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Ireland on verge of World Cup qualification after win against Netherlands

Updated: Sunday, 07 Jul 2013 20:05 | Comments

Ireland star Kevin O'Brien
Ireland star Kevin O'Brien

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Ireland are on the verge of qualification for the 2015 World Cup after beating the Netherlands by 88 runs in Amsteelveen.

Chasing 237 for victory, the Dutch had been well placed at 77 for two in just 16 overs.

However, an inspired Kevin O'Brien ripped the heart out of the Dutch middle order, claiming four wickets for just 13 runs - his best figures in ODI cricket - as the hosts collapsed to 148 all out in 36 overs.

O'Brien's four wicket haul included the important wicket of the prolific Tom Cooper for just eight, and the Netherlands’ top scorer Wesley Barresi for 55. Baressi had faced 67 balls, striking eight boundaries as the Dutch threatened at one stage to chase down an Irish total of 236.

Paul Stirling had dismissed the dangerous pairing of Stephan Myburgh (22) and Michael Swart (one), and when O'Brien got in on the act, the pendulum had swung decisively in favour of Ireland.

Earlier, skipper William Porterfield had benefitted from an early reprieve – a dropped second ball on 0 - to top score for Ireland with 79 from 118 balls.

Porterfield anchored the Irish innings, sharing a third wicket stand of 125 with Niall O'Brien (70) after Edgar Schiferli had taken the wickets of Paul Stirling (one) and Ed Joyce (22) to leave Ireland in early difficulty.

O'Brien struck four boundaries in his 70 from 107 deliveries, as he and Porterfield showed all their experience to rescue Ireland from a potentially tricky position.

Kevin O'Brien struck a quickfire 32 from just 22 balls to give the innings late impetus, but his dismissal saw a flurry of wickets and Ireland had to settle for 236.

In the end though, it was more than enough, and Ireland have one foot on the plane to the 2015 World Cup.

Ireland now have 19 points from 11 games, four ahead of Scotland with a match in hand.

That game takes place at the same venue on Tuesday, where another win will secure not only qualification but the outright title of World Cricket League champions.

Ireland 236 all out (49.5 overs, W Porterfield 79, N O'Brien 70, K O'Brien 32, E Joyce 22, Mudassar Bukhari 3-41, Ashan Malik 3-51) beat The Netherlands 148 all out (36 overs, W Barresi 55, P Borren 34, S Myburgh 22, K O'Brien 4-13, P Stirling 2-28) by 88 runs.

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