Ireland secure World Cup qualification after tie
Ireland 268 for 5 (Joyce 96*, Niall 50) tied with Netherlands 268 for 9 (van Bunge 45, Barresi 46, Kevin 3-52)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
It went down to the wire at Amstelveen with Netherlands needing 13 off the last over with a wicket in hand. The equation narrowed down to six needed off the final ball to tie and Michael Rippon did just that, and though Netherlands denied Ireland a win, the result was good enough for Ireland to become the first Associate nation to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The tension began to build when Tom Cooper was dismissed in the 48th over, leaving the hosts with 16 to get off the last two overs with three wickets in hand. Alex Cusack bowled a tight penultimate over, conceding just three runs and dismissing Mudassar Bukhari, caught in the deep. The pressure piled on the ninth-wicket pair of Edgar Schiferli and Rippon heading into the final over and it escalated when Schiferli was run out off the second ball.
John Mooney didn't concede a run off his first three balls, but his next three went for plenty. Rippon took two off the fourth and hit a four off the fifth. With seven needed to win off the final ball, Mooney only needed to ensure he bowled a legal delivery, in order to deny Netherlands a victory. The final ball disappeared over long-on but Ireland had done just enough to make it to their third consecutive World Cup.
For the second time in as many matches, Ireland's O'Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, made solid contributions with bat and ball respectively. Niall made an exact 50, while Kevin took 3 for 52. Ed Joyce held the innings together with an unbeaten 96 after Ireland opted to bat. The Ireland openers got off to a good start, adding 73 within 14 overs before William Porterfield was bowled by the offspinner Michael Swart for 30. His opening partner Paul Stirling made a run-a-ball 49 before he drove Rippon straight to Cooper at cover.
Niall and Joyce then added 113 for the third wicket, the most productive stand of the innings. Niall pushed a single to cover to reach his fifty but fell in the same over, bowled by Cooper trying to sweep. Bukhari took two wickets to reduce Ireland to 235 for 5 off 46 overs. Joyce needed 11 for a century before the final over and when he faced the penultimate ball, he needed five. He could only manage a single, annoyed with himself for not being able to retain strike.
Netherlands began positively, getting to 50 within nine overs before Stephan Myburgh was bowled by a Stirling top spinner for 35 off 26 balls. Eric Szwarczynski and Wesley Barresi took the score to 135 before Ireland hit back with three quick wickets for seven runs. Barresi fell four short of a fifty when he was caught behind off Kevin.
Daan van Bunge helped Netherlands make a quick recovery with a brisk 45 off 40 balls, taking the score to 210 off 41 overs before Kevin trapped him lbw. The asking rate crept above seven after van Bunge's dismissal and Peter Borren and Cooper helped keep the hosts in the game with a stand of 34. Porterfield took a sharp catch at midwicket to send back Cooper and give Kevin his third wicket. The final-wicket pair had all but taken Netherlands past the finish line but Ireland were the bigger victors at the end of the day.
With Ireland through, the second qualification slot for the World Cup is still open, with Netherlands, Scotland and Afghanistan in the mix.