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Match Report
Ian Callender

Ireland beat the rain and the Netherlands to win the first of the two one-day internationals between the teams at Castle Avenue by 70 runs. The second innings was played in a steady drizzle but defending 275 for six, even with a wet ball, proved comfortable enough for Ireland after Kevin O'Brien took three wickets in an impressive first spell.

Albert van der Merwe followed up with two wickets, including the big one of Tom Cooper, the player of the tournament at the recent World League in Holland and Andrew White finished off the Dutch with the next four for his best figures in an ODI. There was no official man of the match but it would have been won, hands down, by Gary Wilson. The Surrey batsman scored 113, his first century for Ireland in his 88th match, and his acceleration, after a cautious start, coincided with Ireland's best overs of the match.

His opening stand of 82 with Paul Stirling used up 20 overs and it took Wilson another 10 overs to bring up his 50 out of 130. But after scoring just two boundaries in his first 97 balls, he then hit three in five and his second 50 came up in just 42 balls with six fours. His only "life' came on 29 when he cut one hard through the gloves of Wesley Barresi, standing up, but otherwise it was a fluent, increasingly confident innings and he was never afraid to rotate the strike with Stirling (40), Alex Cusack (45) and Kevin O'Brien (26) helping themselves to 10 boundaries at the other end.

With the third wicket not falling until the end of the 45th over, John Mooney and Trent Johnston were both promoted up the order and the captain duly hit the only six of the innings. The Dutch bowlers never got a hold on proceedings, after winning the toss, with only captain Peter Borren going at less than five runs an over and, surprisingly, he bowled only seven overs.

Allan Eastwood, despite his five wickets on debut in the Intercontinental Cup match between the teams last week, was the unlucky player left out of the Ireland squad. He may get a chance in the second match tomorrow, however, as Nigel Jones' two overs went for 21. But after O'Brien had reduced the Dutch to 66 for four in the 15th, it was Ireland's four-pronged spin attack who bowled the last 32 overs and despite a few, late lusty blows by Mudassar Bukhari (29) and Peter Seelaar (34 not out) the result and Ireland's elevation to 10th place in the ODI table - above Zimbabwe - was never in doubt.

Cooper looked a class apart from any of his team-mates and hit 10 fours and a six in his innings of 68 which came off just 58 balls before he was tempted down the wicket and stumped by Wilson. That left the Dutch on 115 for five and only the margin of victory was left to be decided, the visitors bowled out with 29 balls unused.

Castle Avenue, Clontarf