Johnston Ireland's hero in Dutch thriller

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Trent Johnston was Ireland's hero as they beat the Netherlands in an eliminator finish to their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at Lord's on Monday.

Updated: June 02, 2009 13:02 IST
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Trent Johnston was Ireland's hero as they beat the Netherlands in an eliminator finish to their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at Lord's on Monday.

After both sides made 135, the match came down to a one-over eliminator.

Ireland could only manage six for one in their over but knew if they took two wickets in the 'eliminator' before the Dutch had got to seven that the game would be theirs.

Australia-born Johnston struck third ball when Bas Zuiderent was stumped by Gary Wilson for two off three deliveries.

And former Ireland captain Johnson then ran out Darron Reekers by throwing down the stumps at the bowler's end as Ireland somehow managed to defend their meagre eliminator over score.

"He nailed his skills really well," said Ireland captain William Porterfield of Johnson.

"It was always going to be Trent: he has vast experience, knows where he wants to put the ball and executed it," the Gloucestershire batsman added.

"It shouldn't have been enough but a one-over game is a lottery."

Dejected Netherlands captain Jeroen Smits, whose side face England at Lord's on Friday in the tournament opener proper, said: "I thought the game was ours, especially because we hit more sixes.

"Even six runs would have been enough and, especially after the first ball went for two, I thought we were there," added the wicket-keeper.

"But once again we have seen you cannot take anything for granted in cricket."

Earlier, the Netherlands made 135 for nine and Ireland 135 for seven.

Ireland, chasing 136 for victory, slumped to 15 for two inside four overs. But Paul Stirling was not overawed and hoisted Ryan ten Doeschate for six to bring up Ireland's fifty.

Stirling was going well, having put on 56 in 46 deliveries with Andre Botha, when he was run out for 27 going for a third by Smits's direct hit following good work on the boundary by Pieter Seelaar.

And five balls later left-arm spinner Seelaar turned 71 for three into 75 for four when he effectively yorked Kevin O'Brien.

The middle-order collapse continued when Botha, having made a better than run-a-ball 35, went down the pitch to Seelaar only to be stumped by Smits.

Ireland needed nine to win off Seelaar's final over. The spinner struck second ball when Gary Wilson was stumped down the legside for 22 by the impressive Smits.

Regan West hit his first ball down the ground for four and then took two off the next to leave Ireland needing two off two for victory.

That became two off one when West missed with a heave and a single off the last ball left the scores level and the match all square

Earlier, the Netherlands made 135 for nine. Essex all-rounder ten Doeschate top-scored with 29 in an innings where no other batsman made more than 20.

Off-spinner Kyle McCallan led the attack with three wickets for 32 runs, including two in two balls.

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