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irish beaten by dutch courage

Ireland captain William Porterfield was magnanimous after watching an incredible performance from Holland's batsmen snatch away a place in the main draw of the ICC World Twenty20.

The Dutch advanced to the tournament proper yesterday at the expense of Ireland and Zimbabwe by virtue of a superior run-rate after an explosive win over Porterfield's men at Sylhet.

Needing to overhaul an imposing victory target of 190 in just 14.2 overs to progress from the group stage, Holland's batsmen smashed 19 sixes to pass the total with three balls to spare.

Ireland came into the clash knowing all they had to do to progress was win, having already beaten Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates, but after posting 189 for four after losing the toss, they had no answer to the onslaught and suffered a six-wicket defeat.

"We played two and a half very good games of cricket, it's very disappointing today, but it just shows you what can happen in this form of the game," Porterfield said at the post-match press conference.

"That's what makes it a great competition where things like this can happen. We'll bounce back from it."

Stephan Myburgh got Holland's charge off to the perfect start, thumping Andy McBrine for three successive sixes in the second over.

By the time he departed for an emphatic 63 off 23 balls, which included four fours and seven maximums, the Dutch were well on their way.

Tom Cooper's 45 off 15 deliveries was also a key factor, while Wesley Barresi (40 not out off 22 balls) completed the job with a towering six over mid-wicket.

"You've got to give a lot of credit to Holland. They came out and struck the ball pretty cleanly from the off," Porterfield said.

Ireland needed a late surge from Andrew Poynter (57) and Kevin O'Brien (42no off 16 balls) to reach their total, with the pair putting on 101 for the fourth wicket in 7.3 overs.

Porterfield was happy with his side's batting efforts and believes Holland were spurred into action because they had nothing to lose.

"In the context of the game (our total) was slightly above par," he added. "Obviously it's turned out not to be at all but I think that's the way things go in Twenty20 cricket."

Meanwhile, the women's team will represent Ireland at the World Twenty20 next week and although they lost their final warm-up game in Dhaka yesterday to India, the margin of 26 runs sends them there in good spirits.

IMRPOVED

A much-improved bowling performance from their defeat the previous day to Sri Lanka saw them restrict India to 148-4 and opener Clare Shillington then gave Ireland a whirlwind start with 47 from 43 balls.

But from 86-2, Ireland lost six wickets for eight runs and only some late resistance by Louise McCarthy (16 not out) got her side into three figures.

It needed four successive fours from Poonam Raut, who finished 50 not out, to get India to their final total.

Shillington replied with three boundaries in a row in the fourth over and she finished with six fours and a six in an opening stand of 61.

Ireland's first match of the competition proper is against New Zealand on Tuesday in Sylhet.


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