Dockrell destroys Dutch to drive Ireland to decider
GEORGE DOCKRELL took 6-39 to spin the Netherlands to defeat by 279 runs in Deventer and secure three-time winners Ireland a place in their fourth InterContinental Cup final.
Ireland extended an overnight lead of 252 past 400 either side of lunch – more to demoralise their opponents than for tactical purposes – then dismissed the home side for 127 to take an unassailable lead at the top of the IC Cup qualifying table.
Dockrell has had an in-and-out season with Somerset, partly due to injury, but as his confidence and form return the only ins and outs yesterday were a succession of Dutch batsmen trudging to and from the middle.
Three of his victims were lbw – the first striking boot before bat to the dismay of Tom Cooper – but a peach of a ball to remove Wesley Barresi didn't give the batsman a chance to get his leg, or anything else, in the way.
It was a delivery of left-armers' dreams – pitching leg and hitting the top of off stump. Not quite as spectacular as leg-spinner Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century' to Mike Gatting but of that ilk and certainly Ball of the Week.
Max Sorensen's opening burst accounted for the Netherlands openers, and The Hills paceman then swapped ends to clatter the stumps when James Gruijters shouldered arms. Sorensen's figures of 3-32 were a bonus on a pitch that had flattened out for the seamers.
The Dutch tail again offered resistance, with 15-year-old spinner Daniel Doran showing all-round potential before contrasting catches at deep mid-wicket and second slip delivered Dockrell's final two wickets to complete his best figures in an international shirt.
Ireland are likely to face either Afghanistan or Nambia in the IC Cup final that will be played in the United Arab Emirates, but before then there is the little matter of reaching the 2015 World Cup finals, with two important qualifiers against the Netherlands on Sunday and Tuesday.