The Netherlands stunned Ireland with the most brutal chase imaginable, taking down 190 in just 13.5 overs to romp to a stunning victory, which saw them through to the Super 10 stage.
The Netherlands were scarcely in the equation before the game—they had a mathematical chance of progressing, but Ireland knew victory would seal their place in the next round in Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe, meanwhile, were hoping for a Dutch win because their superior net run rate made them likely to progress in that case.
|World T20: Ireland vs. Netherlands|
|Stirling||c Borren||b van der Gugten||7||13||9|
|Joyce||run out (Barresi)||28||35||25|
|Poynter||c van Beek||b Jamil||57||45||38|
|K O'Brien||not out||42||32||16|
|Extras||0nb 2w 0b 6lb||8|
|van der Gugten||3.0||0||32|
|Borren||c Dockrell||b K O'Brien||31||26||15|
|Myburgh||c Joyce||b Dockrell||63||29||23|
|van Beek||c Porterfield||b K O'Brien||1||3||3|
|Cooper||c K O'Brien||b Murtagh||45||14||15|
|Extras||0nb 0w 0b 4lb||4|
|Total||for 4||193||(13.5 ovs)|
When Ireland posted 189-4 in their 20 overs, they must have thought they were in control.
But the onslaught that followed from the Netherlands lit up Sylhet.
Ireland have been the model of a well-drilled associate nation in recent times, playing with professionalism and confidence. Having already held their nerve to beat Zimbabwe, they were heavy favourites.
Sent in to bat, there were contributions all over the team, starting with a pacy 47 from captain William Porterfield, and then finished off with a thumping partnership between Andrew Poynter (57 from 38 balls) and Kevin O'Brien (42 not out from 16).
The reply, however, was mesmerising.
Stephan Myburgh set it up with 63 from just 23 deliveries and Peter Borren's 31 coming at a snail's pace (15 balls). But even when Ireland picked up their wickets, their shell-shocked bowlers couldn't cope with the next wave of attack.
Tom Cooper crunched 45 in 15 balls, including four sixes in a row off George Dockrell.
By the time he departed, a Dutch win was inevitable but not necessarily by the amount needed to qualify. But Wesley Barresi then took charge of the chase, and the Dutch dream was alive.
If they can summon more batting displays of that calibre, there will be some very nervous teams in their Super 10 group, not least England.