Ian Callender (Sunday Times)
Harry Tector ensured a winning start for Ireland at the Twenty20 pentangular tournament in Oman, seeing his side to victory over Netherlands by six wickets with 10 balls to spare.
Tector, the 19-year-old Dubliner in only his third international, finished 47 not out, his last 28 runs coming off just eight balls as Ireland made light of their victory target of 168.
Mark Adair, another key cog in Ireland's exciting middle order, joined in the rush to the finish, ending the 18th over with a straight six as Brandon Glover was hit for 19.
The Ireland bowlers had also played their part as they restricted Netherlands to 45 from the last seven overs with Adair and Craig Young each taking two wickets in the final two overs
It was the perfect start to a tournament which precedes the T20 World Cup qualifiers in UAE this month and Ireland play the hosts this morning and Hong Kong tomorrow before finishing against Nepal on Wednesday.
Paul Stirling, Boyd Rankin and Tector, who all missed the final match of the Tri-Series in Malahide because of injury, returned to the side in place of Lorcan Tucker, Simi Singh and David Delany who will join up with the squad in Abu Dhabi next week after taking time off for his studies.
The Dutch, who left out Ryan ten Deoschate, had started impressively, hitting 10 boundaries in the powerplay and 18 in the first 13 overs with Ben Cooper hitting half of them in his 65 from 45 balls.
But Ireland, despite losing Kevin O'Brien for 23 in the fifth over, were just two runs behind the Dutch after their powerplay and while once the loss of Stirling (23) and Andrew Balbirnie (32) in the first 10 overs would have proved fatal to Ireland's chances, there is now plenty of talent and big hitting in the middle-order.