The Netherlands were too strong for Ireland in Dubai. Image Credit: ICC

Dubai: Netherlands entered the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifiers defeating Ireland by 21 runs in the first semifinal at the Dubai International Stadium. Batting first, Netherlands posted 158 -4 and restricted Ireland to 137-9.

Ireland won the toss and elected to field. Netherlands lost an early wicket when opener Max O’Dowd fell to Ireland’s promising pacer Craig Young for 17. Soon Young clean bowled one-drop batsman Colin Ackermann for 7.

Ben Cooper kept the scoreboard moving and hit 37 runs off 35 balls. Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar chipped in with 21 runs.

Netherlands’ total swelled through Ryan ten Doeschate’s unbeaten 43 and Roelof van der Merwe’s 25 not out.

Chasing the score, Ireland got off to a good start. Their openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien put on 52 runs in 6.6 overs. A double strike from van der Merwe put Ireland in trouble. He had O’Brien caught by Cooper for 22 and then clean bowled Stirling for 29.

Soon Fred Klaasen struck twice to remove Gareth Delany for 20 and Andy Balbirnie for 8. Skipper Seelaar too struck twice to give Netherlands control over the match by taking the wickets of Harry Tector (7), Ireland’s skipper Gary Wilson for 2 and Mark Adair too for 2. George Dockrell, fought hard to pull his team close to the target through an unbeaten 25.