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Van Meekeren four-for leads Netherlands win

Ireland falls 12 runs short chasing 60, in match reduced to six-overs-a-side due to wet weather

13 March 2016 19:31 By Karthik Lakshmanan, Dharamsala

For most parts on a chilly Sunday (March 13) evening in Dharamsala, it seemed like Netherlands and Ireland would sign off from the ICC World Twenty20 2016 with another washout at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

But the rain that pelted down immediately after Ireland opted to field relented later, allowing the teams to set a record of sorts: the match was reduced to six overs a side, the shortest ever Twenty20 International played.

At the end of an action-packed 73 minutes, it was Netherlands who ended on top, sealing a 12-run consolation win. The batsmen managed to post 59 for 5 before restricting Ireland to 47 for 7. In a match that was expected to see plenty of boundaries, Netherlands’ Paul van Meekeren scalped four wickets (4 for 11), while Ireland’s George Dockrell impressed with three wickets as well.

As one would expect in a six-over game, the Netherlands innings was a see-saw affair with wickets and boundaries alternating. Stephan Myburg started with a bang, hitting two boundaries off Tim Murtagh in the first over, but Dockrell pulled things back in the next, picking two key wickets.

Tom Cooper, who got a promotion as an opener, holed out to mid-on while Roelof van der Merwe followed two balls later looking for another big hit.

Dockrell’s success was a consequence of the nature of the game, but the key aspect was his willingness to flight the ball, even in the Power Play. That’s exactly what made him get another scalp in his next over – Wesley Barressi stumped – and end with excellent figures of 3 for 7.

Amid all this, much to the delight the spectators watching, there were some big hits too. Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, and Myburgh found the boundary – through edges, reverse sweeps and wild slogs – pushing the total along.

The boundaries-and-wickets nature of Netherlands’ innings carried over to Ireland’s chase. Timm van der Gugten dismissed William Porterfield in the second over, but Paul Stirling gave Ireland a bright start, whipping the same bowler for two sixes over fine-leg.

Ireland seemed to be coasting at 28 for 2 after two overs – the reduced Power Play – but there would be more twists. Twice in the next two overs, it lost two wickets off consecutive balls, and along with that, all momentum.

Kevin O’Brien and Stirling perished in attempt to hit big off van Meekeren, while Gary Wilson and Andrew Poynter did the same against van der Merwe.

The manner in which Kevin fell was perhaps the turning point, Pieter Seelar taking a stunning catch diving to his left at deep midwicket.

All of a sudden, Ireland had lost four wickets in a two-over period where it scored only seven runs. The equation – 25 from 12 – still seemed gettable but Mudassar Bukhari ended Ireland’s hopes in the penultimate over, conceding just five runs.

Van Meekeren returned for the final over and helped himself to two more wickets to ensure Ireland returned home winless, while the Dutch had something to smile about.

Click here to view the full scorecard.