25 July 2015
Netherlands pips Ireland to reach final
Bukhari's 4 for 28 proves decisive before Borren leads the way in chase; side to meet Scotland in final on Sunday
Bukhari's match-winning spell of 4 for 28 in four overs kept Ireland to 128 all out in 19.5 overs.
It was Mudassar Bukhari, the right-arm medium pacer, who came to the fore after Peter Borren, his captain, elected to field at The Village in Malahide. Bukhari's match-winning spell of 4 for 28 in four overs kept Ireland to 128 all out in 19.5 overs. Borren then played a crucial hand in the chase, contributing an unbeaten 36 off 24 balls to see his team through as Netherlands made 129 for 5 in 18.1 overs.
Bukhari dented Ireland early, removing William Porterfield and Paul Stirling, the two Ireland openers, early. Porterfield was Bukhari's first victim, when the bowler had the Ireland captain caught off the very first ball he delivered. He then had Stirling caught for 18 at mid on in the next over.
Andy Balbirnie and Gary Wilson, the wicketkeeper batsman, partially rebuilt by putting on 44 for the third wicket before Paul van Meekeren entered the wickets column with the scalp of Balbirnie, who was caught behind. He had made a run-a-ball 31.
Kevin O'Brien joined Wilson and added 21 more, while making 33 quick runs himself. Roelof van der Merwe, the left-arm spinner, sent back Wilson with one ball remaining in the 15th over.
O'Brien perished by the sword, caught by van Meekeren. He had struck three sixes in his 18-ball knock. Thereafter, Ireland lost five wickets for 16 runs.
While Bukhari was the pick of the lot, all of the Netherlands bowlers had superb figures to their name. Van Meekeren finished with 2 for 14 in his four overs, while van der Gugten took 2 for 16 in 3.5 overs, and van der Merwe ended his quota with 1 for 24.
Afterwards, Bukhari said Netherlands was not done yet. "This whole tournament, we came in with a plan," he said. "We wanted to qualify. Not only qualify, but we definitely wanted to win this tournament. So we are on the right side at the moment. We guys have put in effort. We are not done yet. Tomorrow is another day."
Netherlands, too, lost its openers early and with the score on 16 for 2 after three overs, Ireland had begun its defence of a modest total well.
That would gradually change as Ben Cooper and Michael Swart put on 57 for the third wicket in 49 balls. O'Brien removed both batsmen in consecutive overs. Swart was the first to go when he mistimed a hit to long on to fall for 21.
Cooper, who top-scored with 43, then holed out to deep point and with 45 needed in 38 balls, the game was still open.
Borren, in the company of Max O'Dowd, added 34 more for the fifth wicket in 22 balls. O'Brien struck for a third time when he had O'Dowd caught at deep mid wicket before Borren sealed the game with a boundary off John Mooney.
O'Brien ended with figures of 3 for 26 in four overs.
Netherlands will face Scotland, who beat Hong Kong earlier in the day, in the final to be played at the same venue on Sunday.
"I think it’s definitely going to be a great game tomorrow," said Bukhari. "Both teams are playing good cricket. Last few games, Scotland have played really well and our team individuals have performed really well. Hopefully we’ll have a great game tomorrow."