THE ICC Trophy match between Holland and Canada in Malaysia was abandoned before a ball had been bowled yesterday when 300 Muslim demonstrators took over the PKNS ground.
Objecting to the presence of Israel in the World Cup qualifying tournament, the protesters found themselves outflanked by the organisers, who had changed the venue for Israel's game with Gibraltar to outside Kuala Lumpur.
After a couple of worrying moments for the Dutch, when they were briefly mistaken for Israelis by several masked youths carrying stones, the teams were escorted from the ground before the mob set fire to the advertising boards of sponsors Carlsberg.
Israel, the first sporting team from the Jewish state to compete in Muslim-governed Malaysia, lost their final first-round match by two wickets to Gibraltar to finish bottom of Group A.
Holland and Canada will not be asked to play their match and, with both teams previously assured of a place in the last eight, Holland were declared champions of Group C on run-rate.
Scotland and Ireland are also through to the next round of group matches, Scotland eliminated Bermuda from the competition with a 57-run win to finish top of Group D.
Bermuda finished fourth in the previous ICC Trophy and were expected to do better this time with Australian Bobby Simpson as coach.
Ireland had to rely on Kenya beating the United States for their place, and fast bowler Martin Suji quickly obliged, taking five for seven from his 10 overs as the Americans were dismissed for 32 in reply to 243 for seven. No American batsman bettered four runs in the second-lowest score in the tournament's history.
Kenya's huge wins by 119 runs and 211 runs over Ireland and the United States on successive days confirmed their credentials as favourites.
The United States, narrow losers to Ireland on Thursday, again found themselves dumped out after the first round of matches, as they were in Kenya three years ago.
There is little doubt that they were a better team than either Denmark or Hong Kong, who qualified as runners-up in their groups.
Scotland, making their debut at this level, are likely to find themselves doing battle with Denmark and Canada to decide who qualifies with Kenya from their last eight grouping, while Ireland will have to beat either Holland or Bangladesh, along with unfancied Hong Kong, if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Scotland, after losing all their warm-up matches and looking horribly out of sorts in the heat and humidity, have the better prospects if their squad, the oldest still in the tournament, can stay healthy.