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July 28, 2008
Ireland 143 for 3 (N O'Brien 58*) beat Netherlands 142 (K O'Brien 3-30) by seven wickets
Niall and Kevin O'Brien starred with bat and ball respectively, as Netherlands were routed by seven wickets with 21 overs to spare in their European Championship showdown in Dublin.
After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Ireland's gamble paid off handsomely as Netherlands were reduced to 46 for 5 inside the first 13 overs of their innings. Kevin O'Brien claimed all three of his scalps in a hostile new-ball burst, and was ably backed up by Peter Connell and the spinner Kyle McCallan.
Though Eric Szwarczynski attempted to restore order to the innings with a patient 33 from 58 balls, when he and Henk-Jan Mol fell in the space of three deliveries, Netherlands had slumped to 104 for 7 and the game was as good as up - even though the captain, Jeroen Smits, helped eke out 38 precious runs before the tail collapsed in a spate of run-outs.
In reply, Gary Wilson fell early for 3, but Will Porterfield and Niall O'Brien climbed into the target with gusto, with Andre Botha and Andrew White also contributing useful cameos in a one-sided chase.
The other big gun in the first division, Scotland, overwhelmed Norway by nine wickets at Rathmines. Batting first, Norway were rolled over for 43, with Extras top-scoring with 12. Ryan Watson belted 18 from 15 balls as the target was chased down in 8.1 overs.
In the day's other contest, Denmark inched past Italy in a pulsating encounter at Rathmines. Needing 213 for victory, the Danes sealed the game with a boundary off the penultimate ball of the contest, after a well-paced 47 from Lars Hedegaard. The star of the day, however, was Italy's Peter Petricola, who followed up an unbeaten 62 with 3 for 37, but it was all in vain.
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