Andrew Balbirnie became just the third Ireland player after Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce to record an International double century at Malahide on Wednesday as William Porterfield's team took a firm hold after two days of their Intercontinental Cup clash against the Netherlands.
The former Middlesex batsman was in sublime form as he hit 23 fours and two sixes in a marathon, 336-ball 205 not out that allowed the home side to declare their first innings on 477-6.
Balbirnie shared a 183-run stand with Leinster Lightning team-mate John Anderson (74), before teaming up with Gary Wilson (39) to add another 76 for the fourth wicket. The in-form batsman rounded off an impressive showing with an unbroken 60-run partnership with Jacob Mulder (38 not out ) as Ireland piled on the runs.
Shane Snater was by far the pick of the Dutch bowlers as he claimed what was an impressive five for 116 in the circumstances but elsewhere the batting side were thoroughly dominant.
Boyd Rankin (two for 26) gave his side a dream start early in the Netherlands' reply as he reduced the visitors to nine for two before an 83-run third wicket partnership between Ben Cooper and Dan ter Braak (32) repaired much the damage. A couple of late wickets for Mulder (two for 38) put Ireland back in the box seat however and although Cooper remains unbeaten overnight on 81, Ireland will feel it was very much their day.
Day three will start at the slightly earlier time of 10.30 on Thursday as the sides bid to recover overs lost to rain in Dublin throughout the day.
ICC INTERCONTINENTAL CUP
(at Malahide): Ireland 477-6 dec (131 ovs) A Balbirnie 205no, J Anderson 74, W Porterfield 60, E Joyce 43, G Wilson 39, J Mulder 38no; S Slater 5-116) lead the Netherlands 140-5 (41 ovs) (B Cooper 81no, D ter Braak 32; B Rankin 2-36, J Mulder 2-38) by 337 runs.