Ireland give NZ run for their money

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Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 10:33 [IST]
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Ireland give NZ run for their money

New Zealand overcame a spirited fight back from Ireland to win their World Cup warm-up match by 32 runs. Chasing a mammoth 311/6, Ireland stunned the Kiwis by getting off to a blistering start. Openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling laid into the New Zealand attack, racing to 50 in 7 overs. After a 93-run stand in just 12.5 overs, Daniel Vettori got the breakthrough when he trapped Stirling in front for 39 off just 33 balls.

But Porterfield kicked on with Ed Joyce before at 130 in 22.1 overs, he fell to Bennett for a brave 72 off 74 balls. Joyce and Niall O'Brien then joined forces to take Ireland past 150 before Kyle Mills had Joyce caught behind for 41 off 53 as the Irish slipped to 177/3.

Then Vettori struck again to remove Andre Botha for 11 off 15. But the O'Brien brothers took their side to over 200 in the 30th over, before they both fell in fairly quick succession. Ireland had slumped to 225/6 in 40.3 overs. Another couple of wickets fell when the score was on 240. But Trent Johnston and George Dockrell took their side to over 250.

After 46 overs, Ireland still needed 47 runs from 24 balls. The last two wickets went pretty swiftly, with Johnston the last to go for a fighting 33 off 26 balls. New Zealand would be breathing a sigh of relief after winning that encounter by just 32 runs! After all, who thought the lowly Irish would put on such a fight?

New Zealand recovered from a slow and unsteady start to post a challenging total of 311/6 against Ireland in their World Cup warm up match at Nagpur. Martin Guptill top-scored with 130 off 134 balls in an innings which included 12 fours and 3 towering sixes. Useful knocks down the order helped the Kiwis to surge in the last 5 overs.

Guptill started on a positive note, hammering Irish fast bowlers Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston for a few boundaries early on, but Rankin pulled one back against the run of play when he bowled McCullum for 1 with 18 runs on the board. Jesse Ryder and Guptill steadied the innings, but they had to contend with some tight bowling from the seamers.

But it was the off-spin of Paul Stirling that broke the stand, as Ryder was out for 48 off 53 and the score was 97/2. Then, Ross Taylor and Guptill took the Kiwis past 100. But a while afterward, Andre Both caught and bowled Taylor for 33 off 38, reducing the Kiwis to 144/3 in 29.4 overs.

Then New Zealand stepped on the gas, James Franklin making a quick-fire 49 before departing while Scott Styris pitched in with a 15-ball 29. The Kiwis had climbed to 311/6 in their 50 overs, leaving the Irish with a monumental task to win.

Oneindia Cricket

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