Ireland levelled the three-match ODI series against Netherlands on Friday after winning the second encounter by 8 wickets in Utrecht. Chasing 158 in 50 overs, the Irish team went over the line in 43 overs. They didn’t have a really good start to the chase after losing William Portfield for a duck.
But Paul Stirling and captain Andrew Balbirnie made sure that the last match’s feat doesn’t repeat again where the Ireland side failed to chase down a pretty small total and suffered a defeat by just one run eventually.
While Stirling scored 52 off 64, Balbirnie remained unbeaten at 63 off 127 deliveries. The two batsmen put up a stand of 82 runs for the second wicket before Stirling departed. Balbirnie was then joined by Harry Tector in the middle.
The skipper along with Tector (30*) anchored the team to the finish line. For Netherlands, Logan van Beek and captain Pieter Seelaar scalped a wicket apiece.
Earlier, batting first, Netherlands started off the proceedings in a decent manner as the openers Myburgh and Max ODowd scored 44 runs for the first wicket before Myburgh was sent in the hut for 11 after he was cleaned up by Joshua Little.
Myburgh’s dismissal saw the fall of wickets at regular intervals and the Netherlands team was soon reduced to 111/6 to eventually get bundled out for 157 in the final over.
Craig Young and Little starred with the ball for Ireland as both the bowlers picked up a four-wicket haul each.
Ireland bowler Little who bagged a four-for expressed his delight for making a significant contribution in the team’s win.
“Happy that I was able to contribute to a win. I've lost weight and got fitter. It was a huge disappointment the other day and so I'm absolutely delighted that we've pulled this off,” he said.
Netherlands skipper Seelar explained how the track player in the initial part of the match when they were put into bat by Ireland.
“It was a good toss to lose I guess. Thought that it was going to be a similar surface but it did a little more in the morning. Got a bit flatter in the afternoon. I won't say that it's why we only got 157 but it was trickier in the morning,” he said.
Ireland captain Balbirnie hailed his side’s win and lauded the bowling effort.
“It was (a complete performance). I thought we bowled really well and the chase was much more composed than the other day. Bowlers are in a good spot at the moment and it's good that the batting group could see the team through today,” he said.
With the series now levelled, the decider will be played on Monday at the same venue.