New Zealand 360 out of 6 (Guptill 115, Nicholls 79, Little 2-84) beat Ireland 359 out of 9 (Sterling 120, Tector 108, Henry 4-68, Santner 3-71) by one round.
Centuries barnstorms from Paul Stirling and Harry Tector intimidated New Zealand, but they survived to defend 360 in the 719th run at the real Malahide circuit. With Ireland needing 10 points in the final over, Blair Tickner, New Zealand’s least experienced seamstress and their most expensive bowler on the tour, won by a margin as New Zealand broke Irish hearts again.
Tickner hid the first two pitches from debutante Graeme Hume, missing just one attempt. Then Glenn Phillips, one of New Zealand’s best fielders, bowled the next ball to Craig Young at the midwicket boundary and ended up crossing the rope for four runs. Though it was a difficult occasion, it was Phillips’ third loss of the day and New Zealand must have felt the game slipping out of their hands.
Young, however, panicked under the pressure and was out of the game attempting to score a second off the next ball, leaving Ireland to score four runs off the final two balls, with No. 11 Josh Little on strike. He was only able to make one after the final ball and Hume waved off the last ball as New Zealand won 3–0 and maintained their impeccable record in the World Cup Super League.
At one point, Ireland were on track to clock 361 and the third most successful chase in men’s ODIs. Sterling and Tector put on a 179-run partnership – the highest for Ireland by the third wicket and sixth overall – but Sterling’s 35th exit threatened to turn the game once again. It came crashing down completely when Martin Guptill, who lit up New Zealand’s innings with a century of his own, took a brilliant one-handed take at extra cover to dismiss Gareth Delaney for 22 off 16 balls. 3 out of 271, Ireland lost 6 out of 86 and, eventually, the game.
After taking a small hit from Sterling and Tektor, Mitchell Santner dropped the old ball to the ground and fooled the Irish batsmen with his subtle variations. He was in charge of the gates of Delaney, Tector and Lorcan Tucker. Striking from long length to catch the return of Curtis Kumfer, Tickner deftly kept the ball away from Ireland’s swinging low-order arcs in the last over.
During the current home heat, Ireland defeated India in a two-legged T20I series and then New Zealand during the first two ODIs, but they failed to complete either of those games. Friday proved to be the same old story for Ireland.
Sterling and Tector, however, dominated the chase after Matt Henry scored twice in the first power play and 2 for 62 in the tenth over of Ireland. By this point, Sterling had 30 balls out of 33. Two overs later, when he came out of the crease, he picked up the pace and smacked Michael Bracewell down over long range for his first five sixes. Stirling continued to explore every part of the field against every bowler to excite the waiting crowd at The Village.
He caught Lockie Ferguson over cover, hit Santner across the line and against the intended turn through a wide long, Bracewell hit a short third man, a muscular ticker over a square foot and flat-hit Phillips into cover. Supported. Sterling lifted his 13-ton ODI run through a carved boundary at Bracewell and his 150-run stand with Tector.
On his ODI debut in 2008, Sterling saw Brendon McCullum and James Marshall beat Ireland while New Zealand scored a total of 402 runs at Aberdeen. Fourteen years later, Sterling teamed up with Tector to wreak similar havoc in New Zealand. Like Sterling, Tector spoke fluently on either side of the wicket and often invented his length by sneaking around or outside his crease. New Zealand could have taken him out for 44 when Ferguson’s slow yorker kissed the outside of his stumps, but the bail did not move. Tector was looking to lift his second ton in game three, but his unfortunate kickback from Santner left the tail with too much work to do.
A fresh century from Guptill and a fresh 79 from Henry Nicholls became the focal point of New Zealand’s innings, which also included Finn Allen (33), Tom Latham (30), Phillips (47) and Bracewell (21*) .
Guptill’s driving on the ground and through cover was excellent, as was the case with most of his hard hits. He completed his fifty in 43 balls and then slowed down as spinners Andy McBrine and Delaney tugged a bit on the old ball. He slowed even further in the nineties, taking 18 balls to go from 90 to triple figures.
Guptill reached his 18th ODI ton – only his old friend Ross Taylor has more hundreds for New Zealand in this format – with six free kicks. after the secret
ll lost 115 off 126 balls, Nicholls took over and found a belated form.
Ever since he was 57 against the Netherlands at home
In March, Nicholls had just 104 in eight innings across formats at an average of 1:00 pm on Fridays.
There were runs. Along the way, he suffered a Covid-19 attack and a shin injury. And once he was back in the ODI scheme of things, he suffered a middle-order drop to keep Allen at the top.
Nichols regularly jumped to gain free access to the edge of his foot, making 54 of his 79 runs. Ireland tried to match McBrien’s offspring to Lefty, but it did not work as Nicholls took 24 of 16 balls from him. Nicholls scored his half-century in 38 balls and looked good for more, but Young shortened his serve with a cut.
Phillips and Bracewell then scored 45 runs in just 23 balls to help New Zealand reach 360. In the end that was enough.
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