AFP/ Abu Dhabi
Fast bowler Curtis Campher took four wickets in four balls to help Ireland thrash Netherlands by seven wickets in a first round match of the Twenty20 World Cup yesterday.
Campher took a hat-trick and then struck again to return figures of 4-26 as Netherlands were dismissed for 106 in the Group A opener in Abu Dhabi.
In reply, Ireland lost two early wickets but veteran opener Paul Stirling, who made an unbeaten 30, and Gareth Delany, who scored 44, put on 59 runs for the third wicket to ease into their chase. Ireland achieved their target with 4.5 overs to spare as Campher hit the winning runs for his team’s first win over the Netherlands in a World Cup.
“(We wanted) just to attack the stumps as much as possible and, obviously, with Curtis’ four-wicket over he did exactly that,” skipper Andy Balbirnie said after the win. “We’ve had a slow but good build-up, I think we’re peaking at the right time.”
Campher became only the third bowler in T20 International history to claim four wickets in four balls after Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka in 2019.
Campher sent back Colin Ackermann (11), Ryan ten Doeschate (0) and Scott Edwards (0) for a hat-trick and then bowled Roelof van der Merwe (0) in a sensational over. The Johannesburg-born Campher is also just the second player with a hat-trick in the men’s T20 World Cup after Australia fast bowler Brett Lee, who achieved the feat against Bangladesh in the inaugural edition in 2007.
Campher, 22, had a T20 best of 3-19 from his previous four matches since making his debut in August against Zimbabwe in Dublin. He switched ends in the match yesterday and got instant success after Ireland reviewed a caught behind for Ackermann with the ultra edge technology showing a spike when the ball passed the batsman’s gloves.
Technology helped Campher once again on the hat-trick ball when Edwards was given not out for an lbw call by the on-field official but replays suggested the ball would have hit the leg stump.
Earlier this season, Campher underwent ankle surgery. “I didn’t feel the best, coming back from injury,” he said. “First over didn’t go as planned but Bal (Balbirnie) kept faith with me.”
Skipper Pieter Seelaar scored 21 to take Netherlands past the 100-run mark before quick bowler Mark Adair ran through the tail to return impressive figures of 3-9 – Ireland’s most economical bowling ever in T20 World Cup.
Ireland 107 for 3 (Delany 44, Stirling 30*, Klaassen 1-18) beat Netherlands 106 (O’Dowd 51, Campher 4-26, Adair 3-9) by seven wickets.
Sri Lanka beat Namibia
Spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga set up a comprehensive seven-wicket win for Sri Lanka against debutants Namibia in round one yesterday.
Theekshana returned figures of 3-25 and Hasaranga took two wickets to help dismiss Namibia for 96 in the second Group A encounter of the day in Abu Dhabi.
Namibia hurt Sri Lanka with three wickets in the chase but Avishka Fernando (30) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42) put on an unbeaten stand of 74 to steer the team home in 13.3 overs.
The left-handed Rajapaksa, who survived a dropped catch on 18, smashed four fours and two sixes in his 27-ball blitz.
But bowlers remained key to victory with quick Lahiru Kumara also chipping in with two wickets to bowl out Namibia in 19.3 overs after Sri Lanka chose to field first.
Craig Williams with his 29, skipper Gerhard Erasmus, 20, and JJ Smit, unbeaten on 12, were the only three batsmen to manage double figures.
Sri Lanka, champions in the 2014 edition, top the group table ahead of Ireland, who thrashed Netherlands by seven wickets in the first match that witnessed Curtis Campher taking four wickets in four balls.
Sri Lanka 100 for 3 (Rajapaksa 42*, Fernando 30*) beat Namibia 96 all out (Craig Williams 29, Theekshana 3-25, Kumara 2-9) by seven wickets.
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