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Impressive Ireland blunt Dutch challenge

Associated Press
Mar 18, 2011 at 05:54pm IST

Kolkata: Paul Stirling smashed a whirlwind 101 as Ireland scored a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands on Friday to finish off their World Cup campaign on a high.

Stirling shared an Irish record opening stand of 177 with captain William Porterfield which laid the foundation for a successful run chase after Netherlands posted 306 from 50 overs.

Ireland reached 307-4 in 47.4 overs with Niall O'Brien ensuring the win with an unbeaten 57.

Impressive Ireland blunt Dutch challenge

The Irish chased down a 307-run target on the back of Paul Stirling's stroke-filled century.

Earlier, Ryan ten Doeschate stroked a fluent 106 to steer the Dutch innings.

His effort was supplemented by captain Peter Borren (84) and Wesley Baressi (44), even as Stirling took two wickets.

Ireland finished with two wins in six matches, while the Netherlands failed to register a win.

The Irish made a flying start in the run-chase, with Stirling and Porterfield going for their strokes on a docile pitch at the Eden Gardens before both went out within four balls.

Stirling struck 101 off 72 balls with 14 fours and two sixes while Porterfield made 68 off 93 with 10 fours in an opening partnership that far surpassed their own previous national mark of 118 against Bangladesh at Belfast last year.

Stirling reached his 50 off only 25 deliveries, the second fastest half century in this World Cup after West Indian Kieron Pollard's 23-ball 50 against the Dutch at New Delhi.

Porterfield, who survived a few early chances, was out when he slashed at a delivery from part-time spinner Tom Cooper. Stirling was out in the next over, caught in the deep as he went for a pull off Seelaar.

The proceedings slowed down after the two batsmen departed in quick succession and it took a well-paced half-century from Niall O'Brien to seal the win with his 58-ball knock.

Kevin O'Brien, who had starred in Ireland's memorable win over England earlier in the group stage, finished off the match in style by clobbering two huge sixes off left-arm spinner Pieter Seelar in his score of 15.

"It was great way to finish a tour — we've had a great time in India," Niall O'Brien said. "We played really good cricket... It's great to finish with a good win chasing 300."

Dutch captain Borren conceded after the match that his lineup should have set a higher total but finished with a bizarre sequence of four run-outs on the last four balls of the innings.

"We probably left a few out there," he said, referring to the low scoring rate in the last over.

Ten Doeschate, who will have Eden Gardens as his home ground when he joins the Kolkata Knight Riders for the Indian Premier League next month, continued the fine form that netted him scores of 119 against England and 53 not out against the Bangladesh earlier in the tournament.

He became the third batsman to notch two centuries in this World Cup after Sachin Tendulkar of India and South African AB de Villiers, helping his team record its best total of the tournament.

Ten Doeschate shared a solid 121-run stand for the fifth wicket with Borren, who pushed up the run rate later in the innings with an 82-ball knock, and 60 with opener Barresi.

Barresi, who retired hurt on two after being hit on the back of his head by a throw from the deep, returned to strike four boundaries and two sixes before being trapped lbw by off-spinner Paul Stirling.

Ireland missed the services of left-arm spinner George Dockrell for most of the innings after he injured his shoulder fielding on his follow-through during his fourth over.

(Full Scorecard)

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