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Ireland beat Netherlands in Super-over thriller

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ireland_netherlands.jpgFormer Ireland skipper Trent Johnston held his nerve to help his side secure a dramatic 4 run win in the ‘Super-over eliminator' against The Netherlands at a sun drenched Lord's in their first ICC World Twenty20 warm up match.

After the Irish had struggled to cope with the extra pace of left armer Dirk Nannes, managing to score just 6 runs in the super-over, their cause looked a desperate one. Step forward Trent Johnston, who proved the hero of the hour, restricting Bas Zuiderent to just the one scoring shot, a misfielded two to deep backward square. That fumble proved to be fortunate for Ireland as Zuderent failed to get the next two deliveries away, being brilliantly stumped by Gary Wilson after going wa lkabouts from the second of those.

Darron Reekers also failed to get Johnston's fourth delivery away, and Johnston swooped to throw down the stumps at the non-strikers end, with Ryan ten Doeschate stranded, to hand Ireland what seemed the unlikeliest of victories - cue a personal lap of honour by Johnston, who clearly relishes the big stage.

The game itself ebbed and flowed, such is the nature of these twenty over bashes. Netherlands scored what appeared to a below par 135-9, with Essex player Ten Doeschate top scoring with 29 from 34 balls. Reekers (20), Van Bunge (18), and Peter Borren (17), all got starts, but failed to build an innings of real substance. Borren's 17 was an enterprising and entertaining affair, as he smashed consecutive sixes off Kyle McCallan in his 10 ball sojurn at the crease.

Ireland's most experienced player McCallan bounced back to dismiss Ten Doeschate and the dangerous Edfar Schiferli in consecutive balls, having earlier accounted for Daan van Bunge, to finish with the excellent analysis of 3 for 32.

There were also two wickets apiece for Boyd Rankin (2-24), and Peter Connell (2-28), while Regan West (1-23), was the other wicket taker in the final Netherlands total of 135 for 9.

In reply, although Nannes seemed to cause the most problems, it was Schiferli, the recent player of the tournament at the World Cup Qualifiers, who provided the initial breakthroughs. He removed Jeremy Bray (0), and William Porterfield (11), in identical fashion, Jeroen Smits taking regulation catches behind the stumps, to leave Ireland in some difficulty at 15 for 2.

Andre Botha dismissed any concerns over his recent ankle injury, striking 5 boundaries as he top scored with 35 from 32 balls. He shared in a 56 run stand for the 3rd wicket with 18 year old Paul Stirling, who struck 27 from 22 balls, including the only maximum of the Irish innings, a brutal pull to the midwicket boundary off Ten Doeschate.

The partnership was was undone by a brilliant piece of relay fielding from the cover point boundary, with Peter Seelaar's long throw to Jeroen Smits, saw the wicket-keeper gather and throw down Sirling's stumps with him barely in the picture.

Seelaar then bowled Kevin O' Brien for just 2, and in his next over enticed Botha down the track to present Smits with the easiest of stumping chances, and put the game in the balance at 80 for 5.

Trent Johnston joined Gary Wilson and the pair got the Irish innings back on track, with both running well between the wickets, and striking the occasional boundary to keep up with the required rate. Nannes returned to bowl the 17th over, and his extra bounce produced a mistimed hook from Johnston (17), giving Van Bunge the simplest of opportunities.

Tight bowling from Ten Doeschate meant 20 were needed from two overs, and when Jonkman conceded just 3 from his first 3 balls, that had climbed to 17 from 8. Gary Wilson then crashed consecutive boundaries, to leave the target a much more manageable 9 from the final Seelaar over.

Wilson (22), became Smits fourth victim behind the stumps, and with 8 needed from 4 balls the pendulum had swung back towards the Dutch. Enter Regan West, who has endured a torrid time with the bat in his Irish career to date, and the burly left hander crashed a straight driven four from the first ball he faced, and almost repeated the feat with his second, but a fine stop restricted him to two. The equation now read two from two, but West managed just a single, and the game ended in a tie.

That led to the shoot-out, from which Johnston and Ireland emerged victorious.

Speaking at the press conference following his side's dramatic last gasp win, Ireland skipper William Porterfield said: "It was always going to be Trent. I never entertained picking anyone else. He has a vast amount of experience, and he can mix it up pretty well varying his pace, as was shown with a few slower balls. He loves the big stage and they don't come any bigger than Lord's. He bowled his original four over spell pretty well, and hit the blockhole. He knew where he wanted to put the ball, and executed it to perfection."

"We'll learn from this experience. This is what warm up games are for. To learn and improve - we'll progress and keep building up our momentum. We'll tweak a few things and hopefully be a better team for it."

Ireland's next warm up game is against the West Indies today (Tuesday) at The Oval, starting at 1:30pm.

Mini Scorecard:
Netherlands 135/9 (20 overs)
T Ten Doeschate 29 K McCallan 3-32

Ireland 135/7 (20 overs)
A Botha 35 P Seelaar 3-28

Super-over: Ireland 6-1 beat Netherlands 2-2.

Photograph Copyright: ICC

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