An exceptional performance by Michael Bracewell with both bat and ball helped New Zealand beat Ireland by three wickets at The Village Stadium, Malahide. Bracewell scalped two wickets and scored 42 runs from 40 balls, to chase after goal of 217 in just 38.1 overs on Tuesday. Aside from him, Allen Finn and Tom Latham scored 60 and 55 points respectively. With this win, New Zealand took a 2-0 lead in the three-game ODI series against Ireland.
The start of the match was delayed by the rain, but this was a perfect opportunity for New Zealand and they made the most of it by winning the toss and opting for bowling. The decision allowed them to make perfect use of the field conditions, giving them an advantage before the game started.
The decision was certainly a great one as it showed its effects from the start of the game itself, with Ireland struggling to get off goal in the first three overs and even losing a wicket. Ireland was reduced to a score of 5 runs and 2 wickets at the end of 5 overs.
Ireland’s batting order had already started to decline. Harry Tector, the star of the first ODI was next but couldn’t shine in the second ODI as he was caught by Bracewell and Ireland’s score was 3 for 32.
Andy McBrine and Curtis Campher were also fired fairly quickly as none of the partnerships lasted long enough to get Ireland to a respectable score. George Dockrell put in a much needed battle for his team with a score of 74 from 61 balls.
In the 44th over Dockrell was also captured at the hands of Duffy. With Ireland just 15 points shy of reaching the 200-run total, Mark Adair saw the team rack up a respectable total of 216 runs in the 50-over match.
The spinning trio of the Blackcaps, made up of Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips, kept Ireland’s strike power in check, narrowing it down to a small total of 216 runs.
Bracewell put in a great performance conceding just 26 runs in his 10 left period as he scalped 2 wickets with Santner and Phillips also scalped two and one wickets each. Matt Henry also performed well as he took two wickets in his 9-over spell.
The New Zealand team confidently entered the next innings, aiming to hold on to the series by chasing just 216 runs in total. Though their confidence was soon shattered by Adair taking Martin Guptill’s wicket on the first ball himself, which was similarly followed by Will Young’s wicket on the next ball. The pressure this time was on the New Zealand side as the rest of the batting order had to appear in the game.
However, the pressure was quickly off New Zealand thanks to the partnership between Finn Allen and captain Tom Latham who completed 56 runs in the first power play. Allen completed his half-century and things were looking good for New Zealand.
As the mid-overs of the match approached, Ireland needed a glimmer of hope which came when Allen was caught out by Campher with a score of 60 runs, which was followed by quick dismissals from Henry Nicholls and Glenn Phillips.
After a superb bowling performance, it was Bracewell’s turn to show his class with the bat and partner with Captain Tom Latham to lead his team to victory. But Latham was hit on a trickball by Simi Singh shortly after Bracewell’s arrival. The captain put in a worthy performance of 55 runs from 73 balls.
It was all up to Bracewell to complete the knockout and carry his team to victory and he showed up with the bat when needed and the all rounder did not disappoint. Bracewell with his crucial knockout of 42 runs in 40 balls and New Zealand won the match with a stunning six.
For Ireland, both Mark Adair and Simi Singh put in decent performances, scalping 2 wickets each, while Craig Young and Curtis Campher each got a wicket for the team.
Thanks to Bracewell’s vital performance with both bat and ball, New Zealand won the match and took the series.
Short scores: Ireland 216 (George Dockrell 74, Andy McBrine 28; Michael Bracewell 2/26) vs New Zealand 219/7 (Finn Allen 60, Tom Latham 55; Mark Adair 2/29).
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