Netherlands end Ireland’s T20 domination

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien.
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien.

Mudassar Bukhari and Peter Borren starred with ball and bat respectively as Holland booked their place in the final of the World Twenty20 Qualifier with a five-wicket victory over hosts Ireland in Dublin.

Bukhari took four wickets on a sluggish Malahide pitch as Ireland collapsed to 128 all out in 19.5 overs, having been 112 for four at one stage.

In spite of a paltry victory target, the game was still in the balance with Holland requiring 31 from the final 24 balls but they got over the line, thanks in the main to captain Borren’s unbeaten 36.

Holland’s victory sets up a clash with Scotland, who earlier defeated Hong Kong at the same ground, and ensured a new champion will be crowned on Sunday, with Ireland having won the last two editions.

The hosts were put into bat first and lost captain Will Porterfield to a rash shot in the third over, with the left-hander’s pre-meditated sweep off Bukhari spooning up to Borren at cover.

Fellow opener Paul Stirling had hammered two fours and a six in his 18 but miscued Bukhari to mid-on before Andy Balbirnie and wicketkeeper Gary Wilson put on a patient 46.

Balbirnie made a run-a-ball 31 before slicing to wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi off Paul van Meekeren, while Wilson could not build on his start after being cleaned up for 20 by Roelof van der Merwe.

Burly all-rounder Kevin O’Brien smashed three sixes in an enterprising 33 from 18 balls but his departure heralded a collapse that saw Ireland lose their last six wickets for the addition of just 16 runs.

Bukhari took the wickets of Stuart Poynter and Stuart Thompson in the same over, giving the seamer figures of four for 28 as Ireland failed to complete their overs.

Holland lost opening batsmen Stephan Myburgh and Barresi for single figure scores before Ben Cooper and Michael Swart steadied the ship with a stand of 57 for the third wicket.

Cooper was the more aggressive of the two although it was Swart who perished with a big hit, lofting straight to Ponter at long-on off O’Brien after making 21.

New man Borren’s audacious ramp went for six but O’Brien struck in his next over when Cooper, on 43, slashed a full toss to deep cover.

Ireland’s hopes of an unlikely victory were squandered when Borren and Max O’Dowd took 16 runs in the 17th over bowled by George Dockrell to turn the tide firmly in Holland’s favour.

Although O’Dowd became O’Brien’s third victim, Borren was able to guide Holland home with five wickets and 11 balls to spare.