Curtis Campher became the third bowler to grab four wickets in four balls in a Twenty20 international as Ireland crushed the Netherlands by seven wickets at the World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
Campher’s feat helped him take 4-26 as the Netherlands were bowled out for 106 after captain Pieter Seelaar won the toss and elected to bat first in the Group A clash on Monday.
Ireland then cruised to 107-3 in 15.1 overs, with Gareth Delany hitting 44 in 29 deliveries and Paul Stirling making an unbeaten 30 off 39 balls.
“First over didn’t go as planned but Bal [captain Andy Balbirnie] kept faith with me,” Campher said. “I didn’t feel the best, coming back from injury, just kept trying to bang the length.”
Campher benefited from the ICC’s decision to introduce the DRS for the first time in a T20 World Cup, which allows teams to go for referrals against two unsuccessful appeals in every game.
The right-arm fast bowler opted for a review when Colin Ackermann (11) went for a pull shot. The batsman was adjudged not out by Australian umpire Rod Tucker but replays suggested he gloved the ball to wicketkeeper Neil Rock.
Campher then had Ryan ten Doeschate lbw off the next delivery before Tucker again erred on the hat-trick ball and Scott Edwards was ruled lbw through a TV referral.
Campher equalled Rashid Khan of Afghanistan and Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga’s record of four-in-four when Roelof van der Merwe played the fast bowler back onto his stumps as the Netherlands slipped to 51-6 in 9.5 overs.
Opening batsman Max O’Dowd scored a fighting 51 and Seelaar made 21 before seamer Mark Adair (3-9) claimed two wickets in the last over.
“One freak over changed the whole game around,” Seelaar said. “If we’d got to 150-160 it could have been a good game, but if you lose four in one over you’re always struggling.”
Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, also had a comfortable start with a seven-wicket win over Namibia in the day’s second Group A outing.
Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana led an inspired bowling performance from Sri Lanka with three wickets as the island nation bundled out Namibia for 96.
Sri Lanka’s chase got off to a shaky start as they lost three quick wickets but Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa steadied the ship with an unbroken 74-run stand to see the side home with 6.3 overs to spare.
The four teams in the group will play each other before the top two advance to the Super 12 stage.
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