Ireland’s Simi Singh started the day by receiving his T20 cap to recognise his debut, and by the end of the day he had single-handedly pulled Ireland back from the brink of defeat to come within a whisker of a miracle win, in the first T20I of the Tri-Series in Rotterdam.
Gary Wilson, the newly named Ireland T20I team captain, called correctly at the toss and had no hesitation about sending Netherlands in to bat first on a green wicket under heavy grey skies.
The Dutch side got off to a breezy start and there total of 144 was always going to be tricky on a green pitch that seemed to favour the bowlers – and so it panned out.
The Ireland response did not get off to the start they required. After smashing a six and a four from his first few balls, opener Stuart Thompson departed with the score on 18.
While fellow opener Paul Stirling attempted to steady the ship, the next five batsmen through the middle order all fell for single figure scores as wickets fell with regularity.
By the time Ireland lost its seventh wicket with the score on just 63, Simi Singh and George Dockrell found themselves together with the task of scoring 82 runs from 41 balls.
There were a few in the crowd, and back at home in Ireland, that must have held out some hope, given that Singh and Dockrell had recently put on a world-record seventh-wicket partnership for List A matches of 215* in a recent Inter-Provincial Cup match for Leinster Lightning, and they indeed started to show sparks of that form.
The pair put on 36 runs in just over three overs, with Singh taking the aggressor role.
When Dockrell fell for 9, Singh and the new batsmen Barry McCarthy were staring at 49 to win from 22 balls. The pair proceeded to score 44 runs from those 22 balls .
Singh knew that a six would win the game, but he failed to that and Ireland lost by four runs.