Wilson left with food for thought after Dutch loss
Gary Wilson was given another good indicator of just how much his young team will have to improve in the 12 months before the T20 World Cup finals as Ireland lost to the Netherlands by 21 runs yesterday in the semi-finals of the qualifiers.
After topping Group B to qualify for the tournament proper in Australia next year, Ireland had six days off and were perhaps not as sharp as they would have liked, dropping two catches after choosing to field. And the Dutch piled on 52 in the last four overs for a competitive total of 158-4.
Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien set the platform for the chase with 49 runs in the power play but both openers fell to spin as only 10 runs came from the next three overs.
The Dutch have now beaten the Boys in Green in the last four T20 global tournaments, and the teams could be drawn in the same first round group in Australia, either in Geelong, Victoria or Hobart, depending on today's final games in Dubai.
"The surface was a little bit soft to start and that influenced our decision to bowl first," skipper Gary Wilson said. "There was help in the pitch and they probably got 20 runs more than we were expecting."