(Pakistan Point News - 15th Oct, 2019) ABU DHABI, 15th October, 2019 (WAM) – Ireland’s cricketers got off to a good start yesterday in a warm-up match against The Netherlands at the Zayed cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the T20 ICC World Cup Qualifiers that begin on Friday. Ireland scored 156 for 8 wickets in their 20 overs, then bowling out the Dutch side for 126, for a 30 run victory.
After losing the toss and being sent in to bat first, Ireland lost star opener Paul Stirling early for 5. Three further wickets fell in the next six overs and Ireland were precariously sitting at 55-4 in the 8th over, in desperate need of a counter-attacking innings. Up stepped captain Gary Wilson who struck 44 from 32 balls, including 5 fours and a six. He was ably supported by Harry Tector (21 from 20 balls) and Mark Adair (24 from 13 balls, including 2 sixes).
The Irish batters battled hard to build a competitive total against a determined Dutch attack, and ended up posting 156-8 from their 20 overs, with G. Wilson scoring 44 and Dutch bowler T. van der Gugten taking 2 wickets for 20 runs.
In response, the Dutch openers led by Tobias Visee started well, hitting 37 from the first 29 balls, but the wicket of Max O’Dowd (6) – a stumping by keeper Wilson from Gareth Delany, started a top-order collapse. Three wickets fell for six runs over the next 15 balls, and the Netherlands found themselves at 43-4 and a required run-rate heading towards 10 runs an over. The damage was mainly done by paceman Craig Young who claimed two wickets in the space of three balls. Young went on to finish with commendable figures of 3-21 from his 4 overs.
As the required run rate grew, further wickets tumbled – Mark Adair putting the icing on the Irish cake by claiming three wickets in the last five balls of the innings to finish with 3-28, and the Netherlands were bowled out for 126.
Ireland are in Group B for the T20 World Cup Qualifier, competing against the UAE, Oman, Jersey, Hong Kong, Canada and Nigeria. Their first game in the Qualifier is against Hong Kong, also at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Friday 18th October.