Taking eight wickets between them, Netherlands spinners Shariz Ahmad, Tazeem Ali and Udit Nashier gave their side a great start to the European Under-19 World Cup Qualifier at the Desert Springs ground in Almería on Sunday, as they dismissed Ireland for 146 to win by 33 runs.
It was the first time the Dutch had beaten Ireland at this level since 2013.
Chasing a target of 180, Ireland reached 36 without loss when Ahmad, younger brother of international batter Musa, removed both Jack Dickson and Nathan McGuire in the space of five deliveries.
Joshua Cox and skipper Tim Tector then set about rebuilding the Irish innings, but once Ali had trapped Cox in front for 31 it was largely left to Tector to hold things together as wickets fell regularly at the other end.
Ahmad claimed another to finish with three for 19 and then took a catch off Ali’s bowling as Ireland declined from 84 for two to 96 for six.
Tector and Matthew Humphreys added 28 for the seventh wicket, but when Nashier removed both in successive overs, Tector falling to a catch by keeper Lucas del Bianco for a dogged 37, the Irish still needed 53 with only two wickets in hand.
Shariz Ahmad took a hand again by running out Luke Whelan, and then caught Jamie Forbes off the bowling of Aryan Dutt to complete the win; in all, he had been involved one way or another in six of the dismissals. Nashier finished with three for 24 and Ali with two for 25.
Earlier, opener Shirase Rasool had laid the foundations of a defendable Dutch total with an 84-ball 56, which included six fours and two sixes.
When he was third man out with the total on 102 the Netherlands seemed on course for a bigger score than their eventual 179 for eight, but with off-spinner McGuire taking three for 27 and seamer Liam Doherty claiming three for 27 it took a solid contribution of 28 from Dietmar Hennop, batting at eight, to enable them to recover from 125 for six.
The tournament continues on Monday with Jersey taking on Scotland.
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