Tearing the opposition to shreds

What a win!... Netherlands players celebrate after pulling off a sensational victory against Ireland.-AP

Chasing 190 for victory, and the same target in an improbable 14.2 overs to advance from the first round, Netherlands did the unthinkable, getting home in 13.5 overs against Ireland. Shreedutta Chidananda reports.

India v Pakistan may have been the showpiece encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 proper, but it was not even the most pulsating contest of the day. For, an hour earlier, Netherlands had qualified for the Super 10 in sensational fashion, bashing Ireland senseless in Sylhet.

Chasing 190 for victory, and the same target in an improbable 14.2 overs to advance from the first round, Netherlands did the unthinkable, getting home in 13.5 overs. Stephan Myburgh (63), Tom Cooper (45), Wesley Barresi (40) and the captain Peter Borren (31) went berserk, tearing Ireland to shreds. Myburgh struck four fours and seven sixes, raising his fifty off only 17 balls, the second fastest in T20 internationals. Tom Cooper hammered six sixes after being dropped by Ed Joyce, in a 15-ball-45. In all, the Dutch hit 19 sixes, the most in a T20 international, breaking Australia’s record of 18. The Powerplay score of 91 was also a record, one of several that fell on the day.

At the halfway stage, Ireland would have looked favourite to progress from Group B. A Netherlands win after 14.2 overs would have sent Zimbabwe through. Instead, it was the Oranje that made it.

Hong Kong's Haseeb Amjad (left) and Nadeem Ahmed greet each other after guiding their team to victory against Bangladesh. The host, however, advanced to the Group stage.-AP

Hong Kong, meanwhile, produced arguably the biggest upset of the tournament, defeating Bangladesh by two wickets. It made no difference to either side’s future — the host reached the Super 10 while the victor finished bottom of Group A — but it was a significant result all the same. After Nadeem Ahmed and Nizakat Khan had helped restrict Bangladesh to 108, Hong Kong won with two balls to spare.

In the opening Group 1 game in the Super 10 in Chittagong, Sri Lanka prevailed over South Africa by five runs. Eventually, the win was more comfortable than the margin suggests, but the Proteas made things harder for themselves. Sri Lanka managed 165, thanks mainly to a belligerent 61 from opener Kusal Perera. He struck six fours and three sixes, with three boundaries coming in the first over of the innings, from Dale Steyn. Imran Tahir impressed with his leg-spinners and his wrong-uns, taking three for 26. Although the rest of the batsmen failed to impress, Angelo Mathews picked things up at the end and helped Sri Lanka to 165.

South Africa’s top six batsmen all got starts but none was able to see the team home. The dangerous Quinton de Kock was removed by Lasith Malinga, who returned at the death to secure the game for his side. South Africa needed 56 off 37 balls with eight wickets in hand — a seemingly comfortable position. But A. B. de Villiers fell and the typical South African freeze ensued. Albie Morkel gave hope with a couple of sixes, but his dismissal sealed his side’s fate. Fifteen runs were needed off the last over, a figure that Malinga comfortably defended.

New Zealand later defeated England by nine runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method. Chasing England’s 172, New Zealand was 52 for one in 5.2 overs when heavy rain stopped play. Moeen Ali had top-scored for England with a fluent 36, a knock that went in vain.

THE SCORES

Ireland 189 for four in 20 overs (Andrew Poynter 57, William Porterfield 47, Kevin O’Brien 42, Ed Joyce 28) lost to Netherlands 193 for four in 13.5 overs (Stephan Myburgh 63, Tom Cooper 45, Wesley Barresi 40 not out, Peter Borren 31).

Bangladesh 108 in 16.3 overs (Shakib al Hasan 34, Anamul Haque 26, Nadeem Ahmed four for 21, Nizakat Khan three for 19) lost to Hong Kong 114 for eight in 19.4 overs (Munir Dar 36, Irfan Ahmed 34, Shakib al Hasan three for nine).

Sri Lanka 165 for seven in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 61, Angelo Mathews 43, Imran Tahir three for 26) bt South Africa 160 for eight in 20 overs (J. P. Duminy 39, Quinton de Kock 25).

England 172 for six in 20 overs (Moeen Ali 36, Michael Lumb 33, Jos Buttler 32) lost to New Zealand 52 for one in 5.2 overs (D/L method).