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Cricket
Ireland set up Namibia decider
Ireland move one victory away from a spot in the World Twenty20 finals with an easy win over the Netherlands.
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2012 15:04
Ireland or Namibia will join already-qualified Afghanistan at the finals in Sri Lanka in September [GETTY]

Ireland knocked out the Netherlands by seven wickets to stay in qualifying contention for the World Twenty20 finals on Friday.

Ireland will face Namibia on Saturday for the last spot in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September. The winner of that preliminary final will meet Afghanistan in the final hours later to determine their group in Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan beat Namibia on Thursday in the first preliminary final to make a second consecutive World T20.

Comfortable win

Ireland limited the Dutch to 114-7 then cruised to 115-3 in 16.4 overs.

Ireland captain William Porterfield pulled off a spectacular catch to dismiss opener Stephan Myburgh for 2. Only Alexei Kervezee (56) and Tom Cooper (26) made double figures. Kevin O'Brien claimed the wickets of big-hitting Cooper and Mudassar Bukhari.

Openers Porterfield and Paul Stirling combined for 41 off 26 balls, then Stirling and Ed Joyce added 32 for the second wicket. O'Brien smashed a 22-ball 30 with three sixes to finish the chase.

O'Brien said the team looked forward to facing the Namibians, whom Ireland lost to in their opening match by four runs. The Irish are looking for their second consecutive trip to the World Twenty20.

"We're out for revenge after losing that first game,'' O'Brien said.

"We've won eight in a row now and we're full of confidence. It's going to be a great game, a close game, and hopefully we can come out on top.''

Netherlands captain Peter Borren, who came into the tournament saying only World T20 qualification would do, credited Ireland's bowlers for keeping his batsmen in check.

"It's pretty disappointing to not finish in the top two,'' Borren said.

"The partnership between Alexei Kervezee and Tom Cooper put us in a position, gave us the opportunity to go on and get 140, 145. The wicket of Cooper was crucial, because we struggled to maintain the momentum. We were never going to defend 114.''

However, Borren said the team would not dwell on the loss, as they was already thinking of facing Afghanistan in two one-day internationals next week.

"They're massive games because they're part of the qualification for the next World Cup,'' he said.

"We've won two and lost two in that competition, so if we can get two wins there in Sharjah that would be great.''

Source:
AP
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