Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2022

Recent Match Report - New Zealand vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2022

50 overs New Zealand 360 for 6 (Guptill 115, Nicholls 79, Little 2-84) vs Ireland

A breezy hundred from Martin Guptill and an even breezier 79 from Henry Nicholls carried New Zealand to 360 for 6 and set them up for a potential 3-0 whitewash of Ireland in Malahide. Finn Allen (33), Tom Latham (30) and Glenn Phillips (47) also contributed handsomely to New Zealand’s tall total on a true pitch.

In the absence of Mark Adair, who made way for debutant Graham Hume, and offspinner Simi Singh, who was swapped out for legspin-bowling allrounder Gareth Delany, Ireland’s attack lacked any penetration.

After New Zealand opted to bat in bright sunshine, Guptill and Allen forged an explosive 78-run opening partnership. Guptill could have been dismissed on 6 had Andy McBrine clung onto a difficult chance at midwicket, but he could only finger-tip it away to the boundary after tumbling to his left. To add to Ireland’s hurt, Guptill walloped Craig Young for four fours in the seventh over and looked unstoppable for the most part of his innings.

His driving down the ground and through the covers was supreme, as is the case with most of his big knocks. Ireland’s seamers aided him by regularly pitching the ball in his driving arc. Guptill reached his fifty off 43 balls and then slowed down once the spinners McBrine and Delany found some grip with the old ball. He slowed down further in the nineties, needing 18 balls to move from 90 to triple figures.

Guptill reached his 18th ODI ton – only his old mate Ross Taylor has more centuries for New Zealand in the format – with a six off a free-hit delivery. He then celebrated the landmark with back-to-back drilled fours off Delany, but the legspinner slid one in in his next over to beat his slog-sweep and have him lbw for 115 off 126 balls.
After Guptill walked off to a warm reception from his team-mates, Nicholls found some overdue form. Since his 57 against Netherlands at home in March, Nicholls had managed just 104 runs in eight innings across formats at an average of 13.00, until Friday. Along the way, he had had to deal with a bout of Covid-19 and a calf injury. And once he came back into the ODI scheme of things, he had to contend with dropping down to the middle order to accommodate Allen at the top.

Nicholls launched from the platform Allen and Guptill had set, regularly jumping across to off to freely access the leg side. As a result, 54 of his 79 runs came on the leg side. He shimmied out to his fifth ball, bowled by Curtis Campher, and gloriously shovel-pulled it into the media tent beyond square leg for six and then sent the next ball over midwicket for four. Andy Balbirnie then matched up McBrine’s offspin with the left-hander, but Nicholls took 24 off 16 balls from him.

Nicholls notched up his fifty off 38 balls and looked good for more, but Young cut his innings short with an offcutter into the pitch. Phillips and Michael Bracewell then bashed 45 together off a mere 23 balls to help take New Zealand past 350. Phillips was happy to stay leg-side of the ball and give it an almighty thump.

In 2021, Phillips was the top six-hitter in T20 cricket with 97 hits over the rope. Some of that T20-style hitting was on display during his 30-ball 47 in what was his third ODI. Phillips holed out off Josh Little in the 48th over, before Bracewell applied the finishing touches with an unbeaten 16-ball 21. Bracewell now has 190 runs off 138 balls in this series, without being dismissed.

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