Sunday, March 13, 2016
Start time 1500 local (0930 GMT)
In the last World T20, these two teams played the match that decided the qualification. The match featured a sensational chase by Netherlands, and an innings that went a long way in getting Stephan Myburgh into the ICC team of the tournament. This year they had brief blips in their first matches followed by rain in their second match, and are now playing each other in a dead rubber. They have worked hard, played high-pressure matches because they are fighting for their status all the time, but have practically had their campaigns ended in three hours.
These are two really devastated and angry teams going against each other. The target of their anger is the same: those in the ICC who are reducing their opportunities even as all sports look to expand. They will hope to channel their anger into the game, and collude to produce an entertaining game. They like playing each other, they fight for the same cause, they are brothers in arms, they need each other in one final attempt to put on a show on the world stage.
They are both disappointed because they feel they got themselves into a position to win their only game so far. In such a short, sharp tournament, that makes all the difference. They will want to sign off on a note that tells the world they are better, and that they deserve more opportunities. Provided the wretched weather lets them do so. It rained pretty much consistently for 36 hours before the groundsmen could finally remove the covers at around 4pm on Saturday. More rain is forecast for Sunday.
Ireland LLWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for
On Friday Kevin O'Brien became the first Ireland player to play 50 T20Is. In his 49th, he all but set up a win for Ireland with his canny medium-pace bowling, which featured a generous use of cutters when bowling the yorker wasn't the best option with dew around. Ireland will look to him to sign off with a big performance in his eighth world event.
Peter Borren has already said that it is highly unlikely he will be playing another world event now that the World T20 has become a four-yearly event. Borren is 32. Another of his 32-year-old team-mates, the recognisable Mudassar Bukhari, could well be playing his last world event too. He will look to lead Netherlands with the ball, and also chip in if late runs are required. There will be general wistfulness around, though.
Since they hardly took the field on Saturday, Netherlands could go with the XI they named to play Oman.
Netherlands (probable) 1 Stephan Myburgh, 2 Wesley Barresi (wk), 3 Ben Cooper, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Peter Borren (capt.), 6 Roelof van der Merwe, 7 Pietar Seelaar, 8 Mudassar Bukhari, 9 Ahsan Malik, 10 Timm van der Gugten, 11 Paul van Meekeren
Ireland could do the same since they didn't get to play a full game either.
Ireland (probable) 1 William Porterfield (capt.), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Gary Wilson, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Kevin O'Brien, 6 Aandy Poynter, 7 Andy McBrine, 8 George Dockrell, 9 Max Sorensen, 10 Tinm Murtagh, 11 Boyd Rankin
Pitch and conditions
While the HPCA Stadium has taken a lot of rain, and is likely to take more, the pitches have been kept covered well, and shouldn't change from their slow and low nature. It was evident in the eight overs bowled by Ireland to Bangladesh.
Stats and trivia
- After five Twenty20 internationals against each other, Ireland and Netherlands are tied 2-2 with one match washed out
- With the stumping of Soumya Sarkar on Saturday, Niall O'Brien reached 24 dismissals in Twenty20 internationals. Ten other wicketkeepers have reached the landmark of 25. One of them is opponent Warren Barresi
"We probably haven't played as well as we can do, but we are getting closer. We just don't get the consistent tough cricket that the full nations, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe do, but that's not an excuse. We have enough to compete, we just haven't performed well enough. Sometimes the guys fight so hard that they forget to play the game."
Ireland coach John Bracewell
"We have got a T20I in two days time against Ireland. Hopefully the weather plays its part. We play about nine games in a year. And in two days that's one of them. It's a big game. We love playing against Ireland. We have a bit of success against recently. It's always a good game of cricket. Hopefully we can put on a real show. It might be a free-flowing game. Everyone can see what teams like Ireland and Holland are capable of. We have got that opportunity. I don't think it will be too tough to motivate the boys for that opportunity."
Peter Borren, Netherlands captain
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo