Stirling gives Irish grand finale
Kolkata, India – Opener Paul Stirling made a superb 101 off 72 balls as Ireland ended their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 campaign on a high with an easy six-wicket win over the Netherlands on Friday.
The Dutch had posted a competitive 306 from their 50 overs on the back chiefly of 106 from Ryan ten Doeschate, who hit his second century of the tournament. He added 121 for the fourth wicket with skipper Peter Borren who cracked a career-best 84 on a good batting surface at the historic Eden Gardens.
But their innings dramatically ran out of steam with their last four wickets falling in successive balls, all from run-outs, as they chased valuable extra runs in the final over from Kevin O’Brien.
From early in the Irish innings it was clear that the Dutch total would probably be found wanting on a batting paradise.
Stirling won the Man-of-the-Match award for his great knock. He added a record 177 for the first wicket with captain William Porterfield (68).
All their batsmen went on to make useful contributions with Niall O’Brian ending on 57 not out. Kevin O’Brien ended the match in grand style with a huge six over long-off to reach the target with 14 balls to spare. Ireland ended the group stage with two wins while the Netherlands failed to record a victory.