Netherlands vs Ireland: Visitors level three-match series with comfortable eight-wicket win in 2nd ODI

Netherlands vs Ireland: Visitors level three-match series with comfortable eight-wicket win in 2nd ODI

Utrecht, Netherlands: Ireland overpowered the Netherlands by eight wickets in Utrecht on Friday to level a three-match one-day international series at 1-1.

It was afar cry from Wednesday’s opener at the same ground, when the hosts won by just one run to take the lead in a set of matches that are part of the World Cup Super League qualifying process for the 2023 50-over showpiece in India.

After Ireland lost the toss, Craig Young took 4-18 and left-arm paceman Josh Little a career-best 4-39 to dismiss the Dutch for 157 inside 50 overs.

Ireland, a Test nation, suffered an early setback in their chase when opener William Porterfield, a former Ireland captain, was out for a duck.

Skipper Andy Balbirnie remained unbeaten on 63 to guide Ireland home to an eight-wicket win over Netherlands. Image credit: Twitter/@ICC

Skipper Andy Balbirnie remained unbeaten on 63 to guide Ireland home to an eight-wicket win over Netherlands. Image credit: Twitter/@ICC

Current skipper Andrew Balbirnie made an unbeaten 63 as Ireland won with seven overs to spare, with experienced batsman Paul Stirling contributing 52.

Little, a 21-year-old Dubliner, attributed his success on Friday to an improved fitness regime that allowed him to increase his pace.

“Since January, I’ve lost a bit of weight, and got a bit fitter and stronger — the ball also seems to be coming out a bit quicker which has meant my role has changed to a more aggressive, ‘hit the pitch’ bowler, rather than looking at cutters and tying batters up,” Little said after stumps.

The series concludes on 7 June.

For the World Cup, hosts India and the other seven top-placed sides in the 13-team Super League will qualify automatically.

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The remaining five teams will play in a 2022 qualifying event to decide the final two participants in a 10-nation World Cup.

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