Ireland’s pacemen set up big eight-wicket win over Netherlands
Craig Young and Josh Little each take four wickets to help level series in Utrecht
Craig Young took four wickets for 18 runs in the second ODI against the Netherlands in Utrecht. File photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho
Netherlands 157 (49.2 ovs) (M O’Dowd 36; C Young 4-18, J Little 4-39), Ireland 158-2 (43 ovs) (A Balbirnie 63no, P Stirling 52, H Tector 30no). Ireland won by 8 wkts to level series at 1-1
Pacemen Josh Little and Craig Young demolished the Netherlands top order, before Paul Stirling and captain Andrew Balbirnie led Ireland to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over the Netherlands in the second ODI at SV Kampong in Utrecht on Friday.
After winning the toss and opting to bat for the second game in a row, the Dutch side made a solid start with openers Stephen Myburgh and Max O’Dowd negotiating some uneven bounce early. The pair put on 44 for the first wicket before Little once again changed the fortunes of the game.
Bowling at a consistent speed of just under 90 miles per hour, Little firstly cramped up Myburgh (11) and induced him to play the ball on, then the next ball had Ben Cooper edging through to the wicketkeeper for a first-ball duck. Changing angles and coming around the wicket to O’Dowd (36), Little then beat the Dutch opener for pace and knocked back his off stump.
After a brief partnership of 27 between captain Pieter Seelaar (11) and Bas de Leede (23), both players found themselves back in the pavilion within the space of four balls and Netherlands found themselves at 85 for five in the 28th over.
Saq Zulfiqar, taking on a quick single to Harry Tector at mid-wicket, pulled a hamstring in the run and had to retire hurt, while the tail eked out late runs, Netherlands were eventually all out for 157.
Stuart Barnes, the Irish bowling coach, will be delighted with Ireland’s performance with the ball today, led by Young (four for 18) and Little (four for 39), well supported by Andy McBrine (one for 28) and Barry McCarthy (one for 33) who both bowled tight lines and with good control.
In response, Ireland lost William Porterfield for a duck, but Stirling (52) and Andrew Balbirnie (63 not out) put on an 82-run stand to put Ireland well and truly in the driver’s seat. The pair looked comfortable at the crease throughout, with the pitch seeming to play with more consistent bounce as the day went on. Stirring brought up his half-century from 61 balls, but fell soon after miscuing a ball to mid-on.
During his innings Stirling became the first batter in world cricket to pass 500 runs in ODI cricket in 2021 – having scored 541 runs since January at an incredible average of 90.16, with three centuries and two fifties.
Tector (30 not out ) joined Balbirnie and the pair hit an unbeaten 67-run partnership to steer Ireland home for the win – and possibly more importantly, the 10 World Cup Super League points.