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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

The third match of five in the 2008 European Cup and, after a day's rest, a third Irish win. This was a genuine One Day International. It is the 21st match against the Netherlands since the first in 1970. Of the previous 20, 11 were won and seven lost and all seven defeats were in limited overs matches.

Northamptonshire had released Niall O'Brien who came into the Irish team (after a 15 match gap) and kept wicket. Wilson remained in the team as a batsman and fielded in the outfield. Cusack also returned and from the match against Denmark Stirling and McKenna had dropped out. Morgan was scheduled to play but claimed he had been injured in the English 20/20 Championship Final played on Saturday and won by Middlesex and that he had to go for a scan.

The Netherlands team was much the same as that which had lost to Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup match in Rotterdam three weeks previously. However, Reekers was back in the team.

The day began in hazy sun and Ireland sent the Netherlands in. Reekers and de Grooth began to the bowling of Connell and Kevin O'Brien. O'Brien's first over was a maiden to Reekers but the latter hit two fours in O'Brien's second over, to wide long-on and then a square cut. In Connell's third over, Reekers slashed a ball high over slip for four. De Grooth hit a four, his only one, a square cut in O'Brien's third over. Then, in Connell's fourth over, the seventh of the match, the fifth and last boundary of the opening stand was hit by Reekers to wide long-on. With the last ball of the over De Grooth slashed strongly and was caught easily by Cusack at deep third man, hardly having to move. 30-1-10.

Bukhari, at number three, had to face O'Brien as the batsmen crossed in the first dismissal. The third ball Bukhari faced bounced a little and lobbed off his bat to Wilson close in at backward point. 30-2-0. One of Holland's leading batsmen, Van Bunge, was next. In Connell's fifth over he square cut a four. Then O'Brien, in over 10, took his second wicket. Reekers lifted a drive to McCallan at deepish mid-on. 40-3-19. Szwarzcynski (Szwar for short!) was next. The 10 overs score was 41 and the 4th wicket fell at the same score in over 12, O'Brien's sixth. Van Bunge mishit a drive which lobbed over Porterfield's head at short extra cover. Porterfield turned and caught the ball diving forward as it came over his shoulder, a very good catch. 41-4-7.

The poor start by the Netherlands was not yet finished. Ireland called a powerplay for over 11, which was a maiden by Connell to Szwar. Van Bunge, as stated, was out in over 12, off the first ball. Borren, at number six, square cut the fifth ball for four. He took a single from the next ball and those were his only scoring strokes. The next over was the 13th, and Connell's seventh. The second ball seamed away from Borren and he was caught at the wicket. 46-5-5. Henk Mol, left-handed, came next and, at last, a stand developed. In O'Brien's seventh and last over in this spell, Szwar hit a four to bring up 50 in the 14th over. The 15th over was Connell's last in this spell and Mol hit a four to long-off. A double change brought on Botha and Cusack. Ireland called their final powerplay on over 16.

Cusack's first over was a maiden to Szwar but in his second he gave away five wides (a wide which went for four). The score after 20 overs was 76. McCallan came on for over 22 and the score after 25 overs was 92. Then Botha changed ends and replaced Cusack for over 27. A straight four in the air by Szwar brought 100 up in over 28. In over 29, bowled by Botha, the left-handed Mol nibbled and gave Niall O'Brien his second catch. 104-6-18. The stand had put on 58 in 99 balls and was, by far, the highest of the innings. The other Mol, Geert, a right-hander was next. He played out the remaining ball of Botha's over. To the second ball of the next over, the 30th, Szwar was out to McCallan. He took a step back to cut a ball that was too near him to try this. He missed and was bowled. 104-7-33. This score of 33 was the only score of over 19 in the innings. Szwar faced 58 balls and had hit five fours. The score after 30 overs was 104.

The Netherlands captain Smits was number nine and two maidens were played out. In over 33, Botha, Smits hit a four to square leg and, in over 36, McCallan, Mol snicked a four. Kidd replaced McCallan for over 38. Over 39 was Botha's 10th and last. Mol hit the second and third balls for fours, the first a snick, the second a pull. The third ball had him LBW. 127-8-14. Schiferli came in and faced five balls without scoring. Smits faced the first ball of over 42, bowled by Kidd. He played the ball straight to McCallan at gully. Schiferli, the non-striker, seemed to call a run, which was very foolish. McCallan lobbed to Niall O'Brien and Schiferli was run out. 133-9-0.

Seelaar was number 11 and in six overs nine singles were scored off Connell, Cusack and Kevin O'Brien. Then the innings ended with another run out. Smits faced the first ball of over 48 from Cusack. He hit it to short extra cover, Wilson, who was close. Smits took off and was sent back by Seelaar but Wilson's direct hit ran Smits out.

Of Ireland's six bowlers Connell and Botha each bowled 10 overs. Kevin O'Brien bowled nine and McCallan eight. No bowler was expensive and the best return was O'Brien's 3-30 and they were three of the top four.

After lunch Porterfield and Wilson began for Ireland. As usual Schiferli and Bukhari were the Netherlands opening bowlers. For once neither of the Irish openers made a big score and both were out with only 25 on the board. Porterfield did, however, hit four fours in the first three overs. He pulled Schiferli's third ball for four and hit Bukhari to extra cover for another four in the second over. He went one better in Schiferli's second over. Successive balls went for fours, one straight and the next to long-on off the back foot. In the next three overs Wilson faced one ball hitting Schiferli for a three. The next ball he faced was the first ball of Bukhari's second over. He leg glanced it but was caught by the wicket-keeper, Smits, on the leg side. 20-1-3.

Niall O'Brien came in and he was not out when the match was won after 29 overs with 58 not out in 80 balls containing eight fours. It was his 10th score of 50 or more to go with his four centuries. Porterfield did not long survive his opening partner. In the fifth over, Schiferli's third, he snicked and was easily caught at second slip. 25-2-19. Botha came in and watched O'Brien hit four fours in three overs, three of them good shots and the fourth a snick. Borren, at medium pace, replaced Bukhari for over 10. Botha square cut a four which was misfielded and brought up the 50. O'Brien played Borren's second over as a maiden and was then dropped at second slip in Schiferli's seventh over as he now bowled around the wicket. O'Brien was on 25 and the score 66.

Netherlands had called a powerplay at over 11 but did not call another. O'Brien cashed in on his luck by hitting three fours in two overs, the 13th and 14th. Schiferli bowled seven overs for 49 and was replaced by Geert Mol. Botha hit his last ball for four. In over 19, Borren, Botha hit two fours to wide long off to bring the score to 101. Seelaar, slow left-arm, replaced Borren for over 20. Botha square cut his third ball for four. It was Botha's last scoring shot. He did see O'Brien reach 50 in Mol's next over. He did it with a three to extra cover. He had faced 61 balls and hit eight fours. In Seelaar's next over, the 22nd, Botha lifted a simple catch to mid-on. 114-3-38. Botha's 38 contained six fours in 43 balls.

White was next in. He and O'Brien got the 29 runs now required in 45 balls. Having previously scored quickly and fluently O'Brien now only scored seven of those 29 runs. Henk Mol came on for over 25 and bowled three overs, in each of which White hit a four. Mol's third over, the 29th, brought the winning run, a single by O'Brien after White had hooked a four to fine leg. The runs had come in 29 overs at a rate close to five per over.

Netherlands six bowlers had little success. Only three wickets fell and Seelaar, with 1-16 in five overs, had the best figures.

Photographs
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