Cutis Campher, Mark Adair star for Ireland as they beat Netherlands by seven wickets
Ireland 107 for 3 (Delany 44, Stirling 30*, Klaassen 1/18) beat Netherlands 106 (O'Dowd 51, Campher 4/26, Adair 3/9) by seven wickets
The third match of the first round under group A of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 was played between Ireland and Netherlands at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Netherland’s skipper Pieter Seelaar won the toss and opted to bat first.
Early blows for the Netherlands
Netherland opener Ben Cooper who was the highest run-getter for his side in T20 World Qualifier 2019/20, got run out in the first over of the game, due to a disastrous call for a single by his partner Max O’Dowd. One down batter Bas de Leede got clean bowled by Joshua Little when the former tried to scoop the ball, but his bat completely missed the ball.
Curtis Campher blew up Netherlands batting line-up with four consecutive wickets
O’Dowd and Colin Ackermann tried to rescue their side from the slump, however, in the tenth over of the innings, fast-medium pacer Curtis Campher wreaked havoc on the Netherlands batters by taking four wickets off four consecutive deliveries.
First up, Campher bowled a delivery wide down the leg side off which Ackermann tried to venture a pull shot but ended up edging it to wicketkeeper Neil Rock. On the next delivery, Campher produced a jaw-dropping delivery to trap Ryan ten Doeschate plumb in front of the wicket for a golden duck. It was a huge blow for the Netherlands team as Doeschate is considered one of the best batters from the non-Test playing nations.
Campher didn’t look satisfied with these two wickets only as he bowled a sharp delivery to trap Scott Edwards in front of the wicket for a golden duck. With this wicket, Campher completed his hattrick but he produced a sensational delivery to clean up Roelof van der Merwe to equalise the world record of taking four wickets in four consecutive balls. It has been earlier done by Lasith Malinga and Rashid Khan. As Campher ran through the batting line-up of Netherlands, it looked like they will fold up below 100.
Mark Adair finishes Netherlands innings on 106
Opener Max O’Dowd stayed glued to the pitch while wickets kept falling at the other end. He completed his fifty in 44 balls and got caught by Harry Tector at long-on. Netherland’s skipper Pieter Seelaar made 21 runs off 29 with the help of two fours to help his side to touch the three-figure mark.
Mark Adair, who ended up as the highest wicket-taker for Ireland in the T20 World Qualifier 2019/20, bagged two more wickets, after taking the wicket of O’Dowd. After losing four wickets off four consecutive balls to Campher in the middle overs, Netherlands again lost three wickets off the last three balls of the innings and got all out on a paltry total of 106 runs in 20 overs.
Ireland lose two early wickets in their innings
Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien opened the batting for Ireland to chase a modest target of 107 runs. Stirling was the highest run-getter in the T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019/20 with a remarkable average of 41.57 and strike rate of 135.34.
His partner O’Brien smashed two back-to-back fours to van der Merwe in the second over of the innings, however, he played a horrendous shot in the fourth over of the innings, which went straight up in the sky to be caught by van Beek at cover. He got out to Brandon Glover, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019/20.
One down batter Balbirnie smacked two fours off Fred Klaassen but got out off the latter’s next delivery, as van der Merwe caught him at mid-wicket.
Paul Stirling and Gareth Delany steady the ship for Ireland
Irish veteran Stirling and two-down batter Gareth Delany added 59 runs for the third wicket to stabilise Ireland’s innings. Delany played a quickfire knock of 44 runs off just 29 balls comprising of five fours and two towering sixes.
With the win in sight, Delany went for attacking strokes, which ultimately resulted in his wicket, as he got clean bowled by Seelaar. Stirling helped his team reach the target in the 16th over to clinch a comfortable victory over Netherlands by seven wickets.
Curtis Campher got the Player of the Match award for his breathtaking spell.
What lies Ahead
Ireland will play their next game against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, which is likely to be the most exciting game in Group A as these are the strongest sides in this group. The losing side Netherlands will be at odds with Namibia on the same day.