyce's dropped catch when Cooper was still in single figures proved tellingly costly.

Cooper soon screamed to 45 from only 15 deliveries, pummeling Dockrell for four consecutive sixes. Brother Ben Cooper followed suit, as did Barresi, with triumph arriving with all of 37 deliveries to spare.

The Dutch have subsequently been pooled with Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and England in the Super10s stage. They will meet the Sri Lankans at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Monday.

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