MARK ADAIR showed both sides of his all-round game in The Hague yesterday and kept his nerve in a thrilling finish as Ireland squeezed past the Netherlands by one run in their first match of the T20 tri-nations series.

Adair first struck 49 from 24 balls to rescue the Boys in Green from another poor start with the bat and with 150-8 to defend, he then fought off a late rally from the Dutch that took them within a boundary of victory.

Lorcan Tucker was the only top order batter to fire for Ireland, adding a bright 40 from 30 balls to the back-to-back half-centuries he notched in the Pakistan series earlier in the week.

But when the wicketkeeper was caught in the deep, looking for a second six, his side were in trouble at 78-5 and slipped further to 83-6 before Adair launched a blitz of seven fours and two maximums.

The hosts, who beat Scotland on Saturday, were  in control of the chase at 81-2 after 12 overs but a combination of safe catching in the deep, a direct hit by Paul Stirling from cover, and disciplined, sharp bowling reversed the momentum.

Fionn Hand, into the side for the absent Graham Hume and Josh Little, took his chance to impress with some fiery deliveries, including a rapid bouncer, and was rewarded with three wickets, two of them coming in the space of three balls in his final over.

Suddenly, the Netherlands found themselves needing an unlikely 38 from the final two overs - yet very nearly got them thanks to an extraordinary six blitz from Tim Pringle who cleared the ropes three times but could only find a single from Adair’s last ball.

Ireland will take on Scotland at the same venue today.