Netherlands 195 (van der Gugten 49, Little 3-32, Young 3-34) beat Ireland 194 for 9 (Stirling 69, Seelaar 3-27, van Beek 2-44) by one run
Utrecht: The Netherlands snatched a dramatic one-run victory over Ireland in the opening game of the three World Super League contests between the teams.
The Dutch posted 195 in Utrecht as Timm van der Gugten's late knock of 49 helped them recover from 53-5.
In reply, Ireland slipped to 11-3 before Paul Stirling led a rally.
But his departure for 69 put Ireland on 135-6 and Simi Singh's run out for 45 at the start of the last over was vital as the Irish chase fell just short.
Singh's exit left Ireland needing 10 off the final five balls but Josh Little and Barry McCarthy could only manage eight as the visitors suffered defeat by the narrowest of margins.
The sides meet again in Utrecht on Friday before Monday's game in the three-match series.
It was Ireland who initially gained control of proceedings with Craig Young and Josh Little claiming three wickets apiece before man-of-the-match van der Gugten sparked a fightback.
As Ireland stood at 69-5, a defeat looked to be on the cards but Stirling held firm before falling to van der Gugten.
Simi Singh picked up the baton but when Pieter Seelaar claimed two scalps in the 47th over, suddenly 19 runs from 24 balls was no longer straightforward.
And when Singh was run out for 45 in the last over, the writing seemed on the wall and in spite of good running from last-wicket pair Young and Little, they could not see Ireland over the line with just a bye off the final ball.