Ireland came to this match knowing that a win would see them European champions and undefeated in the tournament. Ireland won the first European championship played in Denmark in 1996. In that two division tournament Ireland were also undefeated and beat Holland in the final. Other wins could have and should have come in Ireland in 2002 and in Holland in 2004. Holland had lost narrowly to Scotland two days before this match, so they had to win but if Ireland could keep any defeat to a narrow margin Ireland would be winners on run rate. In fact the match became a "no result", one point each, by the narrow margin of one over. Ireland won the toss and batted 50 overs. Holland batted 19 overs and rain prevented any more play. The minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match was 20. Holland were 125-5 in their 19 overs. They needed to be 153-5 after 20 overs to win on the Duckworth/Lewis method. So Ireland won this sixth European Championship with seven points out of a possible eight.
Bray, Botha and Johnston returned to the Irish team with Carroll, Rankin and P Mooney dropping out. Holland suffered through injury to a leading bowler Schiferli. They had five players who played in the 2004 European Championship in Holland. They were Zuiderent, Reekers, de Leede, Van Troost and Smits. The day at Ayr was grey with rain predicted. The pitch had a touch of green and was slightly damp but on winning the toss Ireland batted. Stelling, a newcomer at quick medium pace, and Reekers bowled to Porterfield and Bray. Bray hit a four off Stelling but was out in the sixth over. He played on playing a forcing shot off the back foot to Reekers. 15-1-4. Since making 59 against Hampshire in the season's first match, Bray has scored only 108 runs in 12 innings. Botha came in and hit his third ball over mid-wicket for four and, three overs later, he square drove a four. The 10 over score was 29. Holland called a Power Play and all went well until Porterfield took 14 off the 15th over, the second bowled by ten Doeschate. Three of the first four balls of this over went for four, a slash to third man, a square cut and a cover drive. Undaunted, Holland called their final Power Play for overs 16 to 20. 36 runs came in these five overs bowled by ten Doeschate, Borren, medium paced, and Van Troost, left-arm medium. Porterfield hit two fours in those overs and Botha hit three. The last ball of the 20th over, bowled by Borren, proved fatal to Porterfield. He pushed out carelessly and was caught and bowled. 93-2-48. It was Porterfield's second forty of this tournament but he has yet to make a maiden half-century. He faced 64 balls and hit five fours. N O'Brien came in and saw Botha dropped at the wicket in over 23, bowled by Van Troost, when 37 with the score at 101. 100 had come in over 22. In over 24 Botha hit high and hard back to the bowler, Borren, who deflected the ball which short extra cover nearly caught. Botha celebrated with an off drive and a square cut, each for four.
The 25 over score was 118. De Leede, medium, came on for over 26 and off spinner Kashif for over 29. The 30 over score was 140 so with only two wickets down at least 280 was expected and perhaps 300. In two overs this prediction got a dent. Botha had reached 50 in over 27, off 58 balls, but in over 31 he skied Kashif to short mid-wicket, a totally unnecessary risk at the time. 141-3-56. Gillespie came in but the first ball he faced was the first ball of the 32nd over, bowled by de Leede, to which he was lbw. 142-4-0. In 15 innings in 2006 Gillespie has four noughts, three of them in the last six innings. White steadied the ship with N O'Brien. There was a stand of 48 in exactly 48 balls. White hit two fours in the stand. O'Brien brought up 150 in over 33 with a straight four after an advance down the pitch to Kashif. An assault began in over 38, bowled by de Leede. 11 came from it with two fours to O'Brien. Both batsman hit fours in Kashif's next over, O'Brien's bringing him to 52 in 58 balls.
The next ball, bowled by de Leede, had O'Brien flashing at a ball which kept a little low. He was caught at the wicket. 190-5-53. O'Brien was now averaging 50.82 in 25 innings, six of which went past 50. With McCallan in the score after 40 overs was 192. 200 came up in over 41 but White was out in over 43. Stelling had returned. To his fourth ball White went down the pitch and was caught at long-off. 206-6-24. K O'Brien and McCallan had a splendid attacking partnership. 58 runs came in just under six overs which were bowled by Stelling, de Leede, Reekers, Borren and ten Doeschate. O'Brien led off with a six over mid-wicket in de Leede's 10th over. Then, in successive overs, McCallan hit five fours off Reekers and Borren. These two overs, numbers 46 and 47, took the score from 228 to 257. In the next two overs the remaining four wickets fell. K O'Brien was first to go in over 49, bowled by Borren. He was caught by long off, running to his right. 267-7-24. Having crossed, McCallan hit a four and a single off the next two balls. J Mooney spooned the fifth ball to wide mid-on. 269-8-0.
Langford-Smith took a single off the last ball of the 49th over and two off the first ball of the last over, bowled by ten Doeschate. Langford-Smith mishooked the second ball to short fine leg. 272-9-3. Johnston batted at number 11 due to his broken finger. He took a single off the first bowler and McCallan's single to wide mid-on took him to 50 off the next ball. His innings had lasted 32 balls with eight fours. This was McCallan's 10th 50, to add to his two centuries. The last 50 was 22 innings ago in early 2005 against MCC at Bangor. Johnston faced the last ball of the innings. It went to the wicket-keeper as Johnston set off for a run. He was run out when just a few steps up the pitch. Despite the last four wickets falling for just 10 runs, 274 was a very satisfactory score. 82 came in the last 10 overs, 49 of them from McCallan. Holland used seven bowlers. Only de Leede bowled 10 overs, 10-0-46-2. The main wicket taker was Borren, 7-0-54-3. Of the others only ten Doeschate, 5-0-35-1, was expensive. The 50 overs had been bowled very quickly, taking about 190 minutes.
At 3.30 p.m., rain having slightly delayed the start, Zuiderent and Reekers set-off after a 275 run target. Johnston's first over, to Zuiderent, produced one run, a wide. Langford-Smith bowled two wides to Reekers who then took two fours to fine leg where there was no fielder. Each batsman hit a further four each. Then, in over five, Zuiderent pushed out to Johnston and was lbw. 29-1-8. This was the start of a spell of four wickets in eight balls for no runs. Ten Doeschate came in and saw Reekers run out from the second ball of Langford-Smith's third over. Reekers played the ball to Porterfield at deep gully and set off. Porterfield parried the ball but recovered quickly and threw in. Meanwhile ten Doeschate refused the run but Reekers could not get back in time. 29-2-16. Stelling was out first ball. He glanced to wicket-keeper N O'Brien and walked without waiting for a decision. 29-3-0. Van Bunge was bowled by the second ball he faced which kept a little low. 29-4-0. De Leede survived the last ball of this over.
Johnston bowled the seventh over with three slips in place. Ten Doeschate hit a four to fine leg. After the first ball of the eighth over rain stopped play. 28 minutes were lost and this, together with the delayed start to the innings, lead to a two over reduction in the innings. This meant that Duckworth Lewis system came into play and the new target was 272 to win in 48 overs. The next 12 overs before the match was abandoned was very different to what had gone before. It did not start much differently. The eighth over, bowled by Langford-Smith, was a maiden to de Leede. Ten Doeschate had a four in the ninth over as did de Leede in the 10th. The final ball of this over moved away from de Leede who was caught at the wicket. 47-5-7. Enter 16-year-old Kervezee to join ten Doeschate. Ireland called a Power Play starting with over 11. 20 runs came in it, 13 of them in over 14. Porterfield, at gully, made a great effort to catch ten Doeschate in over 12 off Langford-Smith. He dived to his right but could not hold on to the ball. 50 was up after this over.
Ten Doeschate hit a six and a four in over 14, bowled by Langford-Smith but over 15, bowled by Johnston, was a maiden. The score was now 67 and with J Mooney replacing Johnston another Power Play, commencing with over 16, was called. This one was expensive. Only four overs of it could be bowled but they cost 58 runs! Mooney's first over went for 22. This included a boundary wide and two fours, a pull to square leg and a hit to fine leg, and a hooked six to square leg, all to ten Doeschate. Johnston's ninth over only cost five runs. Then Mooney was given another chance. This over cost 18 runs. Ten Doeschate hit successive sixes, one square off a long hop and one to wide long-on. This second six took him to 52 in 36 balls with four sixes and five fours, 44 out of 52 in boundaries. The next over was Johnston's 10th. It cost 13 with the youthful Kervezee hitting a four to wide mid-on and another four to backward square. With Botha preparing to bowl the critical 20th over, the rain came and there was no further play.
No Man-of-the-Match award was made. Ireland used only three bowlers. Langford-Smith took 3-41 in seven overs. It was his fourth three wicket haul in the Tournament. He had bowled 30 overs and conceded 107 runs. So his 12 wickets cost only approximately 9 runs each. Mooney will want to forget his figures - 2-0-35-0!
- Trent Johnston
- Ryan ten Doeschate
- A six hit by ten Doeschate
- Dave Langford-Smith is frustrated as ten Doeschate hits another boundary
- Trent Johnston bowling
- ten Doeschate pulls John Mooney for six
- Tony Hill signals a wide in the rain
- Alexei Kervezee and Ryan ten Doeschate come off the field
- Richard Holdsworth presents Dave Langford-Smith with his medal
- A very happy Trent Johnston
- William Porterfield, Peter Gillespie, Kyle Mc Callan and Roy Torrens with the trophy
- Richard Holdsworth presents Trent Johnston with the Division One Trophy
- Trent Johnston
- Paul and John Mooney