Peter Borren will not have any reason to be "pi**ed off" with his batsmen tonight, the way he had been after they had blown potentially winning positions in both their warm-up matches. When it came to the game that counted, Netherlands, led by their openers, made short work of a potentially tricky target of 152.
Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart took on from where Paul Stirling and William Porterfield had left off earlier in the evening. Ireland had been 61 for 0 after the first six overs of their chase. The Netherlands openers did even better, taking 67 off the fielding restrictions.
By the time Swart top-edged a pull to midwicket, Netherlands needed 83 from 80 balls. Myburgh kept going on, and it needed a suicidal dash for a single to send him back at the midway stage for 55 off 36, with 59 needed from the remaining ten overs.
Myburgh had set about UAE right from the opening over, as Manjula Guruge went for 34 in his first three overs. UAE's seamers did not have the pace to trouble the batsmen but they kept pitching it back of a good length and Myburgh, especially, kept pulling them for fours and sixes. He went so hard at the ball that even a couple of top-edges flew over the wicketkeeper for boundaries.
Amid Myburgh's assault on Guruge, Swart went after left-arm spinner Shadeep Silva, taking 16 in his second over after a tight first one. A short ball was muscled over midwicket and the fuller one next up was sent soaring over the straight boundary.
Although Netherlands had imploded from similar positions in the practice games, there was no looking back after such a start this time. Helped along by a few chances put down by UAE, Netherlands cruised home in the 19th over. Wesley Barresi and the late, controversial replacement Tom Cooper ensured the openers' efforts weren't frittered away and also avoided the kind of late stress Ireland had managed to build for themselves (although Borren did fall cheaply in the 18th over, needlessly ramping a shortish ball to third man).
The game was effectively taken away from UAE by the Netherlands openers, but they would think they should have got more than the 151 they did after choosing to bat. Despite the early loss of their openers, UAE were 79 for 2 in the 11th over, captain Khurram Khan and keeper Swapnil Patil having added 67 off 52.
Both were bowled in the 11th over by Tom Cooper trying late cuts with no room to play the stroke. Rohan Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar put together another partnership, worth 47, but UAE surrendered the advantage again, and there was no comeback from the lower order.
Mustafa was run-out by a direct hit from Borren and Anwar was yorked by Timm van der Gugten. UAE managed only 20 in the last four overs. They had still achieved what they were looking for at the start, but the Netherlands batting was to come good on the night when it mattered.