The second ODI between New Zealand and Ireland was another close game with the Kiwis taking it out by three wickets.
Tom Latham won the toss for New Zealand and made two changes with Jacob Duffy on debut, in for Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner in for Ish Sodhi. The Irish remained unchanged.
It was a great start for the Kiwis, getting the early wicket of Paul Stirling, being given out LBW off the bowling of Matt Henry for 0. This was a key wicket for New Zealand, given Stirling’s great record.
It took Ireland 21 balls to get off the mark with some excellent bowling from Henry and Duffy to start the game off. However, in the fifth over, the Irish lost their second wicket, Andrew Balbirnie, leaving a ball and being bowled by Henry. With Ireland not being able to get the runs flowing they were going to have to look to the middle order to get a good total.
Harry Tector and Andy McBrine were going to have to put some runs on the board, but were only able to score one boundary in the powerplay. Tector was the next to depart for four from 25 balls, trying to smash Michael Bracewell to the boundary, but was caught by Glenn Phillips instead. This left Ireland sitting at 32/3 after only 13 overs.
Curtis Campher joined McBrine and the pair put on a solid 29 run partnership from six overs. This unfortunately for the Irish was put to an end with McBrine being stumped by New Zealand captain, Tom Latham, for 28 from 48 deliveries. He contributed five boundaries to the total, leaving Ireland on 61 for four.
Keeper Lorcan Tucker joined Campher at the crease and the pair were going to have to put some runs on the board. Once again, the New Zealanders kept making inroads into the Irish innings, picking up key wickets at the right times.
Campher was caught by Finn Allen off the bowling of Mitchell Santner for 25 from 56, with the score sitting on a measly 85 for five. George Dockrell, the man that ended up being the key player of the Irish innings, joined Tucker at the crease.
Dockrell and Tucker were able to put on a solid looking partnership of 41 runs before another breakthrough could be made by the New Zealanders, and this time it was Glenn Phillips, who got Tucker out being caught by Blair Tickner.
George Dockrell and Simi Singh got some momentum going for the Irish and it looked like they were going to get the Irish through to a suitable total with some nice shots from Dockrell including a couple of sixes. Dockrell brought up his third ODI 50 and also was able to register his highest score in ODI cricket of 74, before Jacob Duffy was able to get the key wicket to leave the Irish on 185 for seven.
The next two partnerships did not last long, as Singh was run out and Craig Young was also dismissed for a duck.
Some lower order hitting from Mark Adair though was able to get Ireland through to 216 for 10, as Joshua Little was the last to go, run out for a duck.
The New Zealand innings started terribly as Martin Guptill was gone, bowled by Mark Adair for a golden duck and Will Young, also bowled by Adair for a golden duck leaving the Kiwis star-struck on zero for two from only two balls of their innings. The Irish would have thought they had a glimmer of hope to win the game.
A 101 run stand however between the hard hitting Finn Allen, who brought up his maiden ODI 50 and captain, Tom Latham, got the Kiwi’s back into the game with this century stand.
Curtis Campher made the breakthrough, dismissing Allen for 60 from only 58 balls in his knock which included six fours and three sixes. This left the New Zealanders on 101/3 needing a further 116 for victory from 34 overs.
Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham were able to form a small partnership, but once Nicholls was gone for 17, being run out by Campher, this opened the door for the Irish to get back into the game.
Glenn Phillips fell not long after for 16, as he was bowled by Craig Young. With the score on 149 for five, it left the game open for either team to take it.
This wicket brought the hero from the last game, Michael Bracewell to the crease and he once again asserted his dominance on the game. Latham and Bracewell weren’t able to put on much of a stand before Latham was given out LBW from the bowling of Singh.
Mitchell Santner didn’t last long either and this game was looking like it could go down to the wire, especially with the score at 197 for 7.
Michael Bracewell was able to show the crowd what he is made of once again, by guiding the Blackcaps to victory with a brisk 42 from 40 balls, including three sixes.
This was a great game to watch for all fans, but Michael Bracewell was once again the star of the show and was rightly given Man of the Match for his one wicket, catch of George Dockrell and his 42 runs.
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