Ireland captain William Porterfield was magnanimous after watching an incredible performance from Holland’s batsmen snatch away a place in the main draw of the ICC World Twenty20.
The Dutch advanced to the tournament proper on Friday at the expense of Ireland and Zimbabwe by virtue of a superior run-rate after an explosive win over Porterfield’s men at Sylhet.
Needing to overhaul an imposing victory target of 190 in just 14.2 overs to progress from the group stage, Holland’s batsmen smashed 19 sixes to pass the total with three balls to spare.
Ireland came into the clash knowing all they had to do to progress was win, having already beaten Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates, but, after posting 189 for four after losing the toss, they had no answer to the onslaught and suffered a six-wicket defeat.
“We played two-and-a-half very good games of cricket, it’s very disappointing today but it just shows you what can happen in this form of the game,” Porterfield said at the post-match press conference.
“That’s what makes it a great competition where things like this can happen. We’ll bounce back from it.”
Stephan Myburgh got Holland’s charge off to the perfect start, thumping Andy McBrine for three successive sixes in the second over.
By the time he departed for an emphatic 63 off 23 balls, which included four fours and seven maximums, the Dutch were well on their way.
Tom Cooper’s 45 off 15 deliveries was also a key factor, while Wesley Barresi (40 not out off 22 balls) completed the job with a towering six over midwicket.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Holland. They came out and struck the ball pretty cleanly from the off,” Porterfield said.
“We were on the full side a bit too much, but no matter where we seemed to be landing it the ball was still disappearing.”
By contrast, Ireland needed a late surge from Andrew Poynter (57) and Kevin O’Brien (42no off 16 balls) to reach their total, with the pair putting on 101 for the fourth wicket in 7.3 overs.
Porterfield was happy with his side’s batting efforts and believes Holland were spurred into action because they had nothing to lose.
“In the context of the game (our total) was slightly above par,” he added. “Obviously it’s turned out not to be at all but I think that’s the way things go in Twenty20 cricket.
“They needed 14 overs to get it in so they had to come out and go from the off. It’s a completely different mindset than you may have if you’re going out there to knock off the runs in 20 overs. Simple things like that can change a campaign, it has done for Holland.”