ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Ireland v Netherlands, World Cup 2011, Group B, Kolkata
Associates play for pride before exit
The Preview by Siddhartha Talya
March 17, 2011
March 18, Kolkata
Start time 9.30 (0400 GMT)
The Big Picture
The Associate teams have been the subject of major debate this World Cup and opinion remains divided over the ICC's decision to restrict the number of competing sides to 10 in 2015. Ireland have done the most to justify the Associates' presence this tournament, consistently challenging top sides with the exception of South Africa. They've been the best of the four qualifiers for this World Cup, the best-placed among that group to feature more regularly against the elite teams, and they would want to reinforce that with a clinical performance against Netherlands on Friday in what will be both teams' last World Cup game.
The Netherlands captain Peter Borren has repeatedly stressed the need for Associate teams to play the top sides more often, not just in World Cups. Since pushing England close, Netherlands have declined steadily, their captain admitting they haven't met their own standards. A winless World Cup would be deflating at the least, and it's a harsh result for a team that would perhaps feel it is in the wrong group, given how the other two Associates have performed this tournament. A win, however, against an opponent who've won the respect of the cricketing world would restore some pride in a team that has, by its own admission, underperformed.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for...
Wesley Barresi: He's got starts in four of his five this World Cup but has then got bogged down, undermining his healthy strike-rate of 74. He was pushed from the middle order to open this World Cup but hasn't delivered the starts that the promotion was meant to bring about. A familiar opposition in Ireland should prompt him to show lesser restraint.
Kevin O'Brien: His stunning century against England will be hard to replicate but O'Brien has since stumbled in his performances with the bat. He was dismissed cheaply against India and threw his wicket at a crucial juncture in what was building up to be a close chase against West Indies. Moreover, he's had trouble against Netherlands. In seven games against them, he averages just 17.40 with a highest of 34. What better stage to make amends than the World Cup.
Ireland (possible): 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Gary Wilson, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Alex Cusack, 8 John Mooney, 9 Trent Johnston, 10 George Dockrell, 11 Boyd Rankin.
Netherlands (possible): 1 Eric Swarczynski, 2 Wesley Baressi (wk), 3 Tom Cooper, 4 Ryan ten Doeschate, 5 Alexei Kerveezee, 6 Bas Zuiderent, 7 Tom de Grooth, 8 Mudassar Bukhari, 9 Peter Borren, 10 Pieter Seelaar, 11 Adeel Raja.
Try picking the XIs for tomorrow's game by playing Team Selector.
Stats and trivia
Ireland have an excellent record against Netherlands in ODIs, winning five out of seven. They've won each of the last five games between the teams.
The last time Eden Gardens hosted a day game was in 1991, when South Africa toured India for the first time for a three-match ODI series.
"Ireland has done well in the tournament and has been competitive, but if we go out there and win tomorrow, we will be making a statement."
"We are nowhere near Tests, but we sure can play one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches."
Phil Simmons, the Ireland coach