Sylhet (Bangladesh): The Netherlands dished out a brutal exhibition of power hitting to pull off a stunning six-wicket win over Ireland and qualify for the Super 10 stage of the ICC World T20, here today.
Leading the charge was top-scorer and Man of the Match, Stephan Myburgh, who smashed 63 off a mere 23 balls to set the stage on fire at the Sylhet Stadium. Wesley Barresi remained unbeaten on 40 of a brisk 22-ball after Tom Cooper hammered his way to 45 off just 15 balls in the final qualifying Group B match.
Chasing a stiff target of 190 in 14.2 overs to qualify for the next stage, the Netherlands completed the task with 37 (13.5 overs) balls remaining, with the winning team hitting a staggering world record 19 sixes.
This is also the highest score by any team after 13.5 overs, the previous-highest being 175 by South Africa versus England in Centurion in 2009.
During the course of his blazing knock, Myburgh raced to his fifty off just 17 balls, the third fastest in T20 Internationals.
Sent into bat in this do-or-die clash, Ireland batted aggressively to post a daunting 189 for four in the stipulated 20 overs.
Andrew Poynter top-scored with a 38-ball 57, skipper William Porterfield made 47 off 32 balls before Kevin O`Brien struck a hurricane 42 off just 16 balls to almost take the game away from the Netherlands.
But the Dutchmen had other ideas and chased down the target with consummate ease, leaving the opposition bruised and battered.
Except Kevin O`Brien (2/29 in three overs), none of the Ireland bowlers were spared, with Andy McBrine giving away 24 runs in one over.
The Netherlands` Ahsan Jamil (2/26 in fours overs) was the best bowler of the match in this high-scoring game.
While batting, the Netherlands were off to a flying start with skipper Peter Borren (31) and Myburgh putting on 91 runs in just 5.6 overs.
They, however, lost the openers in quick succession, just before reaching the 100-run mark, but Barresi and Cooper continued the onslaught to take their team home.
Myburgh smashed seven sixes and four fours while Barresi found the fence three times besides hitting as many maximums. The flurry of boundaries did not end there as Cooper struck six sixes and a four.
The Netherlands now joins Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and New Zealand in Group 1 of the Super 10 stage. Group 1 matches will start at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Saturday.
The Netherlands will play its opening Super 10 stage match against Sri Lanka on March 24, while its remaining matches will be against South Africa on March 27, New Zealand on March 29 and England on March 31.