Ireland, Scotland And The Netherlands, The Objective Of Polishing The Corners And Edges, Before T20 WC Qualifier > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands aim to polish off rough edges before T20 WC Qualifier
With the T20 WC Qualifier a little over a month away, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands are entering the final stretch of their preparations with a trilateral series to be held at Malahide over the coming week. A series that was never meant to be, the hastily-arranged three-way double round-robin tournament takes the place of the Euro T20 Slam, the collaborative three-country T20 franchise project which was shelved just weeks before it's inaugural season was to have kicked off in Amsterdam a fortnight ago.
GS Holdings, the main backer of the Euro Slam, has stepped in as title sponsor for the tri-series, which is officially known as the GS Holding T20 Tri-Series. The six-match series will give the three countries a chance to evaluate their squads before departing for the World Cup Qualifier in Dubai, with Ireland and the Netherlands first stopping off in Oman en route for a pentangular series against Oman, Nepal and Hong Kong next month, whilst the Scots will have a week-long training tour to South Africa ahead of the Qualifier.
The postponement of the Euro Slam allows the three countries to renew their rivalry, this being the third time they have met in a multilateral series in the past two years. The inaugural European Tri-Series was held in the Netherlands last Summer, initially envisaged as an annual event, with Scotland taking the honours with two wins and a tie from their four matches. The three sides met again in Muscat in February this year, sharing honours with two wins apiece in at the quadrangular series which also featured hosts Oman.
Hosts Ireland have had a tough time of it in the shorter format since then, losing 0-3 to Afghanistan in India later the same month, and splitting a two-match series against Zimbabwe 1-1 back home in July. Still, in something of a transitional phase, the Irish have picked a number of less-established players in their 14-man squad, with pace bowler David Delaney in line for a first cap, following his cousin Gareth who debuted against Zimbabwe. Legspinner Jacob Mulder also returns to the squad after a two-year absence, with off-spinning allrounder Simi Sing making way.
Andy McBrine and Barry McCarthy are two further ommissions in a somewhat experimental squad, with former under-19s captain Harry Tector also potentially looking at a senior debut, having impressed at last week's training camp at Dublin.
Though as the sole Full Members Ireland are notionally the senior side of the three, they have generally struggled to impose themselves on their European rivals in white-ball cricket, especially in the shortest format. With home advantage playing in their favour, however, they will hope to assert their seniority ahead of the crucial qualification tournament coming up next month.
Traditional rivals Scotland meanwhile haven't played a T20I since the Oman Quadrangular back in February, though a few of the squad have had the benefit of participating in the recent Global T20 franchise tournament in Canada - another of GS Holdings' projects. Richie Berrington, Calum McLeod and George Munsey all bagged contracts in the Canadian league, a recognition of the quality of the Scottish top order. The Scots came out on top at both of the previous tournaments involving the three countries - albeit only by virtue of a better net run rate in Oman - and in large part they did so on the strength of their batting.
At their recent CWC League 2 tri-series against Oman and PNG the slow-bowlers stood out, however. Even if the Scots will have been disappointed to drop a game against Oman at home the development of Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir will have boosted their confidence, and of the three the Scots arguably now look both the strongest and most balanced side.
The Netherlands have played the most T20 cricket of the three this summer, coming out evens in the T20 component of their recent series against Zimbabwe (though the Zimbabweans needed a Super Over to level the series in the second game) but then slumping to a a 0-4 whitewash at home to a visiting UAE side last month. The Dutch have spent most of the Summer playing below full strength, however, rarely recalling all their UK-based players, whilst those based furth afield such as Otago's Michael Rippon and South Australia's Tom Cooper remain somewhat estranged from the Netherlands set-up.
Though the Dutch will tale something approaching a full-strength squad to the UAE, they have not recalled all of their county players for this series, with the prodigal Ryan ten Doeschate, newcomer Colin Ackermann, lower-order linchpin Roelof van der Merwe and seam spearhead Timm van der Gugten all kept in hand until the T20WC Qualifier and preceding Oman tour, though Somerset's Paul van Meekeren and Kent's Fred Klaassen will both be making the trip across the Irish sea. Further surprise ommissions include veterans Wesley Barresi and Stephan Myburgh - both among the stand-outs of the Netherlands remarkable 2014 WT20 campaign - who will miss both the tri-series and the Qualifier.
In their stead, a number of new faces are set to make an appearance, with left-arm spinner Clayton Floyd and 16-year-old opening bat Vikram Singh in line for senior debuts in Ireland, with young leggie Philippe Boissevain and middle-order bat Tonny Staal named for both tours. Though at full strength the Dutch are arguably favourites to take the title in Dubai, the somewhat less experienced side making the trip to Ireland will start the series as underdogs.
Scotland: Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Oliver Hairs, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Adrian Neill, Safyaan Sharif, Tom Sole, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt
Ireland: Gary Wilson (c), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, David Delany, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Jacob Mulder, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young
Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (c), Tobias Vis ee, Max O'Dowd, Ben Cooper, Scott Edwards (wk), Clayton Floyd, Paul van Meekeren, Bas de Leede, Fred Klaassen, Tonny Staal, Brandon Glover, Shane Snater, Philippe Boissevain, Vikram Singh
15 September: Ireland v Netherlands, Malahide 16 September: Scotland v Netherlands, Malahide 17 September: Ireland v Scotland, Malahide 18 September: Ireland v Netherlands, Malahide 19 September: Scotland v Netherlands, Malahide 20 September: Ireland v Scotland, Malahide
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