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Ireland qualify for 2015 Cricket World Cup in thrilling fashion

Netherlands v Ireland, Amstelveen, July 9
Netherlands v Ireland, Amstelveen, July 9

IRELAND secured their spot in the 2015 World Cup  after clinching a nail-biting draw with the Netherlands in the last over in Amstelveen.

The team have achieved qualification for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand with two qualifiers against Scotland still to be played September.

The 268-5 tie to the  Netherlands 268-9 followed on from Ireland’s win over the Netherlands by 88 runs on Sunday in the first of this week’s back-to-back World Cup qualifiers.

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Ireland had reached 268-5 with Ed Joyce not out at 96 off 113 balls, and Niall O’Brien and Paul Stirling amassing 99 between them.

Trent Johnston remained unbeaten with 21 from 15 balls, but the Irish recognised that focus would now need to shift to their bowling.

It was the Dutch then left to chase this score, and they did so by conceding their first wicket in the 27th over for 135.

Drama-filled the last two overs with the home side seeking 16 to win.

The visitors edged closer to cementing their World Cup position after Alex Cusack bowled an impressive over which saw Dutch batsman Mudassar Bukhari’s wicket taken and only three runs gained.

The 50th and final over required the Netherlands to get 13 from 6 balls, but the back and forth nature of this meeting between the two sides led to a misunderstanding over whether securing a tie would even ensure 2015 qualification for the Irish.

Dutch batsman Michael Rippon was the star for the home side hitting John Mooney for an incredible four and six in his last two balls; Porterfield’s dive couldn’t stop Rippon’s strike soaring above the boundary.

The final ball saw an aggrieved Ireland, but the Netherlands get a critical point in their quest for a World Cup place alongside Scotland and Afghanistan.

Qualification for the 2015 tournament in Australia and New Zealand means this is Ireland’s third successive World Cup final.

The 2007 tournament in the West Indies saw Ireland finish eighth in the Super Eight stage after a surprising win against Pakistan in the first group stage.

In 2011, Ireland failed to advance out of the group stages but won against England when Kevin O’Brien hit the fastest century of the tournament.

Ireland will be hosting the RSA Challenge against England in Malahide in September.

The full scorecard can be found here.

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Nemesha Balasundaram
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Nemesha Balasundaram is a Reporter with The Irish Post. Follow her on Twitter @nemeshaB

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