Ireland go into their final home game of the summer, the second ODI against the Netherlands, at Clontarf tomorrow with a chance of closing the gap on Bangladesh to just eight points in the world rankings table.
Gary Wilson’s first century for Ireland and four wickets for Andrew White, his best figures in a one-day international, were the highlights of yesterday’s 70-run victory over the Dutch which opened up a 19 points advantage between the teams in 10th and 12th places.
Bizarrely, if the Dutch happen to win tomorrow they would actually go above the Irish but Tom Cooper, their best batsman by some distance, would appear to be the only threat to Ireland’s dominance as the top associate nation.
Cooper scored 68 from 58 balls with 10 fours and a six but once Albert van der Merwe had him stumped by Wilson to reduce the Dutch to 115 for five, in pursuit of a victory target of 276, the game was over as a contest.
Allan Eastwood, despite his five wickets on debut in the Intercontinental Cup match between the teams last week, was the unlucky player left out.
He may get a chance tomorrow, however, as Nigel Jones’ two overs went for 21. Kevin O’Brien took three wickets in an impressive first spell but after that it was Ireland’s four-pronged spin who finished off the Dutch.