The Netherlands women’s team returned to ODI cricket after a gap of ten years and nine months at the VRA Ground on Monday, losing by five wickets to an Irish side which had a clear advantage in all aspects of the game.
In the intervening years Ireland had played some 37 ODIs, and two members of the side – captain Laura Delany and wicketkeeper Mary Waldron – were in the team which won the fifth-place play-off in the World Cup qualifier in Bangladesh in November 2011 and thereby ended the Netherlands’ ODI status for more than a decade.
After Delany had won the toss and elected to field Ireland quickly took a firm grip on the game, Georgina Dempsey and Arlene Kelly soon reducing the Dutch to 7 for three and Rachel Delaney and Cara Murray causing further mayhem as the home side collapsed to 21 for five inside 14 overs.
Iris Zwilling began a partial revival, but it was Frédérique Overdijk who dominated the latter part of the innings, her 38 not out almost entirely responsible for the fact that the Netherlands were able to reach 84 all out in 32.5 overs.
Kelly finished with three for 9 in seven overs, while Delaney took three for 20 and Murray two for 23.
Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis took Ireland almost to the halfway point of their chase with an opening stand of 39, but after Zwilling secured the initial breakthrough, Paul providing Babette de Leede with the first of a Dutch ODI record four catches behind the stumps, Eva Lynch removed Lewis for 25 and then Zwilling had skipper Delany caught behind off the first ball she received.
Amy Hunter and Orla Prendergast added 15 for the fourth wicket; then leg-spinner Silver Siegers came into the attack, and with her second delivery had Hunter caught by De Leede before Shauna Kavanagh followed suit with the second golden duck of the innings.
Waldron came in on a hat-trick, but she and Prendergast ensured that the Irish suffered no further damage, Prendergast hitting the winning boundary in the 20th over to give Ireland their five-wicket victory.
The teams meet again on the same ground on Wednesday before moving on to Voorburg on Friday for the final match of the series.
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