Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie says disappointment against Afghanistan must be cast aside when Ireland begin their three-match ODI series against the Netherlands, with World Cup qualification very much a marathon rather than a sprint.

While the hosts in Utrecht make their bow in the World Cup Super League series, it's is Ireland’s third of eight three-match series.

The top eight teams in the 13-team competition book their ticket for the next 50-over World Cup in India in 2023, with the other five making a global qualifier, along with the best of the second tier of cricketing nations.

Ireland’s last outing was a disappointing series defeat against Afghanistan, where Graham Ford’s side lost all three games.

Captain Balbirnie concedes that the loss was a big set-back towards World Cup qualification, but he isn’t losing sight of the bigger picture.

The 30-year-old says the upcoming series – starting at 9.30 tomorrow morning and games on Friday and Monday – should allow the squad put some of those wrongs to right.

"I don’t think we were all that bad in January, we just couldn’t finish some good work," he told RTÉ Sport.

Paul Stirling in action against Afghanistan earlier this year

"Our message has been not to get too caught up in the points in the Super League. It’s a long process and we are going to have to play some good, consistent cricket to qualify automatically."

The plan is to be "there or thereabouts" by the end of the cycle, and that is likely to require a winning away performance at Sportpark Maarschalkerweerd.

It is a first clash of the sides in seven years, but Ireland's record in this fixture makes for good reading; one defeat in 10.

However the Dutch bowling looks potent, and showed enough in practice against Scotland last week to suggest they will have their owns sights on victory.

The Netherlands have a really good, experienced bowling attack

Stephan Myburgh and Max O’Dowd are likely to cause problems at the top of the order, but the home side will also be missing some experienced players so question marks remain over their batters.

"They are still a dangerous outfit," Balbirnie insists. They have earned their right to be in this World Super League and will be looking for maximum points, like us.

"They have a really good, experienced bowling attack, two or three ply their trade in England. They have some good homegrown players and they are well coached. We will have to be on our game."

The inter-provincial series, the most competitive Balbirnie says he has experienced, has helped some players play their way back into form.

William Porterfield is back in the Irish fold

The captain says he has been particularly pleased by the performances of long-time captain William Porterfield after being omitted from the last eight-one day internationals, and left-hander George Dockrell, winning a recall as an all-rounder.

"With William, he was never out of the picture, it was just there were other guys we wanted to look at and maybe deserved a place. We don’t have the pool of players to completely drop people off the system

"He’s put in some pretty good performance sin the inter-provincials series and he has earned his place back in the squad.

"George didn’t get a contract for this year, was told to go away and turn himself into a batter and he has done that."

The beauty of this World Cricket League is you get a lot of opportunities against the best in the world

With South Africa and Zimbabwe looming on the horizon, Balbirnie knows it is crucial to build momentum, starting tomorrow morning in Utrecht.

"It was amazing to see the women back playing last week in Stormont, so it has got the juices flowing for us wanting to play at home.

"The beauty of this World Cricket League is you get a lot of opportunities against the best in the world. To have South Africa to come to our shores for the first time since 2007 is really exciting.

"We want to go into the South Africa and Zimbabwe series with points on the board."