Intercontinental Cup: Ireland's title defence dealt blow by draw with Dutch

Ireland captain William Porterfield
William Porterfield completed his 16th century for Ireland on Friday morning
Intercontinental Cup, Malahide (day four of four):
Ireland 477-6 & 167-4: Balbirnie 205, Porterfield 60 (first); Porterfield 108, O'Brien 58, Balbirnie 50 (second)
Netherlands 375 & 186-4: O'Dowd 105, Cooper 82, van Beek 76, Rankin 5-49 (first); Myburgh 85 (second)
Scorecard (external site)

Ireland's hopes of retaining the Intercontinental Cup were dealt a blow as they were held to a draw by the Netherlands at Malahide.

William Porterfield completed his 16th Ireland century as they added 73 runs before declaring on 240-7 to leave the Dutch needing an unlikely 343 to win.

Stephan Myburgh's 85 steadied the Dutch after Wesley Barresi suffered a duck.

A 60-run partnership by Ben Cooper and Peter Borren left the Dutch on 186-4 as played was halted at 18:30 BST.

After a number of rain delays in the contest, Ireland utilised their right to play for another hour after the scheduled finish time of 18:00 BST before captains Porterfield and Borren shook hands.

Resuming on their overnight 167-4, Porterfield batted for just 11 more overs before declaring for the second time in the game.

By then Porterfield had shown all his class in an excellent 108 while Kevin O'Brien had chipped in with a quick-fire 50.

The visitors' unlikely run chase took an early blow as Tim Murtagh trapped Barresi lbw without scoring.

However, a second-wicket partnership of 107 between Myburgh and Dan ter Braak helped ensure that they would leave Dublin with a share of the spoils.

Simi Singh was best with the ball for Ireland in the second innings with 2-19 as unbeaten knocks of 37 and 25 from Cooper and Peter Borren ensured the dogged Dutch earned a deserved draw.

The result moved Ireland to the top of the Intercontinental Cup table but they will need to beat Scotland in November and hope that Afghanistan slip up in the one of the two remaining games to retain the title.

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