Ireland's faith in themselves as the leading nation among cricket's cold-shouldered fraternity was dented when they lost to the Netherlands at Sylhet in the 2014 World Twenty20. Two years on, their sense of well-being has been further eroded in a six-over thrash on a cold and grouchy day in Dharamsala that fell Netherlands' way by 12 runs
The orange flash at deep midwicket that sparkled most brightly of all came 14 balls into Ireland's pursuit of 60 and belonged to Pieter Seelaar as he sprinted along the midwicket boundary before clinging to a slick diving catch. Paul van Meekeren banged the ball in back of a length, Kevin O'Brien's pull was middled, but the shot that might have broken the run chase (had it gone for six Ireland would have been 34 for 1 after 14 balls) was instead the harbinger of Ireland's growing despondency.
As for van Meekeren, a return of 4 for 11 will awaken a little interest, one suspects, in English county cricket. By the time he began the final over, Ireland were still 20 short, and he demolished the stumps of Max Sorensen and George Dockrell to ensure there was no monkey business.
Whatever occurred, both countries knew they were already eliminated. There was no mountain left to climb – just the Himalayas to look at as they headed to the airport, but Netherlands headed there much the happier.