Ireland 183 for 9 (Balbirnie 83, O'Brien 46) beat Netherlands 182 for 2 ( Visee 78, Thompson 4-18) by one wicket
Netherlands' mystical hold over Ireland since their famous chase at Sylhet in 2014 seemed set to continue in Oman before Stuart Poynter saved their day by hoisting Paul van Meekeren over long-on off the final ball of the match in a dramatic one-wicket win at Oman Cricket Academy.
Ireland had lost five straight T20Is to the Dutch dating back to the opening round of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh but Poynter's performance ensured Andy Balbirnie's 83 and Stuart Thompson's four wickets were not in vain.
With 12 to get off the final over and three wickets in hand chasing a target of 183, Ireland capitalised on a miscue off the second ball when Josh Little's flick to deep backward square was misfielded by Max O'Dowd to turn a single into four. But O'Dowd rebounded off the following ball to run out Little coming back for a second. Boyd Rankin skied the next ball from van Meekeren to O'Dowd at point to leave the Dutch one wicket away from victory and Ireland needing six to win.
Crucially, Poynter crossed with the ball in the air to ensure last-man Peter Chase entered off-strike. Poynter turned down a single off the fifth ball before clubbing van Meekeren over the ropes. It's just the fourth ever one-wicket win in men's T20Is, with all but one coming off the final ball and Ireland the biggest chase of the group.
The first innings script unfolded as a virtual carbon copy of Ireland's match two days earlier against Scotland as Tobias Visee and O'Dowd put on 116 for the first wicket before a middle-overs stumble. Visee did most of the damage producing his second fifty in three games to end with 193 runs for the week.
Not for the first time in Oman, Ireland shot themselves in the foot with poor fielding to aid Visee as George Dockrell couldn't clasp onto a tough skier running back from cover with Visee on 10 in the third. Visee rubbed salt into the wound, smacking four consecutive fours off Boyd Rankin in the next over.
But when Visee finally sliced Dockrell to Chase at short third man in the 10th, Ireland quickly worked their way back into the match behind Thompson's spell. His first scalp came two overs later as O'Dowd played across a full ball to be trapped in front. Captain Paul Stirling continued to build momentum, getting Wesley Barresi to top-edge a paddle pull to Rankin at short fine leg before Thompson replicated Simi Singh's feat earlier in the week taking three wickets in an over.
Ryan ten Doeschate began the stretch by cutting a Thompson slower ball to Kevin O'Brien at backward point for a golden duck before Roelof van der Merwe fell first ball as well slashing to Chase on the third man boundary. After Sikander Zulfiqar saw off the hat-trick ball, he top edged a short ball to Poynter behind the stumps later in the over to make it 140 for 6.
Ben Cooper had been watching the carnage unfold at the non-striker's end since entering in the 10th over and, despite batting to the end, spent most of his time preoccupied with shepherding the merry-go-round of new batsmen. He didn't hit his first boundary until the 19th, flicked behind square off Rankin, and ended 18 not out off 20 balls as Netherlands ended on an under-par 182 for 9.
Stirling's streak of consecutive fifties on tour ended at three as he fell for 1 in the second over of the chase slashing to backward point off van Meekeren. But Balbirnie's career-best in T20 cricket kept Ireland on course. He added 86 with O'Brien for the second wicket, bringing up his fifty off 31 balls in the 11th.
At that stage, Ireland needed fewer than 10 an over but Fred Klaassen and van Meekeren bowled outstanding spells to give the Dutch a chance at pulling off an unlikely comeback in the field. Klaassen had O'Brien caught at deep midwicket in the 11th for 46 for the first of his three wickets on the day.
At 143 for 3 after 16, van Meekeren struck twice in the 17th, getting Shane Getkate driving to long-on before Balbirnie clipped one off his hips straight to Timm van der Gugten at long leg. Klaassen took another pair in the 19th, Dockrell chopping on and Simi driving to long-on, to bring Poynter to the crease for his eventual final over heroics.
Both teams head to India, with Ireland to play Afghanistan in T20Is, ODIs and their maiden away Test, while Netherlands have matches scheduled against domestic competition.