What a delight it was to see the Irish players yesterday do what no other team in this world cup could afford to when they not only had their second win yesterday but also did it with style when they recorded their second successful run chase in excess of 300. First it was in the match against England where they chased down 326 and then yesterday against Netherlands when they successfully chased down 307 needless to be said. But, a little bit of thumbs down to the Irish bowlers for allowing Holland to put up 306 when they failed to win a single encounter.
This is the second time that Netherlands failed to grab even a single victory out of the games that they played. Earlier, they had a similar feat in the 1996 world cup when they lost all five games they played when they faced Pakistan, England, New Zealand, South Africa and UAE. A little bit of effort would have seen Holland register their first win in that tournament against UAE. Though no one expects Holland to win against strong teams like South Africa and India, their performance has to be high against teams like Ireland. After all, Holland have been playing in world cups since 1996 as mentioned.
They have wins against Namibia in the 2003 edition and a win against Scotland in the next edition at the Caribbean. With that apart, Ireland might have just managed to reach the quarter-finals of this world cup with just one more victory with teams like Bangladesh and West Indies out there. When Ireland could have chased down a total of 326 successfully against England, it should not have been a tough thing for the Irish to win against at least Bangladesh though West Indies stand an equal chance. Though Bangladesh were the hosts, they have been under-rated needless to be said.
The match between Ireland and Netherlands was much better than the one between Pakistan and Canada where Canada failed to chase down 184 set by Pakistan. May be, had Ireland been there in the place of Canada may be the Pakistani batsmen would have bee bowled out for even lesser total and may be the Irish might have had another upset there. Very rarely can there be two batsmen from a single team to have notched up two fastest hundreds of this world cup when O'Brien scored it in 50 balls against England and yesterday Paul Stirling scored a 72 ball 101 against Holland.