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Third encounter of the T20 World Cup and the first at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Group A games begin today with Netherland and Ireland up against each other that saw Ireland dominant the outing, first with the ball did well to restrict Netherland for a low 106 and then with ease chased down the required to begin campaign with a win.

Netherland won the toss and opt to bat first. NETHERLAND’S XI : Max ODowd, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Colin Ackermann, Doeschate, Scott Edwards(w), Roelof van der Merwe, Pieter Seelaar(c), Logan van Beek, Fred Klaassen, Brandon Glover.

IRELAND’S XI : Paul Stirling, Kevin O Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Neil Rock (wk), Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Benjamin White, Joshua Little.

Netherland didn’t have the start they would have wished for as the 3rd ball of play saw a poor call that resulted in Ben Cooper being ran out at the non-strikers end on duck. Joshua Little bowled well and was rewarded with an early wicket as Bas de Leede missed a full toss and saw his leg stump struck on 7(11). A few boundaries helped Netherland finsihed powerplay with 25-2 on board. Curtis Campher had an expensive start that saw Netherland had a good couple of overs before Campher in his 2nd over bagged 4 wickets in 4 balls, the hat-trick included Ackermann on 11, Ten Doeschate and Scott trapped lbw on ducks; Van der Merwe was bowled and was handed a golden duck making it 4 in 4. Netherland were 52-6 at halfway mark. Opener, Max remained unbeaten on the other end and was going well about his business but was falling short of partners at one end, odd boundaries and a big over came Netherland’s way that got Max to his half century in the 16th over with a single. Mark Adair bowled a brilliant spell and was rewarded with the wicket of set batter, Max on 51(47). Just a boundary post Max’s dismissal and a few singles saw Netherland get past the 100 mark in the 19th over. Adair bowled the last over and bagged a couple more as Seelaar’s defensive stay of 21(29) saw curtains and Golver too was handed a golden duck in the same over. Netherland’s poor batting display saw them with finish on 106 in 20.

Max ODowd was the top scorer for his side in a low scoring outing, played a fine knock of 51.

Ireland were fantastic to watch with ball in hand, especially hat-trick man, Curtis Campher. An over from Paul Stirling that saw a wicket at non-strikers end and conceded just a run. Benjamin White bowled 3 and was the only expensive bowler on show. Joshua Little, Mark Adair bowled well with economy of 3.5 and 2.2 respectively, Little had a wicket to his name and Adair had 3. Curtis Campher bagged 4 in an over and was all he had at the end of his 4 with economy under 7. Simi Singh in his 4 didn’t bag a wicket with economy of 6.8.

Curtis Campher in his 2nd over bagged a hat-trick, went on to take 4 in 4.

Ireland in reply were off to a decent start as Stirling-Brien put up a 27 run opening stand that saw curtains as Glover had a wicket to his name, Brien on 9(10) walked back. Couple boundaries before Balbirnie walked back on 8(6) and Fred with his wicket had the last laugh. Stirling and Delany did well, not chasing a big total played sensible and Ireland finished powerplay on 38-2. Runs, boundaries and few maximums kept coming Ireland’s way and with a couple big overs at halfway mark finsihed on 70-2. Ireland continued to accelerate and shift gares, they were inching close to a win but the 59 run partnership saw curtains with the wicket of Gareth Delany on 44(29), Seelaar with the breakthrough. Ireland in no hurry get to the required 106 in 15.1 overs of play, was a very unlike Paul Stirling knock as he remained unbeaten on 30(39) and Curtis Campher remained unbeaten on 7(7). A 7 wicket comprehensive win for Ireland.

Gareth Delany batted brilliantly for his 44 and powered Ireland to win.

Netherland didn’t have enough on board to defend. Fred, Logan and Brandon Glover bowled 3 each with good economy, Fred and Glover were the successful bowlers with a wicket each to their name. Van der Merwe completed his 4 and was expensive on show. Seelaar bowled a couple and a ball more, did have a wicket to his name and bowled with good economy rate.

Ireland were favourites and with a win get tournament underway the way they would have wished. Netherland did stand by their impression of being good with the ball, but the batting will demand intent and approach that they’ve shown several times.

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