Cricket: Stirling work sinks Dutch
Paul Stirling smashed five sixes in seven balls at Clontarf yesterday to hurry Ireland to an embarrassingly easy nine-wicket victory over the Netherlands, and a 2-0 triumph in the RSA Series.
Ireland bowled the Dutch out for 125 in between showers and then knocked off the runs with nearly 30 overs to spare.
When Stirling was in full flow -- smashing off-spinner Adeel Raja for three consecutive sixes and a fourth in the same over -- it looked as though the one-sided contest might be over even sooner.
But after clobbering 38 runs from the final 13 balls of his innings -- most of them over mid-wicket -- Stirling looked for one boundary too many and was caught and bowled for a brilliant 62.
Gary Wilson, who scored a century in the opening game on Monday, steered the innings home from there and was 48 not out, striking the winning boundary from the third ball of the 21st over.
The Dutch probably regretted their decision to bat, as Ireland's battery of seam bowlers made the most of the movement available through the air and off the pitch.
Stand-in skipper Trent Johnston led the way with two wickets in his opening burst but it was the change duo of Nigel Jones and John Mooney who really put the brakes on any Dutch hopes of squaring the series.
Jones began with a double-wicket maiden before conceding a miserly 20 runs from 10 overs, but it was Mooney who struck the crucial blow -- having Dutch danger man Tom Cooper smartly caught by Wilson standing up to the stumps for 25. Ironically, Mooney, who took 2-16, would not have bowled if Alex Cusack had been fit to turn his arm over.
The panic in the visitors' ranks was highlighted by the running out of Mudassar Bukhari when he attempted a second run to Mooney at deep point.
Tailender Pieter Seelaar top-scored with a breezy 34 but when another run-out ended the Dutch innings in the 48th over it was only a question of how long it would take Ireland to win.
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