Kevin O'Brien of Ireland bats during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Preliminary Final against the Netherlands in Dubai on Friday. (Getty Images)
Dubai: Ireland will play Namibia on Saturday for the right to join Afghanistan in September's ICC World Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka after easing past the Netherlands by seven wickets.
The winner of Saturday's game will play Afghanistan in the final of the qualifying competition, also on Saturday, to determine the winners of the 16-team event.
Ireland lost to Namibia in the opening match of the tournament but since then have won eight games in succession and captain William Porterfield said that form would stand them in good stead on Saturday.
"We've got the momentum going into tomorrow and we have got to use that," he told reporters. "We've got to put all this (the win against the Netherlands) behind us and turn up tomorrow and start afresh."
Allrounder Kevin O'Brien was named Man of the Match as he took 2-17 in four miserly overs at the end of the Dutch innings to help restrict the Netherlands to 114-7.
O'Brien then eased nerves with a hard-hitting 30 not out from 22 balls after Ireland had lost three quick wickets in their chase as they reached their target with 20 balls in hand.
"We're looking forward to tomorrow and we're confident as we've won eight in a row," O'Brien said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"It will be a great game and hopefully we will maintain our good form and qualify for Sri Lanka."
The Netherlands looked well placed at 56-2 at the halfway point of their innings but after they lost Tom Cooper (26) they lost momentum and although Alexei Kervezee scored 56 from 48 balls they were never able to break the stranglehold imposed by Ireland's bowlers.
"We're bitterly disappointed as we were aiming for the final and we haven't shown all we could today," said Netherlands captain Peter Borren. "If we had made it to 140 we could have put them under pressure but we let ourselves down with the bat."
The two sides that qualify for Sri Lanka will both receive $250,000 from the ICC to prepare for the tournament.