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Ireland become first team to qualify for the 2015 Cricket World Cup


Niall O'Brien struck 70 for Ireland

Niall O'Brien struck 70 for Ireland

Niall O'Brien struck 70 for Ireland

Ireland qualified for the 2015 World Cup following a dramatic tie against Holland in Amstelveen.

John Mooney saw his final ball, a slow long hop, swatted over the mid-wicket rope by Michael Rippon to ensure Holland drew level with Ireland's 268 for five.

It mattered not, though, as Ireland grabbed the point they needed to ensure their place at a third successive 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Ed Joyce's unbeaten 96 had paved the way for Ireland to post a testing target but the Dutch, second in the qualification table, remained up with the rate until a late clutch of wickets.

Mooney then looked set to be the match winner when the first three balls of his final over went un-hit and Edgar Schiferli was run out attempting to steal a single.

But after Mooney's penultimate ball was lofted to the mid-off rope he produced a slow bouncer that Rippon dispatched to secure a tie that boosted Holland's own qualification bid.

Joyce was the cornerstone of Ireland's innings as he fell just short of a second one-day international century in Irish colours - after his first against Pakistan in May.

The Sussex left-hander hit seven fours and a six in his 113-ball stay, with Niall O'Brien (50) and opener Paul Stirling (49) providing the bulk of the support.

Holland set about chasing down the target with all of their top-order getting starts.

But after Paul Stirling's part-time spin removed openers Stephan Myburgh and Eric Szwarczynski, Kevin O'Brien (three for 52) picked up Warren Barresi and then, most importantly, Tom Cooper late on.

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Cooper's dismissal left the Dutch needing 17 from the final 13 balls and when Alex Cusack's penultimate over cost just three, 13 were needed from Mooney's last.

The all-rounder looked set to seal the result when Holland failed to score off the first three balls only to lose his composure at the end.

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