Stirling, Tector nearly take Ireland to victory over New Zealand

15 July 2022; Paul Stirling of Ireland during the Men's One Day International match between Ireland and New Zealand at Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ireland made two changes for the final ODI with Gareth Delany, and Graham Hume on debut coming into the side for Simi Singh and Mark Adair. New Zealand made no changes. The Kiwis won the toss and decided to bat. 

It was an excellent start for the visitors with some hard hitting between openers Martin Guptill and Finn Allen. The 50 partnership came up in only seven overs, with Guptill contributing 33 and Allen 19. The Blackcaps were looking to go for a big score and this was shown in the intent shown by both batters. Allen was the first to go, being caught by George Dockrell off the bowling of Joshua Little for a quick fire 33 from 28 including seven fours. 

The next wicket was only able to last a measly eight runs as Will Young was run out by some sharp fielding from Curtis Campher for 3. 

Captain Tom Latham and Guptill combined to put on a 60 run partnership with Guptill also in the process bringing up his own 50 from 43 balls with nine fours and a solitary six. Ireland also were able to waste a review with an LBW call on Latham. Curtis Campher was able to make the breakthrough removing Latham for 30 from 26 being caught by Harry Tector. 

Henry Nicholls joined Martin Guptill at the crease and Nicholls was looking to keep the score moving. The 50-run partnership was brought up in 50 balls, with Guptill contributing 25 and Nicholls 24. Guptill was able to bring up his 18th ODI century from 116 balls with the knock including 13 fours and two sixes. The partnership was finally broken in the 38th over when Guptill was out LBW to Delany. 

Nicholls was joined in the middle by Glenn Phillips and the pair were able to put on 50 runs between them in only 33 balls with Nicholls contributing 27 and Phillips 22. Nicholls was also able to bring up his own 50 as well before he was dismissed being bowled by Craig Young. 

Star of the series Michael Bracewell joined Phillips at the crease and these two were able to play some nice attacking shots to try and get New Zealand to a competitive total. This reflected in the score as in five overs the Blackcaps moved from 300 to 350. Phillips departed with two overs to go, being caught by Campher from the bowling of Joshua Little. Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell were able to get the Blackcaps up to 360 for six from 50 overs. 

Ireland didn’t get off to another great start losing captain Andrew Balbirinie for a duck in the second over.

Andy McBrine joined Paul Stirling in the middle. Knowing they were going to need to score at a fairly quick rate the pair set to work, bringing up a 50 partnership in only 43 balls with Stirling contributing 23 and McBrine 22. The partnership was broken by Matt Henry getting McBrine out caught by Will Young. 

Harry Tector came to the middle and the pair needed to get work for Ireland to have any chance of chasing this mammoth total down. Stirling needed 56 balls for his fifty and Tector needing 54. Ireland were starting to accelerate and this showed as Stirling was able to bring up another hundred from 91 balls with the knock including 13 fours and three sixes. The 150 run partnership was brought up with Stirling having scored 70 of those runs and Tector 77. The stand however was broken not long after with Henry getting Stirling out caught by Phillips for a well made 120 from 103 deliveries. 

Delany joined Tector at the crease with the score at 241 for three, needing a further 119 runs from 15 overs. The stand between these two added 30 runs in four overs. Curtis Campher came to the crease but left only an over later after being caught and bowled by Blair Tickner. Ireland still needed 84 runs to win. 

Harry Tector was joined by Lorcan Tucker. Tector was able to bring up his second hundred of the series from 96 balls. However, he was only able to add eight more to his century before a massive breakthrough from Mitchell Santner gave New Zealand a glimpse that they could get across the line. Ireland now needed 61 runs from 6.4 overs. 

With Tucker departing only 10 balls later it was going to be left up to George Dockrell and the tail to rescue the Irish. A nice little cameo from Dockrell brought the Irish to 348 for eight needing just 13 runs from nine balls. 

Blair Tickner had 10 runs to defend from the last over. Debutant Gareth Hume could only muster one in the two balls faced, leaving Craig Young to try and get the Irish home. The third ball went to the boundary with a dropped chance from Phillips in the field. This left the Irish needing 5 to win from the last 3 balls. Unfortunately though, Young was run out by Guptill for six. Four needed from 2, it looked like Josh Little was coming to have to come up with something special. He was only able to manage a single.

With three to win off the last ball Gareth Hume could only manage to run a bye. New Zealand had held on.

Despite the close finishes, Ireland go empty-handed from the Super League series, as the teams move to Belfast for the T20Is.

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