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Ireland edge out Netherlands in thriller

Ireland held their nerve to defeat their Dutch counterparts in a low scoring, but nonetheless thrilling encounter in Colombo.

The rain which has plagued the quadrangular tournament thus far was again predominant, but eased enough to allow for an abbreviated 28 over ODI contest to take place.

Having been inserted, the Irish got off to a dreadful start, losing young batting prodigy Kim Garth to the fifth ball of the day. Clare Shillington and Eimear Richardson both made 10, but when Rebecca Rolfe (4), Laura Delany (7), and Louise McCarthy (1), all departed in quick succession, the Irish innings was in disarray at 43 for 6.

Emma Flanagan (8) fell soon after, but the lower order staged a late rally with Shauna Kavanagh top scoring with 17, ably supported by skipper Ciara Metcalfe (16), Amy Kenealy (10), and Lauara Cullen (3*).

The last wicket partnership of 25 was to prove crucial in the final stages, as were the concession of 27 extras by the profligate Dutch attack - including no fewer than 22 wides and 1 no-ball.

Best with the ball for The Netherlands were Esther de Lange (3-16), Laura Brouwers (2-18), while there were a wicket apiece for Evelien Gerrits, Esther Lanser and Helmien Rambaldo.

The Dutch reply started briskly with a flurry of boundaries for Miranda Veringmeier (17), but off spinner Eimear Richardson (2-22) removed both her and the dangerous Helmien Rambaldo (1) to bring Ireland into contention.

Esther Lanser and Marijn Nijman both made 21 as Netherlands looked to be well in control at both 54 for 2 and 64 for 3. The introduction of Ciara Metcalfe proved the catalyst for an Irish fightback, as Metcalfe spun her magic to claim 4 for 27, and leave the Dutch tettering on the brink of defeat.

Violet Wattenberg struck two boundaries before being dismissed by the parsimonious Laura Delany (1-15), and when Laura Cullen trapped De Lange lbw with her first ball, 18 were needed with the last pair at the wicket.

Laura Brouwers (8) and Evelien Gerrits (3*) got their side to within a run of the Irish total, before nerves got the better of the pair, and miscommunication resulted in a run out by Shauna Kavanagh and Kim Garth, to spark off joyous scenes amongst the youthful Irish team.