SK Flashback, World Cup 2011: Stirling special halts Netherland's march as Ten Doeschate's ton goes in vain
It was another battle of the minnows but a keenly anticipated one as the two sides had provided some thrilling moments, a contest between equals with considerable talent in their ranks. It was a fitting finale in one of the world’s great arenas, Eden Gardens, to their respective campaigns that had warmed many hearts.
Ireland made the early inroads, having put the Netherlands in. Ryan ten Doeschate walked into a crisis with Eric Szwarcznski dismissed for 1 and Wesley Barresi having retired following a blow on the head by a throw from the outfield. Tom Cooper departed soon. Ten Doeschate broke the shackles with two boundaries off Trent Johnston in the 6th over, and one in the next. He replicated the pattern with a couple of fours off John Mooney in the 9th over, and another in the following one.
Barresi returned to the crease and promptly swung Boyd Rankin above square-leg for a six. The pair settled down to a fine partnership of 60. It was when skipper Peter Borren joined ten Doeschate that the innings got a further impetus.
Borren began with a flurry of boundaries, as ten Doeschate ushered in his half-century off 65 balls, having struck 7 fours. The run-rate climbed and in the 38th over Kevin O’Brien was hit for two boundaries by ten Doeschate and one by Borren to raise the hundred of their partnership in 16.1 overs. Two more splendidly-timed boundaries and a brace off Rankin brought ten Doeschate his second century of the tournament, a laudable achievement for a batsman from an associate member nation. He had faced 104 deliveries and found the boundary 13 times.
In the next over, he knocked Paul Stirling into the crowd for his lone six. Off the next ball, however, he holed out, having played a wonderful innings of 106 in 108 balls. The partnership with Borren, who had already brought up his fifty, was worth 121 in 28 overs. Borren went on to score 84 off 82 balls with 10 fours, as Atse Buurman helped him add another 53. Holland were all out for 306 off the last delivery. The Irish had a mountain to climb.
Skipper William Porterfield and young Paul Stirling were unfazed. Stirling top-edged the last ball of the first over for a six. Soon boundaries began to flow, Porterfield’s two in the 5th over being bettered by Stirling’s three in the next. The pair continued to find the ropes and took complete charge in the 10th over. After Stirling earned a streaky four to third man, he rocketed Bernard Loots over mid-wicket for a six and drove the third to the extra-cover boundary. A single followed and then Porterfield unleashed a cover-drive of his own into the hoardings. The over produced 19 runs. Stirling raced to his fifty in the next over off a mere 25 balls, having cracked 8 fours and 2 sixes.
A period of lull was broken by Porterfield who hit three boundaries in two overs. Stirling emulated him, but in just one over to log up the 150 of the partnership. Porterfield fell for 68, the duo having raised 177. Stirling brought up a brilliant hundred, having played just 70 deliveries and hammered 14 boundaries besides his 2 sixes. He became the youngest centurion in the World Cup, eclipsing the feat of Ricky Ponting in 1996.
It was also the fourth-fastest hundred ever in the event. Two balls later he was gone, misdirecting a pull straight to the deep mid-wicket fielder. Following that, Niall O’Brien scored a half-century, returning unbeaten with brother Kevin as they cantered to a six-wicket victory. It was a memorable game embellished by Stirling’s dazzling century, preceded by ten Doeschate’s polished ton.
Netherlands: 306 all out (50 overs), Ireland: 307 for 4 wickets (47.4 overs) (CWC 2011)